Keep Your Well Intended Advice to Yourself Unless . . .

Regarding Mental Health

Keep your well intended advice to yourself unless you believe the person you are talking to. Otherwise, your advice is not well intended at all.

A woman I met a few days ago said she could wake herself from a violent dream or nightmare. I said I could do that if the nightmare wasn’t too bad but not an especially severe one.

I explained how in the grip of terror, of getting my arm cut off, or watching my best friend get beaten to death, that I rarely know that I am asleep. Shock and pain takes over and not the intellect.

She then went on to recite a variety of things that she had tried for better sleep, along with things she had heard about. She seized on diet, how I hadn’t tried vitamins or cooking certain things. Lady, I don’t want to hear it.

Over the last thirty years I have tried every medication, talk therapy, and hospital technique possible for my nightmares. Along the way, medical practitioners and even friends try to place the blame on me for their favorite solution not working.

I didn’t try hard enough. I don’t want to get better. These dreams aren’t life threatening. (internal link) They’re not real. Go to hell.

To back up, I didn’t ask for a supernatural power to break my brain. (internal link) I wanted none of it and I did nothing to cause it. I suffer from it, from something I couldn’t even imagine happening. I refuse any more to take blame for any of this, especially from those who have no idea what they are talking about.

She wasn’t trying to help, she was trying to prove that she was smarter. She knows better. She’s more clever or insightful. I’d be cured if I only listened to her.


Where’s the trust? I accept without question and in full faith that all of the methods she outlined work for her. Great. I do not question that at all. But she questions my honesty and intellect when I say those practices haven’t worked for me. Where is the mutual respect? There is none.

Unless you can accept a person that has accepted you, keep your so called well intended advice to yourself. Because all you offer is arrogant, hurtful, and demeaning crap. Buy them a nice dinner instead or give them some flowers. And then shut up!

By thomasfarley01

Business writer and graphic arts gadfly.

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