This is Fuck You Week, Jezebel's first annual week of desperate emotional cleansing and unhinged psychic purging.
Getting help can be nice and giving help can be even nicer. Going through a rough time? Some good advice from a friend can be just the right thing. Struggling with your fitness routine? Working out with another person who knows a bit more than you can do leaps and bounds. But then there are times when help is not nice. There are times that someone tries to "help" you even though you never asked for or demonstrated a need for "help" in the past. This type of help can be passive aggressive and often serves the person offering more than it does the person receiving. Which is why we say a big FUCK YOU to unsolicited advice.
Bear in mind, not all unsolicited advice is of the same bullshit mold. Say your grocery bag breaks open in the middle of the street and the person helping you pick up your wares tells you about these great reusable shopping bags that they found. HEY, THANKS, STRANGER. Way to be polite and apropos! But then there's the other type of unsolicited advice — the advice that's out-of-the-blue and and is often just a poorly disguised insult. Like maybe you're ordering a bagel and the woman behind you recommends that you get it scooped out to "lesson the calories." Fuck that made up lady. She's a nosy asshole who is trying to announce to everybody just how great she's living her life and guess what? If she's eating a hollowed out bagel her life is actually not that great.
What with it being the holiday season and all, many of us will be traveling home to spend time with immediate and extended family. Unfortunately, it's these annoying loved ones who can be the worst perpetrators of unsolicited advice out of anyone. I have had grandparents tell me how to diet as I am loading up my plate for a holiday meal. I have had aunts and uncles who have never lived outside of Wisconsin tell me which neighborhoods to avoid in the city that I live in. Turns out that Alphabet City is still a "problem area."
In the end, both those bits of advice — annoying as they are — come from a place of love, but then it can get worse. It can get ugly. They (and we're not just talking about family anymore) will tell you how to do your job even though it's not in their field. They will tell you how to raise your children even if you're doing a fine job or — hey — you don't plan on having any at all. I've had strangers tell me that my haircut isn't right for my face or that the trip they overhear me talk about isn't worth it. I've had acquaintances — not friends, but acquaintances — advise me against lifestyle choices that are working perfectly fine for me.
DUDES, all of this shit, all of this fucked up unsolicited advice, isn't helpful. It's condescending. It's shitty to assume that you know better than someone else who is fully functioning and it's even worse to assume that you've earned the right to set them straight. The only time I want a bunch of people sitting around and telling me how they know better is if I'm being intervened on an episode of Intervention (airs Feb. 12th, 2015!).
Image via Lisa F. Wong/Shutterstock.