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
3 months 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
3 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
3 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
3 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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Elsker
Community Member
3 months 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
3 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
3 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
3 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
3 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.

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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
3 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
3 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
3 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
3 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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WilvanderHeijden
Community Member
3 months ago

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

Kathryn Baylis
Community Member
3 months ago

Now that depends. It could also be a part of what’s known as active listening. Now, if they aren’t looking at you and don’t ask clarifying questions about anything they don’t quite understand, then they’re not listening.

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Bama Belle
Community Member
3 months ago

I'll admit I do this. It's almost like a brain blip. I'll think someone has stopped talking, and I end up interrupting. I don't mean to be rude. I used to know a man that I nicknamed 'Via Satellite'. He too had a weird brain blip like mine, but in the reverse. You could ask him a question, and he'd look at you for a full 3 to 5 seconds before responding. I need to be a little more like Via Satellite.

ArhomR
Community Member
3 months ago (edited)

Some people need more time to process information and respond.

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Shinobi Shabby
Community Member
3 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.

cookcooks
Community Member
3 months ago

I have a very hard time with this as I was not raised in a normal household. Is there a book that would help? Honestly I need help. My father was married 6 times, we moved all of the time, and the last wife he had while I lived at home they had no friend and we were never spoken o unless it was an order.

Mama Panda
Community Member
3 months ago

I have taught my son to do this and he is much happier knowing that he doesn't always have to have something to say.

CincyReds
Community Member
3 months ago

This is so true, and drive me crazy. I feel like people are not listening, and just trying to think of what to say next. I actually used this as one of my strengths as a job interview. I said I actually listen to what people say, I just don't hear it,

T. D.
Community Member
3 months ago

There is a reason that humans were born with 2 ears and 1 mouth

He is love
Community Member
3 months ago

upvote upvote upvote!

JayWantsACat
Community Member
3 months ago

Someone may have posted this but a conversation isn't waiting for your turn to talk nor talking at someone. Listening is just as important, if not more, than speaking.

Parmeisan
Community Member
3 months ago

I do have to think about what I'm going to say at least a little bit, because I'm the sort of person who will never - like, ever - get a word in otherwise. I need time to compose my words and conversations with 3+ people never have long enough breaks otherwise.

boredpanDaman
Community Member
3 months ago

you shut up! : )'

Damon Gates
Community Member
3 months ago

I'd refine this to "Pay attention". It's broader than "actually listen", but it's the same concept. If you pay attention to what the other person is saying, you'll understand better what is being said and are better able to provide a meaningful response. If you pay attention to what you're doing, you'll do it better and faster. It's the key to pretty much every success in life, or it at least has a better track-record than luck or coincidence.

Wendy J Shores
Community Member
3 months ago

And don't interrupt!!! So important. My partner and I always say done when we are finished and then the other voices their opinion or concern. Works great for us and we just celebrated our 20th anniversary.

DotC
Community Member
3 months ago

My brain moves very quickly but I am trying to be a good listener. My close friends and I say "remind me when youre done [topic]". Then I can listen and they can get their thought out and I won't completely forget what I wanted to say.

Carmen Honacker
Community Member
3 months ago

It's called active listening and learning it was one of the best things I could have done. Especially with staff/at work, this makes a huge difference.

Jane W.
Community Member
3 months ago

This is so important in life.

Baali Venomax
Community Member
3 months ago

if you say nothing, they cant tell if you are listening or not. Truth in my case, if I don't contribute, my mind switches off and starts thinking about other things so speaking actually allows me to focus on what is actually going on. I know not everyone has this glitch in their head but I can bet, most people aren't listening anyway, whether they speak up or not. Everyone's too distracted these days, to be really focused on anything.

Jamie S. Martindale
Community Member
3 months ago

Sorry - I may have missed something while I was thinking up this comment to add!

El Dee
Community Member
3 months ago

I used to watch my ex having conversations where both would be making points but failing to understand. I always had to step in and confirm what they both meant and often that they agreed with each other..

Mike Rodrick
Community Member
3 months ago

Listen rather than wait to talk.

Sarah Nunns
Community Member
3 months ago

I agree, listening is a skill we can all learn.

Rosemary
Community Member
3 months ago

If you really want people to listen, just speak clearly, because not everyone has perfect hearing.

Brett Bydairk
Community Member
3 months ago

I have a friend who needs to learn this. Every time I try to tell him something, he interrupts in a loud voice "LET ME TELL YOU WHAT I KNOW ABOUT THAT BECAUSE I'M SMART!" If I try to stop him, he just raises his voice and keeps talking.

Ronnie Beaton
Community Member
3 months ago

There's a line from an episode of Sharpe that goes something like "We have two ears but only one mouth. So a good leader will listen twice as much as he shouts."

Daniele Ribolla
Community Member
3 months ago

how MUCH I HATE that "Ehhhh", "Hhmmmm" e "Ahhhhhh" !!!! especially on TV THAT NOISY SOUND !!!! think before about what you wanna say, and stop "moaning", PLEEEASE!!!!

M Dream
Community Member
3 months ago

that should be No 1

KimTx
Community Member
3 months ago

Two ears, one mouth.

Fred and George Weasley
Community Member
3 months ago

what annoys me sometime is people dont act/look like theyre listening so i cant tell if they are or now

Fred and George Weasley
Community Member
3 months ago

not*

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Theresa McKeever
Community Member
3 months ago

If you really want them to listen, start with "between you and me........."

Porto DaMartinica
Community Member
3 months ago

This one is big mad by default, my guess is they've been interrupted one too many times by people telling them to calm down

Oathbraker
Community Member
3 months ago

No, you shut up.

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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
3 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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Scagsy
Community Member
3 months 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
3 months 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
3 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
3 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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Anam
Community Member
3 months 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
3 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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ChimeraBubbles
Community Member
3 months 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
3 months 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
3 months 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
3 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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Kesam
Community Member
3 months 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
3 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
3 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
3 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
3 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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Tiny Dynamine
Community Member
3 months 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
3 months 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
3 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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80 Van
Community Member
3 months 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
3 months 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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