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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Sethurama Iyer
Community Member
7 months ago

This is really good advice. "No" is not as bad as you think.

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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
7 months 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
7 months 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
7 months ago

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

slackjack
Community Member
7 months ago

"If you keep it clean, you don't have to get it clean." That's what mama used to say.

Daria Z
Community Member
7 months ago

Wiping up the spills too, before they dry up.

Foxxy (The Original)
Community Member
7 months ago

I am so disorganised when I am cooking and run around like a chook with it’s head chopped off. Whilst yes it is easier in the long run to do the dishes as you go, I just can’t seem to find the time during cooking.

Carrie Laughs
Community Member
7 months ago

I have found, for me, if I have a sink of hot soapy water ready I can just put things in there as I use them. It doesn't require extra time while cooking and then they won't dry with food stuck on them. Easier if you wash by hand or by dishwasher. Also, I agree with danielw - my husband laughs at me and thinks I'm acting like I'm on a cookery programme but do all the prep first. Chop up and measure out ingredients into bowls and jugs. More organisation even if it's a bit more washing up. Does make the cooking process less chaotic. Though easy for me to say - I have a dishwasher so creating a bit of extra washing up doesn't matter to me. Give it a go maybe? Though we are who we are, disorganised mess or not!

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Mama Panda
Community Member
7 months ago

In our house, we divide the dinner chores. There are 3 of us so one cooks, one serves and one cleans. I am teaching my son to clean as you cook. He was amazed at how little is required after dinner. My hubby makes a huge mess when he cooks so it sucks when one of us has to clean up after him. So now my son and I take turns on cooking so my hubby has to clean all the time.

Baali Venomax
Community Member
6 months ago

but then you are constantly tidying up and never get anything done.

Thalia Lovering
Community Member
7 months ago

I clean as I cook, if what I cook allows it, but I never wash the dishes right away. As soon as I finish cooking, I want to start eating, and then I want to let the food "sink in".

Shirley Antle-Kelly
Community Member
1 month ago

Absolutely! It's not as likely to get done at all if you put it off.

Mike Mayer
Community Member
1 month ago

Also avoids food from becoming terribly stuck to the pots/pans/plates/etc. Much easier to clean when it's fresh.

Jean-paul
Community Member
1 month ago

i prefer the opposite. but all tastes are in the wild

Jessica Clement
Community Member
1 month ago

I don't wash dishes as I cook, because it wastes water - better to fill one sink and do them all at the end of the day. Otherwise this is good advice

Emalyn
Community Member
5 months ago

When I'm home in the summer (teacher), I will watch a show on Netflix, then make myself get up for 15 minutes (timed by Alexa) to do housework, chores. It's amazing how much you can do in 15 minutes when you then reward yourself with one random show on Netflix!! :)

DotC
Community Member
6 months ago

I dont wipe or wash but I do put things away as I use them while cooking. Washing is for after.

Jace
Community Member
6 months ago

This is how I do my cooking. I clean as I cook. I hate the after messes when not cleaning during prep.

Carmen Honacker
Community Member
6 months ago

I was taught that from my mother when I was a child. I'm still doing it and my house always neat

Mild Anxiety! At The Disco
Community Member
6 months ago

I do this in my room, just pick up anything on the ground and tidy shelves whenever I walk through it. Everyone always comments on how clean and nice it looks!

Kitty Fenerty
Community Member
6 months ago

I absolutely have to do this now as I have severe Fibromyalgia and must also pace myself.

Stan Chung
Community Member
6 months ago

I eat happier know there's less things to wash after.

Jane W.
Community Member
6 months ago

And get a basket with a handle to collect all the misplaced stuff, and carry it around the house replacing it properly. Almost fun.

Evripidou Maria
Community Member
6 months ago

I try to do this. Otherwise the clutter become so huge

Dale Overturf
Community Member
6 months ago

Always always always, can’t stand waking up to clutter and dirty dishes.

KJena
Community Member
7 months ago

So so true. My mum once told me this and now I'm telling my kids the same thing.

Elea Bell
Community Member
7 months ago

If I can clean and jam out to tunes at the same time, I'll gladly spend an hour straight cleaning.

Mascha Claessens
Community Member
7 months ago

I'm trying to do this. I'm getting better at it (especially in the kitchen!), but it's still kinda hard. Luckily I have a hubby who's pretty good at it.

Alessandra Ricotta
Community Member
7 months ago

Growing up I started to do this all by myself. It works like a charm.

Bunny Wood
Community Member
7 months ago

I do this. So much better than a pile of dishes post eating

Bob Belcher
Community Member
7 months ago

If your going upstairs, take something with you that needs to go upstairs. Same if your going downstairs.

Bill
Community Member
7 months ago

I draw a sink of hot, soapy water right before I start to cook. Thanks Racheal Ray

Ryyde Cade
Community Member
7 months ago

I don’t usually cook but when I do that’s what I do. My kitchen is spotless during And after cooking but a mess the rest of the time

Michelle Line
Community Member
7 months ago

Another one I do every day.

Sergio Bicerra Descalzi
Community Member
7 months ago

Best advice. Daily I do a "light cleaning" that takes me 10 min. Whe I didn't do this, spend 6 hours every 2 weeks cleaning and wasted most of my saturday.

AndyR
Community Member
7 months ago

If you've ever worked in a professional kitchen, it's drilled into you.

cookcooks
Community Member
7 months ago

OMG, this was a game changer. When I cook a meal the kitchen is pretty much clean when we sit down. It allows me to enjoy my meal instead of dreading the clean-up. We like to entertain and it allows me to enjoy my guests as well.

Hubertus Touché
Community Member
7 months ago

I do it as well... saves me a lot of time after dinner.

MrTree1779
Community Member
7 months ago

Tidy up the house/apartment before you go to bed, and do the dishes in the sink. I always like to wake up to my apartment as clean and ready to enjoy.

FABULOUS1
Community Member
7 months ago

I do this all the time, and even more now working remotely. I am really starting to feel like my family is taking advantage of both of these, because I have never washed so many dishes in one day in my life.

David K
Community Member
7 months ago

We do this at home and save a lot of time on weekends!

MagicalUnicorn
Community Member
7 months ago

i did it since i learned to walk, can affirm it works wonders and makes life easier

Dana Grunwald
Community Member
7 months ago

True!

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#5

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

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Nagawa (Cofa) Kishiki
Community Member
7 months ago

This comment is hidden. Click here to view.

So, something alone the line like "I like how you unhook your bra without watching"?

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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
7 months 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
7 months 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.

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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
7 months 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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Adam C
Community Member
7 months ago

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This comment has been deleted.

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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
7 months 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
7 months 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
7 months 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
7 months 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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Shinobi Shabby
Community Member
7 months ago

Because people think they have to know everything and constantly SOUND intelligent. But there's nothing wrong in just taking in the information, absorbing it, analyzing it... and then respond in an open-minded "I'm here to always learn from life" manner.

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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
7 months 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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Andrew Gibb
Community Member
7 months ago

Treat life as a lesson

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#17

Practice gratitude. Grateful people are happy people.

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Adam C
Community Member
7 months ago

hmm must try

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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
7 months 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
7 months 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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Kaspar Kristiansen
Community Member
7 months ago

Who ever thought that was a useless advice?

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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
7 months 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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Malakai
Community Member
7 months ago

This is good. I don't have panic attacks often, but part of what feeds into it for me and for a lot of people is the vulnerability, and trying to resist it. I get frustrated with myself for having it and want it to stop so bad, and this mental fighting just compounds the problem. Telling yourself it's okay to have it can help combat this cycle before it starts and can reduce the emotional overwhelm at least a little

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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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Pseudo Puppy
Community Member
7 months ago

that one magic little freckle. <3

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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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chi-wei shen
Community Member
7 months ago

People will realize you're confident and stop trying to change you.

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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
7 months 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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Vincent Philippart
Community Member
7 months ago

Especially as a man. Males (depending on the culture I suppose) don't usually smile as much, so for those who do the impact is big.

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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
7 months 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
7 months 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
7 months 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
7 months 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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Kesam
Community Member
7 months ago

...and the happy life will start to materialize. Good advice!

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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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Scagsy
Community Member
7 months ago

I literally (almost) have no comment for that.

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#33

Unpack your suitcase the second you get home.

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Foxxy (The Original)
Community Member
7 months 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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Mohammad Ammar
Community Member
7 months ago

This has worked.try it guys!

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#35

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

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zims
Community Member
7 months ago

Tilting your head upwards instead of down also helps.

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