Sunday, June 14, 2015


I once read, "Don't take advice from someone who isn't where you want to be."

That has stuck with me for nearly 20 years. Over the years I have noticed that many people give me advice and most of the time it's unsolicited. Unsolicited advice is now a pet peeve of mine. Most of the time, it's waste of my time.

First off, let me say that I appreciate advice, even when it's unsolicited. I understand that people are just trying to be helpful and I am grateful for that. However, for me, when advice is given without asking, it's just a waste of my time. No, I don't think that I'm sooooo smart, I never need advice. I need advice frequently, but when I WANT it, I ask.

I have noticed that people often give me advice without ever asking what it is I want to accomplish, let alone asking if I already have a plan to do what I want. No, they just give it to me. I can only assume that they are presuming to know what I want (but I think it's often projection) and assuming that I don't know enough to do what I want.

I often don't ask for advice from people because I know how to use Google. I have been told many times that you can't believe everything on the web. Then I wonder why the person who told me that feels the need to say it? Have they met people who believe everything they read online? Who are those people? Why are they associating with them? Anyway, NO, I don't believe the majority of the things I read online. I do take into consideration the credibility of the source of the information. I also take the time to search for multiple, credible sources and take that information into consideration. When I think Google is a more efficient source of information, I will search for it there. When I think asking someone with credibility for information is the more efficient source of information, I will ask the person. Most of the time, Google serves my needs.

I have a disdain for unsolicited advice, enough so that I try my hardest to never give it. I have been thanked by several people for the advice I gave them even though I NEVER gave a word of advice. When people lament on a problem, I start asking questions. The first thing I ask is what they want. Then I ask them why they want it and what they are doing to get what they want. Over the course of the conversation, I haven't given a single piece of advice. They come to their own conclusion about what they want to do and then they thank me for the "good" advice.

I have found that people often know what they want, even if they haven't articulated it - even to themselves. I have also found out that people, generally, have an idea about how they want to accomplish it. When I don't think it's a good idea, I ask them why they think that will help them accomplish their goal. Sometimes, their explanation makes sense to me. When it doesn't, I ask more questions, like, "have you considered __________?" or why they don't think a particular course of action will work.

If the person is still at a loss of how to accomplish what they want to do, I ASK them if they want suggestions or help. If they don't, I don't give it and we move on to the next topic.

For me, please feel free to give me suggestions AFTER after you have asked what it is I want to accomplish and AFTER you have asked me if I already have a plan and why I want to do something a certain way, but only if you disagree with it. I will always take that advice under consideration, but it doesn't mean I'll take it. 

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