We all learnt from an early age that the world is an unfair place. But hundreds of Judge Judy episodes and thousands of AskReddit threads later, many of us surely feel like armchair lawyers ready to fight for what they feel is right.
The problem is that these bootleg law officers have more legal advice to give than anyone could have ever asked for. From sharing uninvited legal advice to posting fake legal news, there’s a whole law and order waiting on the other sides of the screens.
But there’s one account that’s ready to bust ‘em all, and it’s called “Bad Legal Takes.” With 181.5k followers, the page is dedicated to posting the worst legal takes on Twitter and some of them are more than cringy. So get your judge’s robe from the dry cleaners, everyone, we’re about to feast on some delusional drama.
Legal advice from armchair lawyers happens quite often in the online world, where everyone feels like they know things better. But in the real world, being given unwanted advice is also no less annoying. In many cases, it causes stress, offends people, and annoys the hell out of them. So why do people repeatedly give unwanted advice if it's so annoying?
To find out about the psychology behind unwanted advice, Bored Panda talked to clinical psychologist Dr. Vicki Creanor, who focuses on helping people (adults, adolescents, and children) with anxiety, depression, and sleep problems. “First of all, I think it’s important to take into consideration that some people who give us advice are doing so from a good place, a thoughtful place,” Vicki said and added: “So try and recognize those people—even if you disagree with their opinions on the subject.”
“However, there are people in life (and we all know someone like this!) who like to assume the role of expert and feel the need to tell you how they would do something, what you should be doing, or what you’re doing wrong. And this gets our back up.”
Much of the time, Vicki believes these situations originate from someone needing to feel superior in some way, “often due to a deep-rooted low self-esteem.” According to the psychologist, “By taking on the role of ‘expert’ and imparting their knowledge, they might feel better about themselves.”
“So have a think about which type of person you’re dealing with, first of all. Someone who means well? Or someone who is solely aiming to meet their own needs through their expert status.” If it’s the former, Vicki suggests taking a breath, thanking them, and perhaps saying something like, “that’s an interesting idea. I’ll have a think about how best I can approach this.” If it’s the latter type, “the same approach may work, but this person can be more likely to check in with you again to see if you did what they suggested!”
On the other hand, when you are offered regular unwanted advice by these people, “setting boundaries is really important to help you stay calm, because it can be frustrating,” Vicki said. “Often, if those with low self esteem and a need for being in a superior role are met with an angry stance, they feel threatened and can lash out verbally and emotionally, making the situation worse.”
Here are a couple of statements that may come in handy when handling unwanted advice: “Thanks—I hear what you’re saying and I already have some ideas about how I can work this out”; “Thanks—I will let you know if I need any advice about it in the future, but I have some good options at the moment for how to handle it.”
“And for when you’re feeling a bit more assertive—or if advice is offered even when there isn’t an issue from your point of view: ‘I appreciate you’re trying to help, but I’m comfortable with what I’m doing just now and it would mean a lot to me if you could respect that.’”
Vicki reminds us that politeness goes a long way. “But boundaries are often required to separate out someone else’s needs from yours,” she adds.