Who doesn’t hate a piece of random advice coming straight at you with full force of unneeded impact? If there's anything the world would be better off without, it would be unsolicited advice.
But in reality, these wisdom bites from colleagues, friends, and whoever feels confident enough to throw one out are so common, you wonder how come they’re still legal. And one Reddit user u/5000Castillo decided to find out whether some of the advice is actually useful.
The question “What felt like a useless piece of advice until you actually tried it?” which, at first, seemed to be crossing the line, got almost 60K upvotes and a whopping 20.2K comments. The answers are in, and you will be surprised to hear the results.
My dad always told me ‘Ask anyway, the worst they can say is no’ when buying something or when I needed something from another person. Seemed stupid to ask if I was sure they would say no but I was also a socially anxious kid. Turns out that advice has helped me with school, with raises, with people in general, with plans with new friends...
Instead of saying, "I'm sorry for being late," or something,
say, "thank you for being patient"
Didn't realize the effect that could have on people, and instead of putting yourself down, you bring another up.
Its better to lose a second of your life than to lose your life in a second.
People on the road need to just slow down a little. It’ll save your life
Bored Panda reached out to Dr. Audrey Tang, a chartered psychologist and the author of "Be A Great Manager Now" and "The Leader's Guide to Mindfulness," to find out more about unsolicited advice and what to do when you get a piece of it.
Audrey suggests viewing such advice as if it were a physical gift: “just because it’s offered, it doesn’t mean we have to accept it.” For this reason, the psychologist urges us to “never upset yourself over the opinion of someone from whom you have not asked advice.”
Moreover, Audrey believes that not all unsolicited advice is useless, especially “if it has come from someone who has experience within the subject matter.”
She said that if advice comes with examples, or evidence, or ways in which you can further research the area in question, it can indeed be very helpful. “This is true of forums too,” she added.
Clean as you cook, dishes right away, and 10 minutes every day walking through the house picking things up/organizing.
So much better than hours of cleaning on one day
Compliment people behind their backs. Sounds stupid but works wonders.
Just don't drink today. Surely you can do that. Then just repeat.
It's been 19+ years.
However, as a psychologist, Audrey doesn't give advice unless it is sought (and paid for), “mainly because in most unsolicited contexts, there is no time to get into depth with any issue and I wouldn't want any form of misunderstanding on either part.”
The psychologist explains that unsolicited advice may have come because “someone thought it was solicited.” Other times, it comes from people “who are bored, or who want a distraction from dealing with things going on in their own lives.”
Audrey gave an example: “Rather than working on my own marriage, I might focus on giving relationship advice to others,” some think.
On my wedding day my Grandmother said to me "Never do anything around the house that you don't plan on doing for life". At the time I thought it was a terrible advice. When I was mowing the lawn at 7 1/2 months pregnant I got what she meant.
Cleanining your house before leaving for more than 5 days. Nothing is better than coming to a clean house.
Another theory on why some of us are so drawn to throwing out advice here and there comes down to the evolutionary aspect of humans living in communities.
Audrey explained: “We are fundamentally social creatures—in the past, we would have had to rely on our society to keep us safe—so we are likely to have an awareness of how to 'fit in' and a sense of unpleasantness when we do not.”
If we’re at odds with others, we may feel guilt. The psychologist summed up that “this can drive us to 'make comments' if it looks like someone is not fitting in.”
My grandfather told me this and I never understood it until I had my own place. Always buy the cheap tools at first and if you wear it out/break it then you use it enough to justify getting a nicer more expensive one.
When you’re stressed, make a to do list. I was always like, I KNOW WHAT NEEDS TO GET DONE I JUST CANT DO IT ALL. But if you write it down it doesn’t have to all live in your brain and you can focus.
Just shut up and listen. Actually listen.
Too many people don't know how to just listen without thinking that they have to add to the conversation. No just stop. You don't have to add anything. You are not helping. You aren't even paying attention to wait is being said because you are thinking of what you can say.
If it takes less than 5 minutes, do it immediately
I do so much less housework on weekends because of this
Experience is what you get when you don't get what you want.
My mom told me to spend good money on the things that separate you from the ground: tires, shoes, mattress. I finally bought good not cheap shoes and life was SIGNIFICANTLY better. They last so much longer and my back and posture improved too. She’s not wrong about tires and a mattress either
Unclench your jaw, open your hands, drop your shoulders, and breathe in.
If you dont have anything nice to say, dont say nothing at all.
People dont wanna hear "Eww, yuck, you like that?" When referring to someone's food for example.
This too shall pass. On those days when I just feel like I can't take it I think of that, and I know tomorrow will be different. Someone once told me, "tomorrow may not be better, but at least it'll be different." In a strange way that too is comforting.
My therapist told me the next time I'm going to have a panic attack to just give in and tell myself it was ok to have one . I told him he was crazy. After a couple tries it started working to my amazement. I haven't had a panic attack in 3 years
If you have body image issues, find one even very small thing you like about yourself. My starting point was a freckle in the middle of my left hand. Whenever you’re feeling bad about yourself, remember you like that ONE thing. Find a new small thing to like about once a month if you can. It becomes easier to find things, and eventually easier to like yourself, in my experience. Thanks for that advice, Mom.
The less you care what people think and the more real you are, the more people start to like you.
"Your gums bleed when you floss because you don't floss enough"
Turns out if you floss enough, your gums won't be inflamed so they don't bleed when you floss
Smiling at people. You can get a lot just from a simple smile.
Keeping my shoulders back. It was a suggestion I saw for preventing panic/anxiety. Idk what it is, but when your shoulders are in that position it gives some strange feeling of control. I also read somewhere that during panic attacks the body basically wants to curl into fetal position for protection, so I feel like focusing on keeping your arms down and shoulders back is a conscious way to go against that and stay grounded in reality. Works for me, could work for you too.
Fill your tank all the way up instead of a little at a time.
Life is really much easier if you clean your workplace/room. I clean my room often and it makes me feel calm and clears my head.
I'm not great at this one, but "don't look for a happy life, look for happy moments".
Using a stool to lift my feet into a squatting position to poo. What a difference!
Not taking your cellphone into bed with you. After awhile you will sleep much easier without the distraction and blue light shining straight into your eyes before bed.
If you have nausea, suck on an ice cube. The nausea will go down.
Befriend those little people, the janitor, the delivery guy, the server, and the dishwasher.
You never know when they might pull your ass out of the fire.
Don't suffer future pain. In other words, worrying about all the stuff that could happen stops you from doing things and worse, turns potential pain into actual worry and mental pain.
In regards to dating: "You'll find someone when you're not looking".
Sounds like total bs, but it's proven true for me a few times.
When you're texting/emailing between colleagues, friends, etc. don't put anything you wouldn't say to their face in writing. If you have it in writing they've got something physical they can hold against you or gossip about.
Even if the door is closed, speak quietly if you're going to vent. Your coworkers can probably hear you clear down the hallway if you're bitching after-hours. Take it down to a whisper.
CC your admin on every email asking a professional question to anybody else or in any conversation in which the slightest bit of conflict could arise.
If you don't trust one of your coworkers, don't say a word to them beyond basic greetings. Trust your gut. Sit quietly in the lounge at lunch.
If you think something is wrong, speak up. You probably aren't the only one to notice and your voice does make a difference.
Faking confidence to become more confident.
Before I do anything I ask myself, “Would an idiot do that?” And if the answer is yes, I do not do that thing.
Exercising helping with depression and anxiety. It's not a cure all and I needed to be on meds to get to the point where I could do it, but it really does help me. I've been off my meds now for over a year (under doctors supervision don't stop taking your meds unless you run it by your doctor) and when I can't exercise for a few days, I can feel the depression and anxiety coming back. Now instead of going through a million things I did wrong in my head, I run for 3 miles or lift some heavy stuff.
When you're trying to fall asleep and your mind is racing thinking about a million things at once, making it impossible to fall asleep, do this:
1.Pick a letter of the alphabet
2.Count to 8
3.When you get to 8, think of a word that starts with your letter
4.Count to 8 again
5.Think of a different word that starts with that letter
6.Repeat ad nauseum
You'll distract your brain and bore it to sleep.
I had a problem looking at people’s shoulders while they were speaking instead of their face. I told a coworker my problem who said “well just look at their ears, nobody can tell the difference”. Life changing, seriously, no one can tell the difference.
Giving small compliments to people right when you think it makes both them and you happy. Think that girls skirt is cute? Tell her!
That Forest app. It grows a tree for up to 2 hours and during that time, you can't access any apps you think will distract you. If you wanna open a distracting app, you'd have to kill your tree. All your trees, dead or alive, appear in a little forest. I have always had trouble motivating myself to focus on homework and not look at Reddit/YouTube, but this app is just enough guilt to not open them. I haven't killed anything yet and I'm surprised at how much I can care about a small virtual tree. People told me about it and I just completely assumed that I'd never use it or it wouldn't work for me considering how distractible I am, but it works wonders
As someone with a phobia of needles my entire life, I finally (30 years in) had a nurse tell me to ask for a spare alcohol pad and sniff it right as I’m about to get jabbed. She said the harsh smell is enough of a distraction to keep your mind off the needle. I was there for a flu shot, so I got to try it out right away; I wasn’t expecting much, but it worked! Ive been doing it ever since, and have no trouble with shots or blood draws now, which is huge for someone they’ve triggered panic attacks and near fainting in, before.
Celebrate the small things in life because if you wait for the big things, you might be waiting for a long time.
You're not hungry you're thirsty!
I would eat a big meal and wonder why I still felt hungry.. It is because I wasn't drinking a glass of water with my meal. Now if I notice I am hungry after eating normal portions I have a glass of water and wait 5 minutes before I continue eating.
Put on your own oxygen mask first.
You can’t help anyone effectively if you’re not OK yourself. I was always self sacrificing - to the point of being hospitalized for exhaustion. I’d always been told to give till it hurts and then push through the pain to give more, and so that’s what feels natural, and anything else is pure selfishness.
A great therapist told me that I’m good at helping but I have to be at least at a baseline before I’m effective, and, oh, it makes everything so much better.
If you want to write a novel, just start writing. Don’t plan, just get words on paper.
Flip a coin and choose the one you're hoping for. I don't even have to flip a coin now and I'm way more decisive!
If you feel like quitting then just tell yourself that the story doesn't end this way. Sounds cliche, but you decide when your story ends when you stop trying. You may fail, but you will not fail today. Don't let the story end this way.
Spend a lot of money on a mattress, they said
It'll be great, they said.
Couldn't afford it until I bought the house, but damn if they weren't all absolutely right. 10/10 would splurge again, and will in a few years.
Going to therapy.
I'm a guy. I'm emotionally stable, so I thought it was a pointless idea. Went with my ex-gf, in order to work out problems in our relationship (mostly on her end). I learned so much about myself and got some amazing life advice. 10/10
Turn it off and turn it back on
Putting cold water on freshly shaved skin will make it so you don't get ingrown hairs.
Some of the best advice I've ever received.
Leave your shoes by the door.
Sounds obvious to people from certain cultures or climates but it was never part of my routine growing up. I had some asian room mates and was astonished at the knock on effects this little habit has for cleanliness and comfort.
Once begun is half done.
I am a terrible procrastinator by nature. I have totally done the "well now it 5:02 so I have to wait until 6:00 to start cleaning" and I like making things seem like Soo much work that I can't possibly do them unless I take time off of work. In reality if you just start a project without thinking about it you can get everything done in like fifteen minutes a day and it's never really that bad.
Give up caffeine to help with anxiety. I gave it up to help with my vertigo years after this was first suggested to me, but it did help. I'm still anxious but I'm not reacting to it like a hummingbird on cocaine anymore.
Do the practice problems in the textbook.
You think it's a total waste until you actually try it.
Changing something about your appearance to gain confidence/self-esteem (getting a haircut, going to the gym). I thought it was a cop out piece of advice and then I got a haircut and I felt so comfortable in my skin and at peace that I remember the exact moment it happened.
Choose your reaction. It’s a thing from “7 Habits of a Highly Effective People”. What it boils down to is, nobody can actually “piss you off”. You have to react in a pissed off manner to the situation. It doesn’t always work because things like a death in the family are going to make you sad or whatever. It has helped me at work though to realize that no matter how stupid the person I am dealing with is, or how nasty they are being, I can choose to not go to that level. I can choose to stay factual and deal in logic. What do I know though?
Whenever meeting a new person always assume that they know something you don’t
Fans on my old MacBook died. Saw a YouTube video that said to simply take your fist and bang on the part of the computer that housed the fans.
Thinking it was a troll, I gave it a shot out of pure frustration, and lo and behold, they purred back to life and I never had another issue with them for the rest of the time that I owned that computer.
"There's what you need, there's what you want, and there's what you can't afford."
My Dad says this all the time, and I never though of it as useless--I just never used it. Now I have, and my money is far easier to manage.
Pull up your socks. Literally. When you’re feeling flagged and weary and still have two hours left before you can go home, sit down, take off your shoes, and literally pull your socks up.
I belittled this forever until I tried it. It’s actually a nice little pick-me-up
When I was complaining about my wife for the 700th time my friend said "if she's so awful why not just divorce her." It was good advice.
I suffered severe insomnia for years. Someone told me I should get up an hour earlier, go for a 30 minute run in the morning, then do yoga for 15 minutes before showering and getting ready for work. Seemed ridiculous, but I decided to try it for a month.
Haven't suffered insomnia since. Have way more energy, sleep better, feel better. It's amazing.
If you have those annoying, tiny grey balls that get stuck to clothing, use a dry razor to shave it off.
Saved so many items of clothing!
Smiling at a bully in grade school, and make it as genuinely kind as you can muster.
I had serious doubt until I did it, and watching her face become confused and horrified at the same time was priceless. She never bothered me again.
Bribe yourself with fun things to do the not so fun things.
Today I was tired after work but got a little care package in the mail, so I made myself go on the 2.5 mile run I didn't want to do before I could open the package. Now I'm refreshed and happy that I did the thing I was pseudo dreading, and I have a fun care package to open.
Shop at Aldi's.
My mother-in-law has been all over me for years about this. I finally buckled tonight -- and spend about half as much as I usually do on groceries. Damn it.
I'm not telling her. Ever.
When you are sad eat healthy, do a lot of sport and try to take fresh air under the sun. It sounds like the typical piece of crap, but it works incredibly well. It probably is something purely chemical, so it is definetly worth a try.
When it comes to smoking cigarettes or weed it's easy to do it all the time, easy to never do it, damn hard to only do it once in a while.
Dress for success. Started wearing a suit at work and got treated with more respect as well as promotions.
Pretend to be sleeping untill you eventually do.
Drink Water. Drink more water. Never stop drinking water
If you have a clogged nose, doing 8-10 pushups will temporarily clear it up.
Try killing roaches with soapy water in a spray bottle.
It sounds useless, but it works better than any insecticide I’ve ever tried, and it’s non-toxic and really easy to clean up.
One day at a time. It's been helping me stay focus in the NOW.
Stick to the same sleep schedule on your days off that you follow on days when you have to be somewhere at a specific time (like school or work days).
I spent my whole life sleeping until noon on weekends, thinking I was storing sleep in some imaginary sleep bank. I recently started waking up early on weekends, and now I don't have trouble waking up when my alarm goes off during the week. Plus I have all this extra time to do stuff because I'm not sleeping all day.
Kegles. After having a baby, I stopped laughing at that advice.
Wash your dishes immediately after using them.
It really helps avoid unnecessary clutter.
Stop chasing girls. Most times now they notice me as an individual, not as someone begging for a girlfriend.
Spend an extra $5-$10 on wiper blades
For gamers, play games that have a beneficial afk element (in-game), then whenever you need to do some afk stuff spend the time it takes cleaning your house.
Started playing Black Desert Online on xbox, my house has never been cleaner and I'm doing it so regularly that It's becoming a habit and when I'm all caught up I nap.
It's like a tricked myself into taking care of me and my place with games. Easily the best life change I've made this year. I'm productive in-game, at home, and I'm well rested. 10/10 highly recommend.
In regards to saving I was always told “Pay your bills, Pay yourself, then spend”
From a youtube video dictated by a heavily accented doctor: Unclog your nose by sitting up straight, holding your breath and tapping your nose, untapping and breathing in to about 80% of what you'd normally breathe in, exhale, and repeat for a period of about 40 seconds to a minute. The point is to get a response to where your body almost feels like it's drowning. It's tough but it clears your sniffles right up for a long while and works 90% of the time.
Then I went on to suggest it to so many people but they won't believe me or try it even if they're desperate.
My doctor told me when I feel anxious or something like that to wiggle my toes and count them for every wiggle. It is something that distracts your mind and you can do it anywhere cause it just means moving your toes.
To meditate more often and visualize my dream life.
Finish nice hot shower with 30 seconds in cold. It closes up your pores and reduces acne build up. 14 year old me really should have listened.
My dad, " dont marry that women because she has mental issues". i listened. About 3 years later i found out she was on trial for murdering her husband.