Handling Advice

As I am getting ready to welcome a new member into my life, I realized that I was quite perturbed by a lot of things that didn't go particularly well the first year when I became a mom ...In fact, it was quite a challenging time for both me and hubby that it put us off from even thinking about another kid for a loong loong time...The wounds of that first year are still very raw, and I am determined not to let them reopen this time around....One of the major things I didn't know then was that there will be a bunch of solicited and unsolicited advice that comes your way...I was clueless on how to handle this and that led to a lot of heart burn...This time around I spend considerable time and energy trying to figure out a framework that will help me deal with the barrage of advice that I get across all streams of life - be it parenting, finance, relationships, education, the city I should live in, the job I should take...well, you get the drift ! This is what I finally came up with...
1. It doesn't matter whether it is solicited or unsolicited: We often think of unsolicited advice as 'how dare they comment on my...' but experience has taught me that you can get good practical advice regardless of whether it was solicited for or not !
2. Beware of the source, though - On analysing past advice I have recieved, I discovered something interesting. Advice from people who have been there and done that successfully, are usually far more useful than otherwise...Thus, if you admire how a child behaves, then parenting advice from its parent will be far more effective than parenting advice from a brat's mom. If your financial advisor is himself not rich, then he has no business advising you !
3. Respond with a smile: It is not necessary to let people who are wrong, know that all the time. This is especially true for qualitative advice that cannot be easily boxed into right and wrong - you will be wasting time trying to explain your side of the story...Just smile and change the topic of conversation, no matter how strongly you feel about something...If they insist that you follow up on their advice right then and there, then you can firmly say 'I'd prefer to do it my way'. Just this one point would have saved me many a hassle during my breastfeeding days...
Yep, I am already feeling better prepared for the year ahead !


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