Did you ever have a friend or co-worker who professed expertise on a topic they were clearly not proficient at themselves? For instance, I once had a friend who would constantly give me advice on how to “work out.” He would often come over to my apartment to hang out, and talk to me while I lifted weights, and then make little critiques about what I was doing wrong. And this so-called “expert advice” was coming from someone who never worked out, did any kind of aerobic activity or ever lifted a weight. In fact, the only reason he even had a membership to the local gym was so he could go sit in their steam room and exfoliate.
But that didn’t stop him from pointing out all the various things I apparently was doing incorrectly. Or instructing me on the best methods for curling or bench pressing, or any number of other body building techniques, all of which he obviously never practiced himself. And whenever I questioned him about this, he simply said that he didn’t enjoy working out any more, though he used to do it all the time. Of course this was way back in college when he and his fraternity brothers would go to the gym every day to get ready for the weekend’s big “Mixer” with a neighboring sorority. And though it’s been maybe twenty years since his love affair with physical fitness, he still felt it necessary to regurgitate all that acquired knowledge on me all these many years later. (Yeah!)
Then there was the co-worker that always wore one of those buttons that reads: “Want to Lose Weight? Ask Me How.” The button was a not-so-subtle advertisement for her other business venture—a diet weight loss program that she sold on the side to earn extra income. And though I’m never averse to losing a few pounds, I certainly would not take my advice from a woman whose physical appearance reminded one of a giant Gummy Bear. Round, cute and cuddly, with the jiggle of Jell-o.
But before anyone takes offense, I am not trying to make a joke about losing weight. Or even of people who are overweight. I know that losing weight is not an easy task to accomplish, even under a doctor’s care. And some people have medical conditions that prevent them from losing as much as they’d like to. So I know it’s a touchy subject matter. My point is, if you had to choose a sideline business to make some extra money, why not choose something you might actually look credible selling? I mean, I wouldn’t buy a hair restoration product from someone who’s bald, because he’s not a living example of the product he’s pedaling. (And no, I am NOT currently looking for a hair restoration product. That was just an example.) Anyway, the same is true with weight loss products. If you don’t represent the “miracle” product you’re pushing, perhaps you should be investigating another option.
Another example of an obnoxious expert is a certain female family member who was a stern advocate of strict discipline when it came to child rearing. And even though she was unmarried and had no children of her own, that never stopped her from giving her married sister with children all kinds of advice on what she was doing wrong when it came to parenting. “You have to break their will,” she would tell her sister any time one of the children got sassy or threw a tantrum. “If you don’t do it now, they’ll be totally out of control when they’re older.” And like they say, Karma is a bitch. And now that she’s married with two boys of her own, she does everything she can to avoid dealing with them at all. And as for “breaking their will”…well, let’s just say, that these boys might be considered perfect examples of being “totally out of control” when they’re older.
And finally, the biggest offenders of this type of hypocrisy (and here’s where we take a little turn toward a more serious tone) are those extreme religious organizations whose hateful and discriminatory actions belie the teachings of their supposedly loving and forgiving God. To me, anyone who calls themselves a Christian should try to act like one. And not just when they’re doing some kind of charitable work, but also when they’re dealing with their fellow human beings. And for fear of instigating some kind of exhausting religious debate, that’s all I’ll say on the matter.
But that’s just me. Do you have any “experts” in your life that drive you crazy with their lack of expertise?