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Why do people feel the need to keep giving advice?
Have you ever received a piece of advice without ever asking for it? Was it good? What about you, have you ever given advice?
Greek philosopher, Thales, once said the most difficult thing in life is to know yourself. Conversely, the easiest thing in life is to give advice.
There’s always that one person who’s trying to devise solutions for their friends, colleagues, family members, or even strangers. What prompts people to do this?
There are several theories or explanations. They could be trying to establish themselves as an expert, or show they have a wide-ranging knowledge base on a multitude of subjects. Some people might just think it’s a nice thing to do, and want to be helpful.
Here’s the thing, if you’re getting advice from someone you don’t like, know, or trust, you are not going to take it. Plain and simple. But if someone you like, trust, and are close with on some level gives you advice, you are more than willing to give it a shot.
Advice is almost always given without being asked. It’s just a communication reflex people have because they feel like that’s the appropriate thing to do, especially if they think they’re being helpful in some way.
The message being given to you gets affected based on you. If you’re seeking information, you will be receptive to the message. If you’re not, you’ll either disagree with the message, or ignore it altogether. This doesn’t mean the advice is good or bad; it’s dependent on your mindset.
Have you noticed how therapists don’t give advice? They ask you more questions to help you gain an understanding of why you think or feel the way you do. They carefully guide you to be more introspective and discover the answers for yourself.
Giving advice is almost worthless. But motivating someone to think about a solution for themselves is worthwhile.