advice is an ugly word


“Let me give you some advice.”

When was the last time someone said that to you? And what was your reaction?

Simply put: nobody wants to be given unsolicited advice. Nobody wants to be preached at. Nobody wants to be talked to.

People want to ask for advice before it’s received. People want to be talked with, not talked to. There is a difference.

As Seth Godin might say, the difference is whether or not people have given permission.

It’s a delicate balance that finds itself even more precariously perched thanks to Twitter “gurus,” Facebook feeds and blogs. In the age of immediate gratification, the interwebz and social media, giving unsolicited advice is an easy trap to fall into when it’s just 140 characters away.

Why don’t we simply listen to people’s problems without the “Here’s what I think” response? Who are we to think we know anything about someone else’s situation based on five or ten minutes of conversation?

Bottom line: everybody has their stories that are unique to their own personal development that we can never fully comprehend. We can never know everything about a person or a situation, and only our pride and arrogance tell our egos otherwise.

Perhaps we should recognize this fact before we bring it back to number one.

I would say, “There’s a reason we have two ears and only one mouth,” but then I realized that regarding the keyboard this point is lost, as we also have 10 fingers . . .



3 Responses to “advice is an ugly word”

  1. Return of Trollington Says:

    Zap! Bang! Like a bolt from the blue!
    Ladies and gents, it’s the Reaper Review!
    Your point is quite valid, of that I’ll admit.
    But there seems to be some tiny thing wrong with it.
    You state that no one likes to be criticized,
    Yet, what is this post before my very eyes?
    Whilst this is a message that I’d love to share,
    I fear that your words disappear into air.
    For the ones with the most advice to boast
    Are often the ones who’d ignore this the most.
    And now good blogger, I must adjourn
    But this post has a very good lesson to learn.

    I hope my appearance does not cause a stir,
    And so I am off, as they say “Like a sir”

    • Jeff Hirz Says:

      Not quite sure your direction with this,
      although your pleasant rhymings I sorely have missed.
      Are you calling out the inherent self-contradiction?
      Or perhaps how it identifies my own self-affliction?
      Or is it that people who tote their own flag,
      will read this and claim it’s just wind in a bag?
      Please clarify good sir,
      and keep causing a stir.

  2. Sir Trollington Says:

    I can see my messages three
    Were not sent to the grave via hearse
    We’re birds of a feather now that you’ve gotten better
    At speaking in lyrical verse.

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