Since I’m a yoga teacher, strength coach, and a fitness professional, I’m bombarded with fitness questions regularly.
“How do I do a handstand today, even though I’ve never attempted to do anything remotely athletic?”
“What exercises will take all the fat out of my butt and put it into my boobs?”
“Why can’t I eat 5 pints of Ben and Jerry’s and still not lose weight?”
I love my career, and I enjoy answering these types of questions because feel it is my duty to educate people within the best of my ability and guide them in the right direction. Engaging with people in those types of questions can be challenging, but it can also be fun.
What is not fun and ALWAYS challenging is dealing with questions (fitness related or otherwise) that come from an askhole. What is an askhole?
An askhole is someone who consistently asks your advice, and always does the opposite.
You may have some experience with this type of person. Maybe they’re a sibling that needs to know how to handle a family situation. Perhaps is a friend that wants workout inspiration. Or a co-worker that needs dating advice. They ask for your advice, and then they NEVER LISTEN.
Don’t worry, because you’re not alone. I’ve recently taken some time to consider how to deal with this situation.
Take a deep breath
Maybe it’s the yogi in me, or maybe it’s my way of controlling the rage that overcomes me when my tediously thought out and carefully delivered advice is thrown to the side like a banana peel. First, manage your emotions and keep calm. Showing frustration could only make things worse. So take a deep breath and listen, they might need you to be calm.
Consider the source
Is that person a natural worry wort? Are they prone to stress or anxiety? Would you consider them an emotional walking s$&t show when it comes to certain situations? Remember who you are dealing with, that in itself can alleviate stress.
Remember you are a friend
Even as frustrating as it is, always remember that your advice is valuable to that person, even if they seem to disregard it. People generally ask opinions from people they respect, care about, or even love. And remember, at that moment, you are a friend.
Know your boundaries
Let’s say you’re busy with your own life, and can’t solve their endless problems every 5 minutes. Perhaps the questions not only take their toll on the askhole, but they drain you as well. Or heaven forbid, you feel that there could be a legal liability in your response. Do your best to answer, but also remember to keep yourself emotionally or even legally safe.
Don’t take it personal
People who ask advice in this manner may be feeling fear or insecurity. They are in need of reassurance of some form, and you and your advice might be their security blanket. Whatever they choose to do with the information you give them is ultimately up to them, and they have to live with it. So don’t take it personal because it has nothing to do with you.
Hopefully these steps give you some insight. Revisit them, maybe even change the order. If these steps or situations seem totally unfamiliar, ask yourself, “Am I an askhole?”.