I cannot begin to tell you how many times I have heard this in my lifetime. There’s a ton of variation on this sentiment but it all comes down to one thing. You should do it my way.
Years ago I bought a new motorbike and I rode it to a rental house I owned. My renter admired the bike and then proceeded to tell me what bike I should have purchased. I have no idea what his opinion was. I can’t remember. Probably because at that point I wasn’t listening. As I told him, I bought what I should have bought but he should feel free to buy whatever his choice was should the opportunity arise. These scenarios play out so often in life. Whether its a new purchase, an educational choice or even a holiday destination, there are always those who need to tell you how your choice could be better. Certainly there are individuals who do this more regularly than others but I find it to be annoying no matter the source.
Social media platforms are the perfect medium for this opinion type. I am well known for being opinionated. And yet, aren’t we all? I gotta say though these people are a whole different type of opinionated. They see the world through a crazy lens. No matter what they do or say it is the best. No matter what you say or do, you should have done it their way. They go through life giving advice, largely unwanted as to how you should do things. My husbands brother was good at this. Granted he did have a lot of knowledge about some things and he is one of those people who researches the crap out of stuff but he sometimes came off as a know it all. I found I was more apt to do the opposite because I didn’t want to take his advice. Sometimes when people are put into a new situation or are exposed to something that is outside of their regular comfort zone, they are so excited about it they want to tell the world. New parents are often like that. Facebook is full of Moms giving advice based on what they learned while raising kids. Gosh, the mistakes they made with their three year old is certainly helping them with their one year old. I understand the need to share because its exciting when we learn something new. My baby is 30 and my oldest is 41. All I can offer to a young Mom is this… No one told me they were going to be teenagers. Teenagers and cute are two words seldom used together. Enough said.
The facebook teachers are, as I said before, often just excited about something they want to share. They truly want others to feel the same joy they take away from an experience. We are all that way to an extent. When I first found yoga it was tough. My first class, the instructor referred to me as new girl or white shirt as she proceeded to point out my errors. Rather than quit I went to a different class. Better instructor and therefore a better class. In time I had a few favourites and I found I enjoyed it more and more. I have to say it has been a complete blessing to me physically and mentally. In the early days I wanted everyone to try yoga. Now… Whatever. I love it but I could care less if you do it. There is the difference. The people I am talking about you recognize right away. You tell them about something you did, or are doing or are thinking about doing. You are pleased with the choice or decision you made and you share. They respond with arguments about all the things you did wrong, thought wrong or how they would have done it differently. They have become egotistical and annoying in their approach to others. In fact these people have made it such a habit that they will respond to any announcement with a “better way”.
In effect these people are saying “Do it my way.” While I love the song, and Frank Sinatra in general, I take the meaning from Frank that I will live life my way. Not your way. Nor do I believe you should live your life my way. So how do you deal with these people? How do you stop them? Because frankly it sucks when people pour cold water on you after sharing something new and exciting. I am sorry to say there really isn’t anything you can do. In the end my suggestion is the would’ve could’ve should’ve theme. When someone tells you what you should’ve done you can tell them…”I could’ve done that, and I would’ve done that if only you had told me before I made the decision.” You see what’s done is done. It is what it is. Another suggestion is the pre-emptive strike. After sharing you can quickly ask “So, that is what I did. What should I have done?” Or you can do what I do whenever I see my brother in law. Roll my eyes and walk away. I have learned people like him just don’t get the sarcasm.