How to Handle Unwarranted Advice

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I know you've been there.

Have you ever...
Did you think of...
Why don't you try...

If you are trying to lose weight, no doubt you've heard those statements at one time or another.  I think we all have.  And some of us might even be the ones saying them.

That morning, you just realized your favorite jeans are just a little too tight to button.  You're upset but you remember you still have your absolute favorite t-shirt to comfort you.  You slip it on over your head only to find out it now fits differently as well.  Frustrated, you throw them on your bed and go back to your comfort zone...sweats and your husbands t-shirt.  

Still feeling down, you head downstairs to weigh yourself.  You know you've been following your eating plan, exercising more than usual and following along in the daily dieting devotional.  You take a deep breath and step up onto the scale, looking straight ahead, afraid to look down.  When you muster up the courage and look down, you see an additional 3 pounds that wasn't on there before.  NO no no, surely that can't be!  

Sadness overwhelms you.  You decide to sit at your computer and try to get your mind off of things.  As you sign on to Facebook, you are bombarded with images.  How can there be so many thin people in the world and I can't even fit into my fat clothes?

And then it happens. In that very moment of wishing you were in a dream, someone messages you with just a simple suggestion on your dieting journey. Ugh. As you desperately attempt to hold back the tears, you don't understand how others can be so blind.  For minutes, or hours, you stare blankly at the screen. Speechless.

I’m sure you and I could sit down over a cup of coffee and tell all the stories of unwarranted weight loss advice we've been issued. In fact, couldn't we replace the word weight loss with parenting or basically any other activity?  One of my never-forget stories from years ago is the one where a gentleman, a total stranger, thought it was appropriate to tell me the food on my plate was all very fattening.  I wish he knew how much that one sentence broke me.

We've all encountered the times when someone, whether family, friend, or stranger, has offered advice in poor timing or tough circumstances. At this point, we have to choose how to handle the overload. Here are 4 tips on how to handle unwanted advice:

Pause and pray - Breathe deeply, ask God for grace, swallow any sassy words and smile.

Everyone has their own opinion - Even Godly people will disagree and you are not accountable to others for your actions. We are accountable to God for our decisions and actions.

Understand that they don't know your journey - They don't know your journey and their words may come from a genuine part of their heart. They don't know the struggle you just had with jeans not fitting, stupid shirts fitting weird and the scale being dumb. Cut them some slack.

Expect it and prepare your response - When that stranger told me my plate of food was fattening, it broke my spirit. But thankfully, I thought before I spoke. While I might have seemed rude by turning around and walking away, trust me, it was better than what would have been said. Since then, I've established a mental plan for handling unwarranted advice {or rude statements} so that I can deal with it graciously. That is how God would want us to deal with it, with grace.

To those of you issuing the advice...please please please please think before you speak. While you might be offering advice from the bottom of your heart, understand that some subjects (weight loss, parenting, etc.) are touchy and feelings are easily hurt. Taste your words before you speak them.

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