What is it about me that begs for unsolicited advice? Honestly, I don't mind it if it is coming from a friend. For example, often when I'm working out at the gym, a woman I know (who happens to be a personal trainer) will come over and tell me to adjust my form. Another friend's husband (who is not a personal trainer but should be) will do the same.....today I wasn't doing my box jumps right...and .....my movement wasn't smooth enough in my squat clean..and......my legs are too hairy?
Actually though, all of that advice is fine with me because they care about me and want to help me get the best and safest workout (except for the hairy leg comment). What gets on my nerves is when the advice is coming from a perfect stranger.
My first example may not be the best because it involves a fender bender that was, in fact, my fault. The guy was just rude about it though. I was backing out of my parking space at the grocery store very slowly, looking in both rear view mirrors when I suddenly (barely) tapped a tiny car that was stopped in back of my big SUV. I got out immediately to ask him if he was okay. (I knew he was okay because like I said, I barely touched the car, but I'm just polite like that).
Me: Oh my gosh I'm so sorry! Are you okay?
Him: WHAT'S THE MATTER WITH YOU? ARE YOU DEAF?
Me: What? (it wasn't funny until I thought about it later)
Him: DO YOU NEED HEARING AIDS?!!! I WAS HONKING AT YOU?!!!!
Me (after taking a deep breath): Um, no I'm not deaf and I don't need hearing aids. But I didn't hear you honk your horn. Are you okay?
Him: LUCKY FOR YOU I AM! (he really did shout every word)
Me: Okay, I really don't see any reason to be nasty. I'm terribly sorry and glad you're not hurt. Let's see if there is any damage (there was a dent on his car)...and exchange some information so we can fix this.
Him: LET ME GIVE YOU A LITTLE ADVICE, YOUNG LADY!!! (I took that last part as a compliment)
Me: No thank you. I'd rather just exchange insurance information.
Him: (he must not have heard me say "no thank you" because he gave me the advice anyway. Maybe he needs a hearing aid) NEXT TIME YOU PULL INTO A PARKING SPACE, I SUGGEST YOU FIND ONE WHERE YOU CAN PULL ALL THE WAY THROUGH SO YOU DON'T HAVE TO BACK OUT!!!!!
Me: Mmm Hmm. So your advice to me on how to back out of a parking space is to never back out of a parking space. Got it.
My second example is strange because the advice required absolutely no initial interaction with the adviser. I was snowboarding down a run on Big Mountain....not so fast that I would offend someone...but definitely - definitely - fast enough that the average person would not attempt a conversation with me. Cruising along I hear this guy who was sitting mid mountain yell, "HEY! and then something else that I couldn't understand. So I stopped and hollered back up the hill, "I'm sorry, what did you say?" He yelled "I SAID, YOU SHOULD KEEP YOUR RIGHT ARM AGAINST YOUR SIDE AND LOWER YOUR LEFT HIP!"
"Um, thanks??" Okay, I know I've never been very graceful but do I really look like such an idiot when I'm snowboarding that bystanders feel the need to stop me and correct my form? Or am I missing the big picture? Am I wearing a sign that says I Need Some Advice?