Listen to people who help you grow. Too many people offer well-meaning advice that doesn’t help you.

Critically evaluate what you read and hear. Almost 99% of the time what I read and hear is not good advice. Here are the signs that someone is giving bad advice.

  1. It is black and white and simplistic. It is nice to have easy answers and not to have to think but life isn’t that way. If someone tells you it is this way and can be no other, they are being deceptive and intellectually dishonest. There is a wide amount of facts in dispute and contradictory conclusions we can draw from them. Rarely in life are their simple answers.
  2. It is psychological/spiritual advice from someone who has not studied or has experience. It is laughable the number of times people want to appear deep and share things that they don’t know. We don’t know what happens after we die. We don’t know so many things so rather than arrogantly claim to know by faith or reason, just admit that you don’t know and be humble with your statements.
  3. It is because they have some products to sell and only want to get views. Distrust anyone who shares something and has a product to sell. In the game of social media likes, and people will share what they think will get views not what their experience has shown them to be useful and helpful. I don’t have anything to sell, and I do not sell anything from you. I don’t collect anything and I have no purpose other than giving you some things to consider.
  4. They won’t admit that they don’t know it all. If someone starts stating things without first disclaiming them, they are a liar. I have always encouraged people to question what I say. If you can help me understand my logical errors I appreciate that and will change my view. I change my view as facts and evidence change. I have no ax to grind to prove anything.
  5. They won’t admit their hypocrisy and change of mind. People who are stuck in their egos and need to be right are really sad. I have encountered many people who would rather die than admit they are wrong. Their life is so shallow because their perspective is stuck in something that they were taught or thought was true but failed to consider new evidence.
  6. They don’t thank people who bring them new evidence or thoughts. Lately, I messaged a few people on LinkedIn who wrote posts that I disagreed with. The first person responded to me and said that what I said made sense but then repeated her original points. I thanked her for her time. It is not my goal to change anyone’s mind, but simply to provide a counterpoint to their point of view. The second didn’t respond to me and probably won’t. That’s ok too. Next time rather than privately msg them I will just post in their feed and directly challenge that point of view. I challenge points of view that are psychologically unhealthy and research supports that what they are advocating will hurt people’s mental health. Both of them should have had the humbleness to say “Thank you for providing a different point of view. I didn’t know about these things. I will consider your feedback.” Simple right? I always thank others for their feedback and consider it.
  7. What they say is about their benefit and not about yours. You can tell that what people say is to further support their worldview when you ask them if they asked questions to the person before they offer their opinion. Surface advice is worthless. You have to ask questions and get to know the person and situation to offer any meaningful advice and then you have to have the consent of the person who wants the advice. People advise like others are willing to listen and they are not only not willing to listen but hostile to unsolicited feedback.
  8. They try to convince others to have their values instead of helping them discover their own. One of the best mentors I had said something that was stunning. She said that her values are her own, and she doesn’t expect anyone to share them or need to. Too often we talk and try to push our values onto others. This is never a helpful thing.
  9. They are more wrapped up in their world than having empathy and listening. Most people are so wrapped up in their own world/ego that they can’t find empathy and the ability to listen. If someone can’t listen, then what they say has no value.
  10. They think words can fix things when it is actions that fix things. No one wants more talking or words in the world. We need action, examples, and concrete behavior that shows that we care and love others. Do something that helps people, stop talking about it.
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