How to Handle the Know It All Friend
She’s full of unsolicited advice. This lady thinks that she knows how to live your life better than you do, and offers her pearls of wisdom at every turn. From your relationship with your partner to your finances, career, friends and children, she’s never without something to say. Nearly every sentence she says starts with “my kid would never…” You’re tired of convincing yourself that she means well. She’s opened her mouth and overstepped her bounds again, and it’s time to set her straight before you lose your cool and flip a table in true “Real Housewives of New Jersey” fashion. Sound like someone you know? Learn how to handle your know-it-all friend.
Friend or “frenemy?”
Step back for a moment, and reflect on your history with your favorite know-it-all friend. What were the last few comments she made that really got under your skin? Were these comments made in private or in front of others? Did she show a genuine concern for you, or was she using your life as a springboard for some negative conversation that proved hurtful to you?
Even hearing these may remind you of a bad after school special about middle school, but the truth is that some people don’t seem to grow up. If this know it all friend is using you as a conversation piece, it’s time to come to terms with a harsh reality: she probably isn’t your friend. If a “friend” is treating you poorly and adding negativity to your life, that relationship needs either serious repair, or it needs to end. No negativity allowed!
How are you reacting?
Have you told your know-it-all friend that she is upsetting you? Have you clued her in that her constant comments about how you are ruining your baby by doing or not doing this or that are not only unwelcome but irritating? Be fair. If you feel that she is a true friend and you want to remain so, don’t unload on her before giving her the benefit of keeping her two cents to herself. Maybe –just maybe – she really doesn’t realize that her advice is hurtful, not helpful. If you value this friendship, give her the benefit of the doubt, and speak candidly with her.
Keep her in check
So you have decided to work on your relationship with your know-it-all friend? The next time she decides to comment on how your husband should have mowed the lawn five days ago, how your little one is SO loud and no other child is as loud as YOURS and how her kid would NEVER – or how you really need to spruce up your wardrobe because you’re looking way too last season – remind her: keep the change, because I don’t need your “two cents.” Diplomatically put, what you could say may sound something like this: “Please keep your opinions to yourself unless I ask for them. This is my life, and I am confident in my own decisions.” And you should be!
Photo Credit: The Art of Making a Baby.
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Erin, aka “Mommy” to a 5, 3 and 1 year old, is an adjunct professor, amateur photographer and sci-fi junkie, mostly in that order! She lives in northeast New Jersey with her much adored husband, kiddos and strange looking but loveable hairless cat and revels in baking pureed vegetables into muffins to trick her children into eating (and liking) them. You can find her capturing the beautiful moments of her life’s chaos and calm on Instagram and Twitter.