Recently I received a message from a poster that unfortunately thought my (yes, smart a$$) post was directed at them. It wasn't.

So after a couple of messages back and forth, I realized that our stories are not all that different. And that got me thinking about why I get upset with some of the responses I see or receive.

There is a very big difference between advice and opinion!! I did some actual research! Pardon my paraphrasing!!

Advice is given based on first hand knowledge. Things we've experienced.
Opinion is based on how we feel. Not necessarily what we know.

I think this is the cause of a lot of irritation!!

So in the future, I will specify if I am asking for advice or if I am asking for opinions!

Regardless of whether we're here for advice or opinion, we're all here because we need support!!

We all have a common thread!!😊

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Send and Gershun,

My point was pretty much what you just posted.

We come here looking for advice and yes, sometimes opinions.

The irritation is when someone, for whatever reason, decides to go off topic and pushes their convictions on the OP.

Typically I ignore it, however in this instance there had been several replies from one person that were just flat out rude.
Not just to me, but to others as well!

What's the old saying?
"You can dish it out, but you can't take it!"

In a perfect world we would be at the very least empathic .
We don't live in a perfect world!.😔

Send, I'll dash off an email to Trudeau asap! 😆

Here in the U.S. we already have received some advice like you have mentioned.
I think, feel, advise, or opine that you ask your own Prime Minister. 🤣

Your question is important.

I agree that it's up to the OP to decide if advice/opinions are worthy of listening to. We aren't least I don't think so. If someone told me, advised me, opined on the benefits of? Oh, I don't know. Let's see............drinking disinfectant for instance? Shining a lightbulb up my rectum? I guess it's up to me whether it sounds worthwhile or not. I'm an adult. I think I could decide if I should or not.

I think we can safely error on the side of assuming most people on here know better.

Can anyone imagine how boring this site would be if, not being experts, none of us could give any advice, opinion, or statement other than:

1) Ask your doctor
2) Ask an attorney
3) Ask a therapist

In reality, an expert: doctor, lawyer, therapist cannot legally (meaning within the guidelines of their expertise) give advice to someone who is not their client or patient. (so many will not "get" what I mean, apologies to you).

The point I am trying to make is, advice on this forum is mostly from lay people, like a neighbor, a friend, a sister. It is for informational use only. It is up to the OP to discern whether to take the advice, use the information, verify facts, etc. Support is given just by a fellow caregiver showing up. People make mistakes, disagree, and we are allowed!

Advice may be offered by professionals (or retired professionals) in a general sense (as in this is what is usual, customary, and reasonable), but they don't say: "Take two aspirin and call me in the morning" to someone on a forum. Because they are not that person's doctor. I am impressed by those who have had a professional career and share what they can on here, and still maintain the guidelines of their profession. They do that here.

However, there are too many criticisms of people putting themselves out there on behalf of others.

It has become the sock puppet's favorite pastimes, to follow us around and prove us wrong on everything said. Instead of speaking to the OP with an idea, or good advice of their own, posters are critics of the last thing said. As if they want to cause dissension, a fight, a disagreement.

Speak to the OP! Speak on the topic! Please don't judge another person's comment. Please do not say how great, or how stupid comments are! It is not appreciated. And please stop explaining other's posts, interpreting other's posts, it is infuriating.

I can understand how Jodi was irritated to have to stop and explain that her post was not directed at the person who confronted her.

So, Jodi...what was your real question?

How can we stop being irritated at some posters? Or, how can we stop some posters from irritating us? Just guessing here.

You ALL have brought up wonderful points!! Thanks for helping me to take a second look!

I understand how advice is so easily interchangeable with opinion.

Perhaps the word I should have used instead of opinion is CONVICTION!!

When I revisit my original post, it's much more accurate to ask advice vs conviction! Is there a difference?


Thanks for your input!!

I did apologize in advance for paraphrasing.

My source was Webster's.

Best wishes!


I agree completely. I too am able to have friendships with people who have different beliefs than I do.

It’s because we respect each other’s views but know what works for us doesn’t necessarily work for them and vice versa.

You approach a conversation with intelligence and heart. That’s a beautiful combination. I appreciate your intellect, honesty and compassion.

Loving what I had read in this discussion.

In real life and likely here, I have strong beliefs, but I also love a good debate. When I question someone on why they believe something, it is not to convert them to my beliefs, but to try to understand why they believe in what they do. I have a friend with polar opposite beliefs on a great many subjects, we have the most wonderful debates, but are still friends and agree to disagree, while remaining friends.

Before coming to this post, I commented on a post about teeth grinding in a 90 year old. I mentioned my belief, that we tend to expect our elders to maintain our level of hygiene. I also asked the OP, why they were concerned about the teeth grinding. I also related my experience with my own Dad and his teeth. I had to step back, as Dad does not care about his teeth.

I also come to every discussion as a White woman living on the West Coast of Canada. My area of expertise is Financial Planning and Elder Planning. I am not a FP in the US, but I can suggest caregiver contracts, advise to meet with an elder care attorney especially when a new poster indicates that their family's actions my impact Medicaid eligibility in the future.

I also come to every post as a woman who suffered emotional, physical and financial abuse at the hands of her parents all her life. When I see a post that references emotional blackmail, "Dad made me promise on his deathbed to never put Mum in a facility.", my hackles rise. I understand being so desperate for a parent's affection that jeopardizing my life and future is the only option. Thank God for therapy, hundreds of hours and tens of thousands of dollars later, I can say no.

But having said all that, I am offering words on a screen. People can do as they life with them.

I was attacked for one post. The person said ugly things about me. But you know what, that person does not know me, nor what I have lived through. They were reacting from a place I know nothing about too.

I think the only problems I have with posters is when they post things (advice, first hand or learned knowledge, opinion, belief) as being TRUTH.
I had a friend who used the old adage "There's YOUR truth, MY truth, and THE truth". At 78 years of age I have come to the "opinion" that THE TRUTH doesn't always exist either. It is all too nebulous and in the end it is all subjective, rather than objective. As nurses we were taught to understand the difference, especially in our charting. To chart only what our eyes SAW and our ears HEARD. None of this "Mr. X. is acting crazy today". Nope. It would look more like " Mr. X. is unable to work to television remote today." And no "Mr. X is very angry and confused by his inability to understand how to work the television remote". It would have to be "Mr X says 'this danged thing never works' and threw it across the room".
Some have a habit of posting experience, opinion, guesses, beliefs, as "truth". Then, if shown another opinion these people double down on their "truth". Whole articles have been written in the last four years about why arguing with such people causes then not to consider your argument in many cases, but to double down on their own "beliefs". When that happens there is no sense arguing at all; it only serves to make the person cement themselves into the corner they are in. (I wish I could learn that lesson).
The other thing we are often faced with is that we judge the "truth" of anything by the amount of "respect" (or NOT) we have for the person telling us something.
MsRandall's point also shows us that definitions are kind of like statistics. Search long enough and you kind make a definition say whatever you like. Things just aren't as black and white as we like to make them. They are more (sorry) shades of grey.
As my oncologist told me long ago "Cancer is anything but an exact science. But my patients want ANSWERS, so I give them to them."

I'd like to see where you got those definition because they seem at best incomplete and narrowly drawn

Advice: is opinion or guidance or recommendations offered with regard to prudent future action. nothing requires first-hand knowledge.

Opinion is a view or judgment formed about something, not necessarily based on fact or knowledge. But it can be based on fact or knowledge

Absolutely, Beatty. Whether it’s opinion, advice, or ‘my truth’, if it comes across as ‘do this’, it doesn’t go down well. Someone’s version of their own experience, their own ‘simple common sense’, or their take on ‘what God says' - all may be useful to read, but they won't often solve the difficult problems of someone else. And they can be very annoying if they come across as 'this is the answer'.

I read an interesting thing today. A 95yr old said how schools changed in the 60's. They began to teach students *how* to think. In her day, you were taught *what* to think.

Made ME think!

Maybe some folk, having been taught what to think, believe their thoughts are *The Truth*. They don't see them as opinion.

From the Oxford Dictionary;
a view or judgement formed about something, not necessarily based on fact or knowledge.

Those folk then they give their advice based their opinions.

My SIL would dish out advice. I finally gave feedback that it was nicer to say "Have you tried..." rather then starting sentences with "You should.." It was still her opinion driving her advice, but offered politely rather then rammed at me.

Send and NHWM,

Great advice!!

I am very emotional and wear my heart on my sleeve. My hubby would tell ya that if emotions were a country, I would be China!! Lol

Knowledge is power!!

I learn something knew everytime I post!!

Thank you!!😊


That’s interesting. I don’t see an issue with them being interchangeable. Many things overlap and are interchangeable.

Send gave a perfect example when she said about getting a second opinion! It’s not necessary to say, I am seeking advice.

I am not a person that hangs on every word that someone says. I don’t think there is a problem if something is multidimensional.

You make some very legitimate points. Advice and opinion may be synonymous, but your heart to explore, for example, why a person may get upset or irritated with certain responses received shows you are thinking in a compassionate way. And you are right, we all have a common thread as humans, and as caregivers supporting each other on this forum.

What is the synonym of advice?
Guidance, advising, counselling, counsel, help, direction, instruction, information, enlightenment. recommendations, guidelines, suggestions, hints, tips, pointers, ideas, opinions, views, facts, data.

What is the synonym for opinions?
opinion, idea, impression, judgment, mind, point of view, reaction, sentiment,

Sometimes, with enough information, we can figure these things out.

I now see your post below....yes, in addition to everything (answering questions), we have to somehow understand what the OP is looking to receive.
Just venting is ok, but they often get advice and opinions too.

If ever you make a smart ass remark, just know that your sense of humor is appreciated by me.

My post was edited, because I had to look up the word synonymous vs. synonyms.

I completely agree that the words advice and opinion have become interchangeable!

It's unfortunate!! Because in fact they are two different things.

If you look up the definitions, they kinda conflict each other.

One is based on actual personal experience and the other is based on thought.

My original point was in the hopes that to avoid irritation, we could read a post and discern whether the OP is asking for guidance or asking for marching orders or a narrative. I hope that makes sense!!

More often than not, I am looking for your much appreciated advice !
I could be wrong, but I think most of us appreciate insight from others that have or are going thru a similar situation.

I have received so much wonderful advice and support!!
It's helping me get thru an extremely rough period!!

Thank you!!


That’s how I view it too. The two words are opinion and advice are interchangeable.


How true! How many would own it after seeing it?

‘Would the power the good Lord give us, to see ourselves as others see us’: after Robert Burns. Worth a thought here.

Fantastic answer, Send! LOVE IT!!!

🤔 I want a second opinion.

When a doctor gives me a medical opinion, it better be based upon what is known and taught in medical school, and not on how he/she feels.


I guided my daughters. I made suggestions but I never dictated, which is different.

They were allowed to choose what activities they wanted to participate in, what university to attend or what they majored in.

It’s important to teach children how to think for themselves.

We aren’t going to be around their entire lives.

Our job is to prepare them to form their own opinions on issues in their lives.

I was never allowed to go to church as a kid all because my mother had a bad taste in her mouth about churches. I wonder who really paid the price me or her? She taught me to believe in God, but to never trust a church and I guess, I really don't trust church. In fact, I am very uncomfortable in church with services going on, however, I am perfectly comfortable in a church with a few people or by myself!

You must be a strong woman to let your kids figure things out for themselves without you telling them what to do and when to do it. It takes a strong person to let your kids make mistakes or fall (so to speak) while sitting on your hands. Ouch! Good for you! That means you raise some strong tough women!

My mother always controlled my brother & as for me, she did control me to a point, but for the most part, she never bothered with me. I couldn't be controlled all the way.


I would have liked your dad a lot. He sounds a lot like my father was.

They taught us to think for ourselves, right? I taught my girls to be independent thinkers.

We will never all think the same, nor should we.

It is fascinating watching children grow up, trying to find their place in this world.

My daughters constantly thank me for not forcing my beliefs on them and having faith in them to figure out what worked for them.

I know people who told their kids what to major in at school. That’s just crazy to me.

I never had any desire to live my life vicariously through my daughters.

It will backfire on parents who do that.

Kids deserve to choose their own path in life.

Sooner or later that kid who is miserable following what mom and dad wanted will rebel and say screw this and do what they want to do.

Stacy, I love that adage you posted.

I prefer the saying, advice you pay for to gain a benefit. Opinions are free but can cost you in the future.

As my dad use to say, " don't believe everything you hear and only half of what you read." I think that is more true today than it was in the 80's and 90's!

Having some one monitoring does makes a difference because on this forum some people just run rampant saying whatever they want not caring about the damage or pain they are causing! But I guess, it is easier to be a bully on the net vs in person!

Too bad some here don’t have working brains. And think their opinion is fact. But their opinion is nothing but stupidity and misinformation. And if their worked, they would realize that 😉

Consider the source!

Some people are a wonderful help to others.

Others, not at all. An Internet forum cannot be taken at face value. Who really knows who is typing?

Some posters seem genuine and according to some posts that I read, they can’t possibly be legitimate!

For the record, it is different at an ‘in person’ support meeting for caregivers. I attended a group for awhile.

I thoroughly enjoyed hearing the social worker who led the group.

The rest of the group was comprised of various people who were caregivers to spouses, parents, etc.

Did we all agree with each other? I doubt it. Were we respectful of each other? Absolutely!

People wouldn’t dare say something to someone’s face as readily as they do in an online forum.

If they would try to be rude, it would be shut down instantly by the leader of the group.

Mods on an online forum aren’t going to do this. There are so many posters and they know that some are bound to be trolls.

So, ‘online groups’ are totally different from an ‘in person’ support group.

In person groups has a person monitoring the discussion. That makes a huge difference in how a discussion flows.

Plus people can see facial expressions, see body language and hear tones in voices.

You will never have that in an online forum.

If the site could be set up in such a way as my husband is working remotely due to COVID, that would work! They can see and hear each other.

Make your own choices and decisions.

Take it all with a grain of salt! Keep what is valuable and toss the rest aside.

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