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.

#1

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...

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Daria B
Community Member
1 month ago

Now, this one is deep. I like this piece of advice.

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#2

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.

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Andrew Gibb
Community Member
1 month ago

Thank you for your patience as a sign off when I am late submitting a task works wonders

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#3

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

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Scagsy
Community Member
1 month ago

Good one. Also, you are not as safe as you think you are in your easily crushable sheet metal and plastic box

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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.

#4

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

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Sethurama Iyer
Community Member
1 month ago

My mom does this. It's much more productive and you have a cleaner work space

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#5

Compliment people behind their backs. Sounds stupid but works wonders.

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Elsker
Community Member
1 month ago

maybe it's more about sending positive energy instead of gossiping or worse?

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#6

Just don't drink today. Surely you can do that. Then just repeat.

It's been 19+ years.

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Malakai
Community Member
1 month ago

That's amazing! Kudos to you :) May you have another 20 years sober to be proud of, one day at a time

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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.

#7

Directly expressing my needs instead of hinting.

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Steve Barnett
Community Member
1 month ago

Being Aspergic I totally get this. Do not hint to me, I. WILL. JUST. NOT. GET. IT. EVER. You have to tell me directly what you want/need etc.

Miss Cris
Community Member
1 month ago

Not only aspergic people.

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Al Christensen
Community Member
1 month ago

Classic example of this: My now former wife and I were driving on a long trip. She asked, "Are you thirsty?" I replied, "No, I'm fine," and kept driving. I learned later she was rather upset because SHE was thirsty. "Why didn't you just say so?" She didn't really know. We discussed it more and it came down to her not wanting to seem demanding or needy or that I was there just to fulfill her wishes.

Iapetos
Community Member
1 month ago

People like this need to learn that it is ok to have needs.

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Sterrinatu
Community Member
1 month ago

You will be perpetually disappointed if you can't directly express your needs.

Jamie S. Martindale
Community Member
1 month ago

Yass... along with the myth of the ideal partner being selectively psychic. "If you love me, you'll just know what I want" - NO. Romanticize the notion of feeling safe enough with each other & trusting enough that you become comfortable expressing needs openly & without judgment (very much true in bed as well!).

Petra Schaap
Community Member
1 month ago

Dutch person living in Belgium here. PLEASE JUST SAY WHAT YOU WANT OR MEAN!!!! Belgians "ofcourse!" yeah, no. Help.

WilvanderHeijden
Community Member
1 month ago

Best marriage advice that anyone can get. It saves you a lot of awkward moments and a lot of unnecessary drama.

ChimeraBubbles
Community Member
1 month ago

This needs to be higher!

CharliAnn Olney
Community Member
1 month ago

A lot of men have said "don't hint around, don't pussyfoot around. TELL ME what you want!"

Ila in Maine
Community Member
1 month ago

This advice alone could save more relationships than any other I can think of. Say what you mean, no one is a mind reader. If you expect them to be you are going to live a life of disappointment and resentment and blame your partner and it is NOT their fault. Speak your mind.

LittleMissLotus
Community Member
1 month ago

If people did this I feel like the world would be a much less chaotic place

cookcooks
Community Member
1 month ago

A agree completely. I hate it when someone says "I tried to warn you". I didn't get it because they were hinting and they allowed me to make a huge mistake. Please, I will not be offended, say it right out.

lenka
Community Member
1 month ago

This should be higher!

Miss Cris
Community Member
1 month ago

Useful to the others. I'm bad at getting hints so I'm happy when needs are open and clearly expressed.:)

Avery Day
Community Member
1 month ago

most asian rom-coms while i was growing up

Jace
Community Member
1 month ago

YES YES YES!!! Communicate your needs clearly and openly. There’s no better way!!

Rodey Hamza Hamzah
Community Member
1 month ago

Yup MEN like me will never understand most hints given by women, just simple say/express what you want form us MEN...as simple as that...

Fester Sixonesixonethree
Community Member
1 month ago

Nothing turns me off more than someone - anyone - beating around the bush. Speak plainly or go to hell.

Janine Hunt-Jackson
Community Member
1 month ago

It took me YEARS to learn this.

Jace
Community Member
1 month ago

Glad to hear you learned it, though 😊

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Baali Venomax
Community Member
1 month ago

I do that all the time. Then I get told off for TMI, being blunt, direct or saying too much. With some people you just can't win. Oh i'm BPD by the way. Fine, run off screaming, see if I care :p

Jace
Community Member
1 month ago

There are good and bad ways to be direct. Maybe you need to learn to practice nonviolent communication. Having BPD suggests to me that you were acculturated by abusive people (you’re reacting to trauma), and that might have defined some of your own communication habits. You can improve your communication, if you desire to.

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El Dee
Community Member
1 month ago

Works with anyone, but most especially men..

Iapetos
Community Member
1 month ago

My dad always says: "Honey, I'm a man. If you need something, you have to tell me directly because I won't understand otherwise."

Jace
Community Member
1 month ago

It has nothing to do with gender and everything to do with culture. How people are acculturated by society largely defines their communication habits.

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Mark Johanen
Community Member
1 month ago

Especially good advice for women. I've often heard women complain that their husband or boyfriend or whomever didn't do what she wanted besides her PLAIN hint. Like, "I told him that I liked the color red. How could he not understand that that meant that I wanted him to buy me roses for Valentine's Day?"

Jace
Community Member
1 month ago

It has nothing to do with gender and everything to do with culture. How people are acculturated by society largely defines their communication habits. If we stop arbitrarily treating men and women like different species, we would have much less difficulty relating to each other.

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Beatrice Multhaupt
Community Member
1 month ago

Now I know how people actually benefit from not doing this, though in a twisted, sick way. A client asked for an illustration for a murder mystery. Wanted the exact moment of the murder on the book cover. I refused and he said he'd ''Go with what (I) proposed''. I showed him the sketch for the illustration. Client:''I want the exact moment of the murder in this illustration''". Somehow I wonder whether his financial success has anything to do with his negotiating tactics......

Bunny Wood
Community Member
1 month ago

This has a technical name. " talking with and to men"

Jace
Community Member
1 month ago

It has nothing to do with gender and everything to do with culture. How people are acculturated by society largely defines their communication habits. If we stop arbitrarily treating men and women like different species, we would have much less difficulty relating to each other.

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Mary Haynes
Community Member
1 month ago (edited)

I have an employee who does that hinting, so annoying, and it doesn't get her what she wants! And it's always "we" could do.....

Keith Wollenberg
Community Member
1 month ago

This cannot get enough up votes!

Hubertus Touché
Community Member
1 month ago

Well to be slightly direct: I want to play Hints and Cluedo. It's an expression in a murder case, 4 words... butt naked in the dining room with the chicken coloured pantyhose of his vanished mistress while singing 'Raindrops keep falling on my head...' and 'Ty a yellow ribbon round the old oak tree...'

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#8

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.

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Maria
Community Member
1 month ago

I needed this advice years ago!

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#9

Cleanining your house before leaving for more than 5 days. Nothing is better than coming to a clean house.

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zims
Community Member
1 month ago

At the very least take out the trash, do your dishes/laundry and make your bed. Remove anything that could stink up the place or prevent you from coming home and flopping down for a nap.

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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.”

#10

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.

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Johnny
Community Member
1 month ago

I always buy the midrange tools, and never buy the cheap tools -- they don't work as well (cheap wrenches have looser tolerances and don't fit bolts well, screwdrivers slip out of screw heads, etc). It's not that much more money and well worth it in better usability. My brother broke a finger once with a cheap wrench, he was trying to get a stubborn bolt off his lawnmower, the wrench broke and his hand slammed into the side of the lawnmower.

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#11

Pay bills, SAVE, then spend.

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Laura Jones
Community Member
1 month ago

people dont seem to do this anymore but they should to be financially sound

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#12

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.

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Christophe Beunens
Community Member
1 month ago

you also get some happy-hormones when you scratch a thing of your list. Gives you energy for the next tasks

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#13

Leftie loosie, rightie tightie

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Mica Fiverline
Community Member
1 month ago

Since I learned this, I constantly use it^^ Used to be a clutz who forgets which direction unscrews stuff^^

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#14

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.

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WilvanderHeijden
Community Member
1 month ago

And a lot of people are talking without thinking. Just count their "Ehh"s "Hmm"s" and "Ahum"s

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#15

If it takes less than 5 minutes, do it immediately

I do so much less housework on weekends because of this

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Sethurama Iyer
Community Member
1 month ago

Yes, as my pilates instructor famously says, "it's only five minutes of your life!"

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#16

Experience is what you get when you don't get what you want.

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Scagsy
Community Member
1 month ago

One sentence wisdom - my favourite kind!

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#17

Practice gratitude. Grateful people are happy people.

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Andrew Gibb
Community Member
1 month ago

Thank you for the tip. I am very grateful you shared it with us.

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#18

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

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Malakai
Community Member
1 month ago

I'm overweight and I have problems in one of my feet from wearing cheap shoes to work all the time. I finally shelled out about $80 for a good pair of work shoes and, good gods, the difference it made. My hips, my knees, my ankles, my back, and my heel all felt SO much better. I used to blame it all on my weight, and while it still gives me problems, having proper support really makes all the difference

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#19

Unclench your jaw, open your hands, drop your shoulders, and breathe in.

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Maryam Siddiqui
Community Member
1 month ago

it actually rlly does work, i felt def more relaxed

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#20

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.

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Anam
Community Member
1 month ago

This I live by too. And believe, silence is way better than just muttering about.

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#21

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.

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Sethurama Iyer
Community Member
1 month ago

There was a story where a king (Akbar) asked his advisor (Birbal) what slogan he should write in the entrance of the palace that makes people happy and sad at the same time. He chose "This too shall pass," because it reminds a sad person that better things are on their way, yet prevents a person from being too indulgent in their happiness.

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#22

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

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ChimeraBubbles
Community Member
1 month ago

Yeah, if more people had been given permission to feel okay to panic or be scared there would be less anxiety and fewer panic attacks all round.

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#23

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.

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Daria B
Community Member
1 month ago

This was kind of how I figured I like my husband before we got together. He was nice to talk to, but it wasn't love at first sight. But when I got to know him, I noticed detail after detail, until I finally came to the realisation (didn't take me long, though, to be honest). And now it's been 2+10 years, and counting, that we're together. Glad it didn't take me too long to find out how I feel. ♡

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#24

Be yourself.

The less you care what people think and the more real you are, the more people start to like you.

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Miss Cris
Community Member
1 month ago

This isn't true. Some people will be atracted to you and others will leave you. But you'll stay with the good ones.

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#25

"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

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Mary
Community Member
1 month ago

Now I must try this one, dammit :)))

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#26

Smiling at people. You can get a lot just from a simple smile.

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Kesam
Community Member
1 month ago

I generally agree but this depends on the culture. Smiling and other such signals can mean completely different things in other cultures.

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#27

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.

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My O My
Community Member
1 month ago

Very good advice! I'll give it a try

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#28

Go to the bathroom first thing after having sex.

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Foxxy (The Original)
Community Member
1 month ago

This is especially important for females as not cleaning after intercourse can cause UTI’s.

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#29

Fill your tank all the way up instead of a little at a time.

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Johnny
Community Member
1 month ago

I thought the reason people did this was because they didn't have enough money to fill the tank, so this one could be written as "Have more money"

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#30

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.

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Kaspar Kristiansen
Community Member
1 month ago

Subjective advice, no doubt. For some it might work, for others not so much.

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#31

I'm not great at this one, but "don't look for a happy life, look for happy moments".

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Tiny Dynamine
Community Member
1 month ago

Ooh, no, not really. Happy moments can be good, but ones like buying new clothes for the excitement will fade away quickly and leave you needing another fix. Wave goodbye to your money and you might become less financially secure. You need to look for profound happiness, so that you will feel good about your life in general. For this, do hobbies, be creative, help people, exercise. This is when you will notice the change within yourself.

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#32

Using a stool to lift my feet into a squatting position to poo. What a difference!

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slackjack
Community Member
1 month ago

"Using a stool...." Kind of ironic, wouldn't you say?

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#33

Unpack your suitcase the second you get home.

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Foxxy (The Original)
Community Member
1 month ago

Nope, don’t think I will ever do this lol. When I get home that is one of the last things I want to do.

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#34

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.

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80 Van
Community Member
1 month ago

Then how would I have learned this advice?

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#35

If you have nausea, suck on an ice cube. The nausea will go down.

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kate h
Community Member
1 month ago

If you're starting to get the pre-puke mouthful of saliva, stand over the sink and spit it out. Keep spitting if it keeps accumulating. This prevents me from puking 99% of the time. The sink is better than spitting in the toilet, as the mere proximity and close up view makes my stomach think it's ok to let loose. The bathroom sink is far enough away yet close enough to the toilet for the rare time spitting doesn't work.

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