You know what I’m getting really tired of? Unsolicited advice. And I love vegans. But especially from vegans.
Over many years, this Massive Phobia writer (that means me) has been plagued by the betrayal of her own mind. I’ve developed a veritable Goonies-esque boobie trap filled obstacle course where my anxious-self must cycle its negative thoughts before they reach the glass covered paradise of my innocent-self.
It has come through much practice, and also with the help of medication.
“I just feel like if you….” “but do you want to take that stuff forever??” “did you research it??”
For starters, if these little conversation pieces are unsolicited, I want to say that what ‘Suzie’ says of ‘Sally’ says more of ‘Suzie’ than of ‘Sally.’ Why are you, someone not living in my body, so deeply concerned about me, who is experiencing my body right now and forever?
I do believe though, that most unsolicited advice comes from a place of care, and a place of impulsively wanting to fix other people’s problems. I understand that it must be difficult to control that urge, especially when it’s one that generally means well.
The problem lies in that more often than not, the one giving the advice, has never actually experienced the problem in question. Yoga may actually improve my mental health, but I sure as hell don’t want to hear that from someone who isn’t speaking from the perspective of the mentally ill. Then you’re just one of those yoga people, and no one wants to be that.
In addition to what feels like pure condescension, no one actually knows how to respond to unsolicited advice in any way other than wide-eyed uncomfortable smiles.
“Yeah I mean I’ve tried that….yeah I’ve heard that before….yeah yeah yeah….”
But my favorite thing is when you call them on it by using grim details about your mental health that they didn’t expect you to share. I’m not just going to take your obliviousness lying down, my dude! I also like to show people that think they know everything that they don’t always know everything; it’s what I truly live for.
“Yeah I mean I don’t enjoy the side effects of my medication, but without it, I can’t leave the house, and my heart beats so fast that I feel like I can’t control my limbs. If I don’t take my medication on time, then my vision shakes, and I have lucid nightmares. So I can try to do some yoga but do you want to spot me when I have a panic attack and my legs seize??”
I think I can guarantee their answer will be an increasing feeling of discomfort and something along the lines of “oh well I didn’t know you were talking about THAT kind of mental illness.”
Even though I’m aware that the demographic that reads Massive Phobia articles are usually the ones RECEIVING unsolicited advice on mental health, I think that the sentiment of “listening unconditionally when others are speaking about problems that you don’t necessarily experience” can be passed on to all people of different walks of life.
If you or a loved one you know is having any mental health struggles, please do get the help you need. If you need to talk to someone now, you can talk to one of the many fantastic therapists at Better Help by CLICKING HERE.
This post was created with the help of Grammarly.