We all like to think that we dish out great advice…
Or, maybe we think our wise old granny or gramps gave really great advice that needs to be passed on, or perhaps a historical figure or two may have gotten more credit than they deserve for their shady life hacks.
Whatever the reason, there’s a lot of “good” advice floating around that’s actually anything but…and these tidbits totally fall into that category.
1. Space isn’t always a bad thing.
Don’t go to bed angry with your significant other.
Sometimes you just need to sleep on things and take time to cool down….especially if you’re like me and grouchy AF when you’re tired. Don’t try to force a resolution to a conflict.
2. Buy the same book.
Marry your best friend, not someone you’re passionate with because passion fades.
You’ll be comfortable, and that’s what really matters.
Which is all well and good, until you realize 5 years down the line that your sex life sucks and your partner has found someone they are passionate with.
Now you’re out 5 years, a best friend, and a partner.
The truth is, there’s no right answer to this.
Marry the person you want to be with.
If you want passion, get passion.
You want comfort, get comfort.
Just make sure you’re on the same page with your partner.
3. Positivity can be toxic, too.
Just be positive.
4. The sound I just made.
Wear two condoms for double the protection.
The real thing to do is to double up using both a condom and birth control.
Additional condoms would have an asymptotic rate of return anyway. (The second is less useful than the first, and so on)
Double up on methods and get regularly tested if you really want to be safe. Don’t sleep with people who haven’t recently been tested.
To be clear: don’t double bag condoms. Even if it didn’t risk tearing it or some other issue, the benefit of an extra would decrease asymptotically very quickly.
Realistically you’ll always have problems with leakage and mis-use no matter how many you try wearing. (Again, don’t do this. Double up on methods and not condoms.)
5. Maybe not.
Forgive and forget.
Always forgive. But forgetting only tells the person that you don’t value yourself enough to not allow it to happen again.
So no, I will forgive you and remember how you screwed me over, so that you can’t do it to me again.
6. There are more necessary ingredients.
Hard work pays off.
My dad has worked hard his whole life. Ask him if that’s all it takes.
7. He’s a poet and didn’t know it.
I hear some people say what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.
But I’ve seen the nearly killed and that just couldn’t be much wronger.
8. Dreamers gonna dream.
Love conquers all.
Don’t get me wrong, love is very important, but love is the common denominator all your persisting romantic relationships should have.
A relationship isn’t special just because you love the other person or they love you. Just because you love someone or they love you, doesn’t mean you have to, or should, put up with their bullshit or worse.
If you don’t employ your head and heart in equal measure, it’s going to be a difficult life.
9. Never, ever helpful.
“stop crying” or “Crying doesn’t solve the problem”
10. The times have changed.
Basically any advice from before 2000 about the job market: -Call to follow up an application (algorithms in application bots weed you out the second you turn an app in)
Loyalty to the company and dependability will pay off in the future (usually just means you will get more responsibility for minimum raises)
“Job hopping” looks bad on resumes (many companies don’t care, and in reality it’s the only way to achieve upward mobility in wages).
Do extra work to be noticed and rewarded (usually any extra hours will result in cutting hours on later days to avoid having to pay overtime or give bonuses)
Do what you love and you will never work a day in your life (unless you are very very lucky, it is much smarter to find something that will allow opportunity and good pay, with no regard for your personal interests)
11. Cringing right now.
Eat all the food on your plate.
I’ll never use that line on my kids. My mom would make us HUGE plates and we would have to finish our plates to leave the table.
Mix overeating with low self esteem, eating your emotions and BOOM! You got an overweight teenager.
With hard work, training and better eating habits I was able to lose 60 pounds and I’m no longer a prisoner in my own body.
12. That second one is better.
“Never give up”
Know when to give up.
13. You might lose the joy.
Follow your dreams.
I was told over and over again that I needed to make a career out of my illustration skills.
Turns out, I hated getting money and expectations involved in something I did because I genuinely enjoyed it.
It’s taken me a few years and a career change to find the joy in it again.
14. It’s ok to say no.
Try everything at least once.
15. Or throw it in the bin.
“Want that job? Just keep calling to check on the position. It ingrains you in the hiring manager’s mind and makes them consider you more when your resume makes it to the top of their stack.”
How it really works: The manager goes through the stack of resumes, finds yours, and throws it out. Then sends you a polite rejection email. You’re meant to think the squeaky wheel gets the grease, but in reality, they just replace the wheel.
16. There is no blanket advice.
ANY advice that doesn’t include nuance is bad advice.
ANY advice followed without honest, self-assessment, is bad advice.
17. The times have changed.
Another thing I used to get told all the time was that I should go directly to the business I want to get hired at to give them my resume.
The logic is that it shows you really want the job and they’ll take your resume for consideration.
The reality is that most places (even before COVID-19) don’t appreciate a random stranger walking in asking for a job. 99 times out of 100, they’ll just tell you to apply online.
The hiring process has become way more impersonal nowadays. Unlike in the 80’s and early 90’s, when this behavior was the norm.
18. Not everyone’s family is awesome.
“Nothing is more important than family.”
19. That’s not where the money is, Grandma.
“Marry a doctor so you can live a better life.”
My parents were never like this but I had aunts and uncles who would tell their kids this regularly.
20. Actions have consequences.
Live each day like it’s your last.
See, dying people can do this because they don’t have to deal with the consequences of their actions… you do.
21. Also, you’ll learn to hate what you love.
“Just do what you love!”
It sounds great but a lot of people aren’t good at what they love.
It’s important to do things you love but find a way to make a living too.
22. It’s inevitable.
“Never give up”
Sometimes you do need to give something up imo.
23. Don’t do that.
Being bullied? Just ignore them.
24. This one makes me angry.
That which doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger
25. But maybe not all the time.
“Just be yourself.”
At heart, this isn’t bad advice, but it is too vague to really be useful to someone who needs it.
Better put: be cognizant that you want to make a good impression, but don’t do it in a way that misrepresents who you are or makes you uncomfortable.
26. It’s not about you.
Talk to HR. They want to help you.
HR is there to protect the company, not the worker.
That’s why it’s called Human Resources and not Employee Satisfaction.
It’s not resources for employees.
The employees are the resource.
What’s best for you as a person isn’t always in sync with what is in the company’s interest.
27. It’s ok to walk away.
Always stick with family/Blood is thicker than water.
Just because someone is blood related doesn’t mean you should keep them around.
28. Just never say this. Ever.
OK FIRST OF ALL-
To be fair, calming down would actually help, near always.
Telling someone to calm down, less so.
29. The truth, it burns.
“If you get a job doing what you love, you will never work another day in your life.”
Pretty quick way to murder all your favorite hobbies, and leave yourself with no means of escape or unwinding in your personal time.
Biggest advice I give to aspiring artists, especially those who love drawing all day long and do nothing else: before going into art full-time, find a love for something completely unrelated to it.
Happened to me when I transitioned from meditative painting to freelance artist.
30. Those things change.
“Trust your feelings.”
Dangerous so-called advice. As someone with anxiety, I often have to fight against my own feelings, or rather, to keep them from controlling me.
Not that our feelings don’t matter or that they’re never correct; however, they can and often will be extremely deceptive, and going based on your emotions alone is unwise.
Sometimes, the answer is outside yourself, not inside.
I can’t tell you how many times my mother has had to help me keep different situations in perspective.
I’m not listening to any of this crap, y’all!
What’s the worst piece of well-meaning advice you’ve ever gotten? Share it with us in the comments!