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People giving weight loss advice when they have other poor health habits themselves.

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Old 12-21-2013, 01:08 PM   #1
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Default People giving weight loss advice when they have other poor health habits themselves.

I was thinking, because of my earlier post, how do you feel/whats your opinion on someone with another poor health habit giving you advice/critisizing you about weight?

In other words, if someone gives me unsolicited advice or comments about my weight or gives nutrition advice (assuming I have none, which is so far from the truth) but they are a smoker or they are a heavy tanner for example, my reaction is not pleasant...

Likewise I do not hound/give advice/comment on someone like a family member about quitting smoking for example because frankly I have my own house to clean if you catch what I mean...

What's with people on their high horses? Its like "Hello down their (British accent, Monty Python like setting) You know that eating that non organic, sugar filled, meat filled, dye filled, gluten filled, dairy filled, carb filled, soy filled, radioactive biscuit is why you are so dreadfully fat? Here, I'll throw down one of my everything-free nature sticks, and enlighten you on how educated, civilized folks eat! No need to thank me, just knowing you have added 20+ minutes to your otherwise unhealthy, garbage trolling, rubbish consuming existance gives me more pleasure than you'll ever know!..now if you'll excuse me I'm off to binge drink, chain smoke and tan until I'm a sexy orange color! Ta-ta"

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Old 12-21-2013, 01:49 PM   #2
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I think people can have valuable knowledge and/or skills in one area while lacking them or choosing not to utilize them in other areas of their lives. I've seen quite a few competent healthcare professionals that smoke, for example. And I'm sure there are dieticians who don't have the best eating habits themselves, but they give good guidance to their clients. Nobody's perfect.

I think people who give unsolicited advice (and, let's face it, I'm sure we've all been guilty of it at one time or another ) is the issue, for me. I think if we learned to mind our own business more and respect the fact that the people around us get to make choices about their bodies and their lives as competent adults, there would be less aggravation all around.
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Old 12-21-2013, 01:59 PM   #3
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Likewise I do not hound/give advice/comment on someone like a family member about quitting smoking for example because frankly I have my own house to clean if you catch what I mean...
Erm, I don't think I was clear in my last post. Sorry.

Solicited advice from someone who has an unhealthy habit or makes a poor choice in another area of their lives: no problem, really. I asked and am free to take their advice or ignore it.

Unsolicted advice from the same person: MYOB, definitely. I'm gonna be looking at you like this...

I try to keep my yap shut for the same reason you do, GlamourGirl.
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Old 12-21-2013, 03:09 PM   #4
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I think people can have valuable knowledge and/or skills in one area while lacking them or choosing not to utilize them in other areas of their lives. I've seen quite a few competent healthcare professionals that smoke, for example. And I'm sure there are dieticians who don't have the best eating habits themselves, but they give good guidance to their clients. Nobody's perfect.

I think people who give unsolicited advice (and, let's face it, I'm sure we've all been guilty of it at one time or another ) is the issue, for me. I think if we learned to mind our own business more and respect the fact that the people around us get to make choices about their bodies and their lives as competent adults, there would be less aggravation all around.
I agree. The unasked for advice is the key definitely...a post on fb which I posted the beginning of it here earlier spurred a conversation about food and someone later posted about how her cookies are healthy because they are organic and got preachy/condescending...so I was like "you drink, smoke and tan till you're leather, stfu"...I just don't handle unasked for (holier than thou) health advice well, especially when the advice giver has their own issues. Different if I ask, or if the advice is not given condescendingly.
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Old 12-21-2013, 03:30 PM   #5
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I generally have no problem with unsolicited advice. I see it as just another opinon. I like when people share their opinions. Actually, I love when people share their opinions, because I fond people without opinions and people who feel they need to hide their opinions EXTREMELY boring.

I like sharing and discussing opinions on just about every topic. I don't get easily offended, even when the topic is very personal, but I'm also very confident and assertive. If I find a topic becoming uncomfortable, I'll redirect the conversation or even declare the topic off limits BEFORE I get angry about it.

Most people aren't intentionally trying to hurt others, even when they're generous with their opinions, even when they're seemingly being sanctimonious.

I've had some AWESOME conversations with imperfect friends and even strangers who have offered unsolicited advice, for two reasons. I didn't take offense and I was willing to be just as generous with my own opinions without becoming angry or defensive.

Even if the advice is absolutely ridiculous, I treat the person with respect and diplomacy. Even if they become angry, my continued respect and diplomacy tends to shut down that pretty fast and an interesting discussion emerges.

If the advice is ridiculous, I usually say something like, "A lot of people think that, but....." and I explain why they're mistaken. I do have an advantage in thatvI am extremely well-read and self-educated on weight loss and nutrition and usually (even with a now-damaged memory from fibromyalgia) can recommend or reference books and articles to support my own arguments.

I give and receive a lot of unsolicited advice, but I also try to make it very clear when I'm giving that I understand that what I'm giving may be of absolutely no value to them.

I would love for everyone else to do the same, but I acknowledge that not everyone has that skill set, so if I assume they're trying to help, even if their delivery sucks donkey behind, I don't have to feel bad about it.

Unless you're very timid or shy, you probably give quite a bit of unsolicited opinions and advice every day without realizing it (and by you, I mean the generic, everyone, plural "you," not you specifically).

Some topics of advice are considered non-threatening and others rude, but these "rules" aren't universal. What I consider polite conversation, you might consider rude and vice versa.

Most people wouldn't consider it rude to hear someone say "Don't bother to see that movie, it stinks," even if the movie in question was their personal favorite. They also would likely feel free to say so.

Religion, politics, sexual behavior, gender-roles, parenting, and personal vices are taboo in many American circles (not as taboo as they used to be, but still hot-button topics) but they're also the most interesting (in my opinion anyway).

I'm very interested in weight loss theory and weight loss "culture" including the urban legends, myths, and misinformation that are widespread, so my bias probably (almost assuredly) makes me more open to unsolicited advice or commentary, but that's true of every topic. No one ever complains of unsolicited conversation or even judgements on topics they personally enjoy.

I find that most people will gladly respect your wishes, but you have to communicate them. It helps to be clear, calm, and direct - and ideally anger-free, because anger tends to make people defensove rather than open. And when people become defensive, they feel the need to defend their opinions and advice (and then you can't shut them up easily).
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Old 12-21-2013, 04:28 PM   #6
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Kaplods, I'm getting ready to run out the door so my apologies for being so brief, but I wanted to mention something before I completely forget this evening in my pre-travel scramble.

I think there can be a difference between sharing an opinion and sharing advice. Using the movie example, I'm happy to share my opinion and say something like, "Oh yeah, saw that movie. Didn't really care for it because of X, but that's just my taste." Having somebody tell me, "Don't bother to see that movie, it stinks." gets a raised eyebrow from me because it stunk for THEM, but maybe I'd like it?

You're right though, we all share unsolicited advice on a variety of matters.
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Old 12-21-2013, 06:34 PM   #7
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I understand what you mean, but I also think the distinction between opinion and advice is often a very fine but fuzzy line, just as the distinction between opinion and fact so often can be.

I find that assuming the best intentions of people during communication, regardless of their intentions or ability to communicate diplomatically, generally works best, especially for me.

I look at it this way. If they're trying to control or anger me, they lose. I win, because they can't do either without my consent and cooperation.

If they're just unskilled, or even less than open-minded (also called passionate) on a topic , we both benefit from the sharing of information, ideas, opinions, and advice (even crappy advice).

I grew up in a family where "passionate" language was the norm. Debate was a recreationalc artform and you didn't preface every statement with, "In my opinion..." You just acknowledged that everything that came out of your mouth or anyone else's, even advice was just that... an opinion.

You don't know what you're talking about," was a pretty standard reply.

I don't use my family and subculrure's syle of communication everywhere, because I went to college and graduate school, and learned other styles of communication. Because of my focus (psychology) and muliti-cultural experience, I learned many styles of communication.


It's harder to take offense when you know or even suspect that no offense was intended, especially when you realize how prone every one of us is to giving unsolicited advice.

Of the people I know personally, no one who has complained of receiving unsolicited advice has been innocent of dishing out plenty of it themselves. Maybe there are a few perfect people out there, but I haven't known any of them.

Instead, the person who never gives out diet advice, dishes out plenty of parenting advice. The person who never gives out parenting advice gives out plenty of financial advice. Some peeople only want to hear their own opinions and others like to hear everyone's, but most people give and get a pretty fair amount of unsolicited opinons and advice.
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Old 12-21-2013, 09:07 PM   #8
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Kaplods, you always have a way of putting things that lets me step back and readdress a situation, or why I am feeling/reacting a certain way.

While I still don't react calmly to unasked for advice, I was really really angry at this person for her comments...I really thought I was this mad at those comments, but revisiting it, I realize tht I was still annoyed at something she said like last week. This particular person does seem to say a lot of things that dont go over well, and I dont think she's trying to upset anyone, I really think she doesnt know better, so I try to over look it but last week she made a comment that she could never be a nurse (heathprovider) because she was too empathetic and people's suffering effects her...at the time I did respond that dispite her thoughts, health providers are not cold heart people that are uneffected by the suffering of their patients, but that we are empathetic and are very much effect by patients...she just has a history of what I call foot and mouth disease...I dont think she's indending to inadvertantly offend anyone.

But I was still annoyed just the same.

On the topic of how to say a movie wasn't any good...that's really interesting you happened to bring this up, because my dad actually communicates in what I call a central to selfway (or self centered/central) (I made that up and I am not educated on this stuff fyi) but a trigger for me is when someone is eating something he doesnt like he says "eww" or"yuck" and that "its gross"...he's done that my whole life, and of course his eating habits are poor, so basically any veggie not deep fried is "ewwww"..so when I change my eating habits in my 20s, nearly everything I ate was "yuck"... I freaking hate that and I think its rude. I teach my boys to say "I don't like that" versus "that is gross"...the movie thing would not bother me thought, oddly enough JUST if its about food....seriously 90% of my main diet: oatmeal. oatmeal pancakes w/ fresh fruit, yogurt, lots of veggies, turkey burgers, quinoa, my dad thinks is "ewww"...Basically anything healthy...But I say self center speech because he can only understand and relate to how he percieves things, and does not put himself in the listeners shoes. I think that this cna greatly effect conversations, and I was very guilty of this for many years, because this is what was modeled for me growing up, but I've made a conscience effort to change because I think about how I feel when I talk to my dad...and I try to be tolerant of people with that type of talking (which I think is different from opinion sharing)..but at the same time its a trigger for me...

This girl has very self central speech, she does not think about how it sounds or what it says to others when she is expressing herself...I think because the topic was about food (triggering) it was just too much for me to keep my calm.

I need to start meditating, seriously...
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Old 12-22-2013, 07:50 AM   #9
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I understand what you mean, but I also think the distinction between opinion and advice is often a very fine but fuzzy line...
A good point. After pondering it a little more last night, I suppose advice is just an opinion shared about what someone else should do, really.

Anyway, it's been an interesting discussion and I'm sorry to be so brief, but I'm on my way out the door this morning. Cheers, ladies. Have a safe and happy Christmas if you're celebrating and I look forward to rejoining the boards in a few days.
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Old 12-22-2013, 11:03 AM   #10
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but a trigger for me is when someone is eating something he doesnt like he says "eww" or"yuck" and that "its gross"...he's done that my whole life, and of course his eating habits are poor, so basically any veggie not deep fried is "ewwww"..so when I change my eating habits in my 20s, nearly everything I ate was "yuck"... I freaking hate that and I think its rude. I teach my boys to say "I don't like that" versus "that is gross"...
And can I just say THANK YOU for doing that! I am floored by how many people don't seem to be teaching basic manners at home, and this is a huge one for me. I teach my daughter to either say "no thank you" or just nothing at all when it comes to food she isn't interested in or what someone else is eating.

Semi OT rant, sorry
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Old 12-23-2013, 01:59 PM   #11
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For me, it's not about how healthy they are or aren't - it's how much they actually know. Most of my family members would love to give you their thoughts and opinions but I'm going to be blunt. A vast majority of them have one foot in the grave. Their collective health is definitely below average and they've done little to no research into why. So no thanks.

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