How much should you believe in a person’s advice?

Advice is most certainly free and people seem to be more than happy to give us loads of it, sometimes even without us asking. In fact most times without us asking. I always wished if there was a listening cost, I might as well have been amongst the richest men on earth 😀 . I have really wondered why people find it so fascinating to give us advice, ask us to do things which they think is right, and make us do all those things which they could not give a shot. Sometimes it feels funny, most times irritating and only a few handful times sensible. But how do go through this? How do we make sure that we don’t miss out on the good advice in the midst of so many bad ones? Well, here are a few thoughts that might help

1)     How much does that person mean to us

People are extremely smart, well read, well traveled and well experienced as well. But that doesn’t necessarily make them right for us. For us to be able to even consider an advice, that person should mean something us – someone we care for, someone we respect, someone we know can relate to what we feel, someone who can be appropriate, someone with whom we share a thought, not everyone can give us advice and we are ver much entitled to walk away from others

2)     Why is the person giving that advice?

Is the person giving an advice cos he is trying to prove that he is better than you, trying to tell you that he has all the answers in the world, trying to sell you a theory of the world which is his perception? Or is he/she giving the advice cos they really care. It pays to identify as to what is the driving force behind that advice. The more the person cares, the better we are in a position to receive it.

3)     How much does the person know about you

I guess we are all very smart when we offer worldly advice to people, ask them to do things, dissociate ourselves from the situation and come up with options. But the question is, what those suggestions and the thoughts mean to us. Do they mean something? Are they in any way related to us? Are the situations in any way comparable to what we are going through? If not, I certainly don’t see any point in even listening to them

4)     How much does the person know about the matter?

Well we can’t certainly go and ask tips on peace and co-existence from Hitler! We need to know how much the person knows about the matter. People are very well equipped in giving hollow and empty advices but that should be of some use to you. If not, it is a waste of your time and they are not paying!

5)     What is the person trying to tell you?

Something we must try to identify is the reason why a person is giving that specific advice. Is it cos it can be some use to you? Or is it that he is trying to solve his problems through you by vicariously living? Something I realize is that when I asked people advice, they gave me a list of things they wanted to do in their life and tried to impose it on me without regard to the fact whether it could be of any significance to me. I later realized they were just trying to live their dreams through me. It helps to try and identify what they are trying to do. It is your life, your dreams, you really don’t have time to worry on trying to satisfy and live theirs!

6)     How much do you believe in the person?

The person might be the most sensible and honest one in the world, but the real question is whether you believe in him, and how much you believe in that person. If the person is someone who you don’t approve of, someone who you think is not in line with your ideas and thoughts, there is no point in trying to listen to him either, cos no matter how sensible his advice is, you would not be very inclined to listen to him.

7)     Trust yourself beyond everything

No matter what people say, you are the one who is really going to matter. People come up with useful or useless things all the while, but that rarely matters. What really matters is how you want to respond to it, what your thoughts say about it and whether your gut feels that you should actually do it. Trust that more than anything else cos people are just people end of the day 😉

Here are a few books that might help – Top Life advice books on Good Reads

Awaken the Giant within

The Last Lecture

Think and grow rich



5 Responses to "How much should you believe in a person’s advice?"

  1. Nicely explained Vinay. It is true that many people start giving us advice, despite knowing the fact that how much should we believe in that person to take advice.

  2. nice post 🙂 yes…we need to think and process the advice that is so freely given to us before taking decisions in life. I also think that when are in trouble our outlook towards everything becomes myopic and it does help to get a third person’s perspective, especially older people who have lived life and faced challenges, even though not the same ones. Keeping in mind all those points you have mentioned, of course.

    1. Thanks Preethi :). I really really wish there was a listening cost. We would all have become so rich 😀 ;).

      True, I agree it is very important to have an overview of the situation and a third person helps, but I guess that person has to be someone very reliable, if we are trusting with something important in our life, they better live up to it! 🙂


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