Health Tip: How to Handle Unwanted Advice (Lyn–Desert Rain)

Occasionally, a friend or family member will come to me insisting they have the ultimate cure or treatment for my particular problem.  My own health plan is very personal and unique to my own needs and I don’t appreciate others causing me to doubt or second guess my health issues.  They often insist their’s is the best remedy and why haven’t I tried it already?
It’s natural to feel frustrated when friends are insistent because it can feel like they’re downplaying all your research and hard work.  But remember where they’re coming from.  In most cases they have good intentions and are just trying to be helpful.
The best approach is a straight-forward response, such as, “I can see you’re concerned about me and I appreciate it, but I just need to do this my way and I have all the information I can use right now. What I really need now is your support.”  Or maybe, if the situation warrants:  “What we need more than anything is your love and prayers.”
Follow up by encouraging them to redirect their efforts.  Smile and give them a few ways they can help by saying, “You know what I really need?”  Then offer a specific suggestion:  “How about let’s plan a short evening walk just to talk about old times?”   “What’s your favorite pack snack when you’re on the go?”  “Any ideas for getting rid of all the clutter on the Motorhome dash?”  Don’t be afraid to assign specific tasks such as filling the gas tank or running to the store for more fruits & vegies, or picking up med refills.  The object is to make your life a little easier while allowing that well-meaning person to feel needed.  When all else fails, don’t be afraid to say,  “No, I just can’t talk about it now,” and turn away.  Remember:  It’s your health, your plan, your way.

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