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Don't Let Advice Gurus Get Into Your Head

Offering advice is great, as long as one knows how to do it.

By Margaret PanPublished 2 years ago 4 min read
Don't Let Advice Gurus Get Into Your Head
Photo by OSPAN ALI on Unsplash

People love to give and receive advice. And I’ve been reading a lot of other people’s advice lately. On various topics. On multiple platforms.

Do you know what I realized? That much of what I read left me feeling either sad or confused. I’m talking about success stories, how-to, or self-help articles. You know what kind of articles I’m referring to:

  • “How to become a better writer/partner/person”.
  • “How to make hundreds of dollars per month”.
  • “Ten ways to improve *insert any life area*”.

To be honest, I have nothing against these articles. In fact, I’ve written some of them myself. What I do have a problem with, however, is people claiming they have found the key to success (in any field) and reassuring me that if I follow their steps, I’ll get what they have. Sometimes, people offer advice in such a way, that it ends up working counterproductive.

What I’m trying to say is simple. When offering advice, people shouldn’t boast about their achievements. They also shouldn’t try to persuade you that your way is wrong — that you need to act wiser, faster, or in a completely different way. These articles result in nothing else but make people compare themselves to others, lose their focus, and feel like they’re not good enough.

Look for Impartial and Gentle Advice

The thing is, there is a difference between offering advice to someone, keeping in mind that it could or couldn’t work for them, and claiming that someone needs to do what you say if they want to succeed. There’s a difference between saying “this could/may work for you too” and “this will work for you too”.

Because, at the end of the day, each person is different, success has a different meaning for everyone and no one can guarantee you that you’ll get everything your heart desires if you follow someone else’s steps.

Advice should be offered in such a way that is not forceful and doesn’t make people think they are not good enough. If you come across an article whose author makes you question your worth, hit the back button and forget about it.

Some Advice Might Not Fit Your Personality

Let me give you an example that will illustrate why you shouldn't always listen to other people’s advice on how to live your life. I’m an introvert, a shy person. I have a small circle of friends and hate large gatherings. I can be quite social when I need to (e.g. with clients) but honestly, I’m not keen on meeting new people. Overall, I’m not the most social person in the world.

When I see hundreds of articles written on how to become more social and have more friends, reassuring me that sociability will change my life for the better, well, they make me feel like I’m not good enough. Like I’m doing something wrong — that I need to change immediately. What if I don’t want to be more social or have more friends? There’s nothing wrong with that. I don’t need someone trying to convince me that I need to change and neither do you.

The Same Advice Won’t Work for Everyone

On the other hand, sometimes you do follow people’s advice and see that it just doesn’t work for you the way it worked for them. I’ve been there. Does that mean that they’re better, more clever than you? Or that you’re doing something wrong? I have come to realize that no, it doesn’t. It’s just that things work differently for everyone.

Sometimes you have to be the one who finds a way, a solution, a key to something — even if it takes you some time. After all, other people have no idea of who you are, what your background is, what you can/are willing to do.

Never Make Decisions Based on a Single Person’s Advice

All in all, I think that when you feel like you have reached a dead-end and have no idea what to do or how to act, someone else’s advice could prove to be valuable and useful.

However, under no circumstances should you make a decision based on a single person’s advice. Listening (or, in this case, reading) what different people have to say about something, will allow you to view things from different perspectives.

If I’ve learned something about life so far, is that every person is different and works at their own pace. No matter what area of life you’re struggling with, you should take your time, believe in yourself, and try patiently to work things out.

Of course, you can’t possibly have all the answers to everything—that’s why you should listen to what others have to tell you. Whether you’ll end up following their advice or not, however, is entirely up to you. Just keep in mind that everyone has their own opinion about something — and their opinion is not a fact.

If you do decide to follow someone’s advice and things don’t work out the way this person promised to, there’s no reason to be devastated. You may find a better, more successful way to solve your problem. Your way.


About the Creator

Margaret Pan

Words have power.

I write about relationships, psychology, personal development, and books.

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