Have ever been in a situation where someone basically harassed you with their opinion? I sure have. Personally I live by the motto “each their own” – quite peacefully. I believe e everybody is different and therefore should talk, act, think and believe different things. It is right and healthy to be different from others. It is “normal”.

However, this liberal approach is often taken as ether a weakness or a cry for help that is readily given in the form of unasked advice. Advice about ANYTHING. It starts at how often you should nurse your child continues at whether the dysfunctional relationship with your mother is your own fault and sure does not stop at recommendations for the frequency of vaginal ultrasound (I know this was a complicated sentence – but I cannot help it. I am German.).

This is not the worst thing about the experience though. Usually after receiving the unwarranted advice I will calmly again state my own opinion connected with a, for me, viable argument. This will provoke a sort of explosion in the other person that I like to call opinion-harassment. This consists in repeating their own opinion over and over in an increasing volume however lacking new arguments. Maybe they think that somehow the same argument gets more convincing with repetition and sound intensity. It really does not – instead my tolerance for the other person is tested severely while I fantasize about different ways to gag or strangle the source of my headache.

There is hope for all out there who have been victimized in such a manner: Whenever a subject of known controversy arises in the presence of a past offender, and I do not feel up to bearing the pain of what must follow my tolerant approach, I do the following: I state my own opinion in a rather strong voice, do not give any reason for it and then say “and I believe all other ways are bad/harmful/wrong” while staring rather hostile. This puts my opinion in the same realm where religion or taste reside and makes them therefore untouchable by reason. The usual response to this strategy is a disbelieving “really?” and a look as if I am nuts – and then a change of subject. Mission accomplished.

Have a wonderful week:-)