Offering advice to people you know is usually a waste of time

brickwallMost people I run across that claim to want advice really just want someone to talk to. It took me the longest time to realize that because wise being that I am, I naturally took it at face value after all most people could benefit from advice. But offering advice when someone only wants to talk is a waste of both peoples time. It puts undue pressure on the advice hearer to take some action and actually take steps to improve their lot in life. That is only useful for people that are looking to change and improve an fact is most people don’t want to do that kind of heavy lifting. Much better to complain about the same problem over and over vs. the discomfort and risk associated with changing.

Even though I no longer offer unwanted advice I refuse to listen to problems or pity talk more than once. The choice to improve is optional but my choice to avoid wasting time and energy on someone who is lazy and stuck in destructive ways is the equal and opposite reaction.

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2 Responses to Offering advice to people you know is usually a waste of time

  1. freewheeler says:

    This is too true, I’ve experienced it firsthand when I’ve been asked about nutrition or fitness. Typically I’ll provide people with everything they need to know to get started asap, only to see them take no action and continue to complain and look for the latest magic bullet. The changes they would implement would be simple and yield tremendous results with minimal effort, but that resistance to change, the inertia of old habits and the comfort of mediocrity hold them back from achieving their desires. These people are suffering right now with health issues that could have been easily avoided and now cured, if not greatly helped by my advice but they are too preoccupied with the allure of their self-destructive behaviours. I resolved to only give advice when solicited, but now I prefer to reserve the administration of any advice at all.

    • MTK says:

      The magic bullet comment is a good one. Why work hard to change when it should be quick and easy. Lots of the good old fashion values like perseverance are a thing of the past for 70% of Americans.

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