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
6 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
6 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
6 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
6 months 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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Nagawa (Cofa) Kishiki
Community Member
6 months ago

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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
6 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
6 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
6 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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zims
Community Member
6 months 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.

Lousha
Community Member
6 months ago

I was late one time when I had to leave for about 5 days, had to run to catch the bus. The cat's food was left in her bowl. (Before you ask, the cat did come with, I'm not a barbarian to leave her alone for days.) It was summer. When I got back the food was gone and instead I had an entire bowl FULL of incredibly disgusting maggots. It took all my strength to not turn around and light the whole flat on fire :) So yeah, good advice, if not spring clean but at the very least get rid of everything that will rot.

Carrie Laughs
Community Member
6 months ago

Ugh, that's awful. You'd be saddened by how many fools think animals can be left with 5 bowls of food for 5 days and think they will know to ration themselves. Dogs are definitely not going to cope with that concept - mine would try and stuff himself with 5 bowls of food in one sitting. He's a rescue who still acts like he might not get fed ever again despite 5 years now of regular meals.

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Scagsy
Community Member
6 months ago

It's been a family ritual in my house before hols; clean the house, turn the lights off EXCEPT the hall light (that will fool those burglars) and leave all the curtains HALF open (again, you're one step ahead of them, they'll be SO confused)

danielw
Community Member
6 months ago

they check to see if you collect your mail, too, so if your in the US (and I imagine anywhere else that has a mail service, really) you can put a hold on your mail. They'll deliver it when you get back. yeah... the USPS is pretty much the only government agency in the US that still just does its job without politics.

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MrTree1779
Community Member
6 months ago

Clean the house/apartment top to bottom, take out the trash, unplug everything but the large appliances (saves electricity) and...change the bed sheets. The best thing once I take a shower after coming home from a long plane ride, is going to sleep (or taking a long nap) under "new" clean sheets in bed.

Stan Chung
Community Member
6 months ago

I do this to my workstation every friday. nothing worse than coming in on monday to face the mess.

CincyReds
Community Member
6 months ago

So true. After my rehearsal dinner when we got married, all the boys came back to our house and had breakfast the day of the wedding, I was at my moms. Got home from honeymoon and the smell of rotten eggs almost had me puking. Was really gross

Tina Harbour
Community Member
6 months ago

I do this every time I travel...coming home to a clean house makes unpacking immediately that much easier🙂

Ruth Beaty
Community Member
6 months ago

This is seriously good advice. If I'm going to be gone for a day or more, beds are made, dishes are done, laundry is done, and I have a calm house to come back to!

Mama Panda
Community Member
6 months ago

Even if I am going to be gone for 2 days, I always leave the house clean.

cookcooks
Community Member
6 months ago

This is a dream come true if you can pull it off. I find it harder to do now that I am older but we still try. At the very least, laundry is 100% done and the sheets are changed the morning we leave......it only takes five minutes....and when you come home exhausted at 2AM after driving for 16 hours you can crawl into cool, crisp, clean, sheets.

Jean-paul
Community Member
4 weeks ago

fully agree on that one

Chris Challis
Community Member
4 weeks ago

AMEN. I dont go to bed unless the house is clean.....dishes away etc..

Celtic Pirate Queen
Community Member
6 months ago

This is one of mine!

Courtney Christelle
Community Member
6 months ago

I do this went I go on vacation, as far between they are. Clean house, clean sheets, no dishes.

DotC
Community Member
6 months ago

People care for my cats and plants so I like to be mostly tidy for them.

Kitty Fenerty
Community Member
6 months ago

It’s wonderful to return weary from travelling to a clean & tidy home with clean bedding & no mess.

Jennifer Croxton
Community Member
4 weeks ago

Oh yes! Especially if we've been staying in clean fresh hotel rooms.

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Alexandra Ghobrial
Community Member
6 months ago

cleanining

Azziza
Community Member
6 months ago

"Cleanining"

KJena
Community Member
6 months ago

And coming to a clean bed/bedroom.

GirlFriday
Community Member
6 months ago

I do this every single day, or I did when I left the house, now I do it before I settle in to work. I love that I come home to a clean house every day. It frees up my weekends, too.

Renate Stargardt
Community Member
6 months ago

I wash my sheets when I leave home for a few days or when I go on vacation. It is so nice to be able to lie down in a bed with freshly washed sheets.

Alexandra Hughes
Community Member
6 months ago

Back when we could actually go on vacation, I always changed the sheets and towels and did a light cleaning before we left. Just made the transition back to reality easier.

Karen Gavaletz
Community Member
6 months ago

A splash of bleach in toilet bowls leaves you coming home to a crystal bowl. I lived in an area with questionable water quality. After more than 2 or 3 days away the water in the toilet started to leave a ring.

Kahna Wanna
Community Member
6 months ago

upvote!!

Blake Ingram
Community Member
6 months ago

Well, my mom is cleaning by the time we are supposed to leave. Even though the house is clean.

Peter Kelly
Community Member
6 months ago

I always like to give my house a good cleanining...

Mike Field
Community Member
6 months ago

Theres nothing better than coming to a clean house ;)

Adam C
Community Member
6 months ago

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Johnny
Community Member
6 months ago

If the thieves are watching me clean the house, then I have more things to worry about than getting robbed when I'm on vacation.

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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
6 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
6 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
6 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
6 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
6 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
6 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
6 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
6 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
6 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
6 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
6 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
6 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
6 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
6 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
6 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
6 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
6 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
6 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
6 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
6 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
6 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
6 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
6 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
6 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
6 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
6 months ago

Tilting your head upwards instead of down also helps.

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