Dear Giver of Unsolicited Advice

Have you ever had someone try to give you advice about lupus? Has anyone said to you, “You should use this product to cure your lupus?” Maybe they said, “Just take a nap; you’ll feel better.” When was the last time someone tried to force their unsolicited advice on you?

Are you being helpful or critical?

Advice itself can be a tricky slope. Especially when the person has no idea what you are really going through. Unsolicited advice can be stressful and can seem more like opinion. When anyone is in pain, unsolicited advice can feel like criticism and judgment.

Now, this may be a surprise to many but, advice is not always solicited. It’s not always warranted and unfortunately, it isn’t always very helpful. I know as I fight lupus day to day, unsolicited advice can really feel overwhelming and a bit obnoxious.

It is easy to give advice

It’s easy for someone who may not have any chronic medical issues to tell someone who does that their medications are just making them sicker. For many, it’s simple to say if you just work out, eat better, and have a positive attitude, that you can cure a chronic illness like lupus. And, although working out, eating better, and living in a positive frame of mind can help lupus warriors feel better, it will not create a cure. This sort of advice often feels like people passing judgments on the choices made to stay healthy day-to-day. After all, the lupus warrior did not do anything to make lupus manifest in their body. Giving advice that seems simple to one may be difficult to digest for a person with a chronic illness like lupus.

It’s easy to give advice when you are not dealing with the issues that lupus can bring. Issues like fatigue, chronic pain, and brain fogs are rough. When you are battling lupus, it is a fight to do simple things like getting out of bed, brushing your teeth, and interacting with others. Going through these issues is not easy to get through with simple options. If it were easy every lupus warrior would make a concerted effort to just take your easy advice and be cured.

Do you even know what lupus does to the body?

Many times, those who give unsolicited advice and sometimes asked advice, have no clue what lupus is. They don’t always understand how it can ravish and destroy the little bit of soul you have left after the pain has stripped health from your body. One can not give advice if one hasn’t taken the time to understand the scope of what lupus is.

Thank you for your advice

I believe most advice is well-intended and meant to help not harm. It’s not that lupus warriors aren’t grateful for your advice. We thank you immensely for thinking enough about us to share things you believe will help. But we would hope that you can realize how difficult it is to make healthy choices as we battle lupus. It’s not easy to come to the conclusion that you have a chronic illness that has forever changed your life and the health choices you will make.

It’s important in this lupus fight for people to think before they speak and give advice. Your support is appreciated but your unsolicited advice can be hurtful and harmful in our living day-to-day.

How do you usually respond when people give you advice you didn’t ask for? Let me know in the comments.

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