Pregnancy is the time when each and everyone, be it your family, friends, relatives, co-workers or complete strangers, stop by to give you unsolicited advice. It is because of the instant bond many women feel with the pregnant women. It disintegrates all the social boundaries, making people feel that they have the right to share their knowledge or they are authorized to comment on every possible thing of your pregnancy. To be honest, sometimes those advise are useful but more often they are not. But whatever it is, the roller coaster hormonal changes don’t let you hear any damn advice. So, here are a few tips to intelligently deal with the barrage of unsolicited advice:
1. “We will check with the doctor”:
No matter what, this statement works always and forever. “Eat this food”, “Don’t eat this food.”, “Don’t do too much exercise”, whatever the advice might be, “We will check with the doctor” reply works like a saviour. This is the most graceful way of dealing with the unwanted pieces of advice.
2. “Great! Thanks”
These words satisfy the ego of the person who advised you and you can very comfortably go ahead and ignore the advice entirely. The other similar sentences to satisfy the advisor’s ego are “Thanks! We’ll consider that.”, “Thanks! That advice was hard-earned through years”, “Thanks! We appreciate your concern”
3. Using poker face:
Silence is the best treatment when the advice is rude or too personal to comment about. Accompany it with the cold body language (such as crossed hands, avoiding eye contact, involving yourself in other work) showing that the advice is unwelcome. Though this kind of response might be a bit rude it will definitely save your time and energy.
4. Be honest:
Though the advisors might be praying well for you, most of the time, we are unable to deal with the advice they give. In that case, it is best, to be honest with your words. Just tell them, “This is upsetting for me to listen to” and walk away if required. If they are your family or friends or someone who is really wishing good for you, they would definitely understand what you mean and what you are going through.
5. Use your sense of humour:
Replying with witty humour or self-deprecating comment can definitely save your day. It keeps you from appearing defensive about your actions and also helps you in having control of your conversation. For example, if someone asks you to touch your belly, just politely decline saying “You can if you let me touch yours”. If someone says your baby is underdressed, reply to them with the self-deprecating comment such as “Last week, I wrapped him so much that he had heat rash. So, now I am trying something different”.
6. Be vague:
No matter if the person is close to you or if the person is a total stranger, you have all the right to be vague while giving out your pregnancy information or your medical history. For example, if someone asks if you underwent fertility treatment, answering with “That is too personal to answer”. Or if someone asks you the due date, answer with “It is getting close” and leave it at that. Being vague with your answers could keep you from most of the unsolicited advice.
7. Turn it back on them:
When the person who is talking to you is giving the sad or painful stories or advice of pregnancy which could haunt you later, it is always best to avoid. Just say “Seems like you had a difficult pregnancy” with an air of finality. This helps you end the conversation without insulting or challenging anyone.