On advice.

Published May 12, 2014

I’m rarely going to give advice anymore. Here’s why.

It’s sometimes unsolicited.

Unsolicited advice is sometimes good and sometimes bad, both for the person giving it and the person receiving it. If someone doesn’t ask for advice, they either don’t need it or they don’t know any better. Regardless, I feel like more often than not it’s bad. They don’t act on it and I feel like I’ve wasted my time. I don’t like to feel like I’ve wasted time.

We’re different.

Advice, in my opinion, is primarily based on experience. I’m not like most people and most people aren’t like me. What I have experienced personally might be completely different from what others have, and whatever advice I have to offer won’t make any sense in their context. It wouldn’t even make sense to try to make it fit.

They don’t deserve it.

Sometimes I feel like I repeat some advice over and over. If someone doesn’t listen, I’m wasting my time. If someone doesn’t act on advice when they really should, they’re probably not worth giving advice to. I learn many things through failure, and offering advice can prevent others from failing. However, I think it’s extremely unfair for one person to gain a bunch of experience and pass it on to someone who has not earned it. It’s also unfair for the person receiving advice. Why deprive someone of the experience of learning and solving a problem by giving away the answer? That’s not how we’re taught.