Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Why Advice is Stupid

"I always call n*ggas fools for wanting to learn the hard way/ When I'm really the fool for tryna teach 'em" - Joe Budden

Very often, I find myself in situations where I see someone I know about to make a bad decision. Very often, of course, because people are idiots. Now, when faced with these situations, I have one of two options. I can either a.) try to intercede and stop them from making an ill-advised move, or b.) sit back and watch them fail miserably. Choice b is obviously more enjoyable, since other people's failures make me feel better about my own life. Unfortunately, there are a few people in this miserable world that I actually care about (who knew?), in which case I feel compelled/obligated to offer some advice.

To be completely transparent, I must admit that most of my advice comes from a very selfish place. As a man that thinks he always knows best, I enjoy being able to tell people why I'm right and they're wrong. I take pleasure in proving to other people that I'm smarter than them. And in several occasions, they will even admit to such by letting me know just how wise and superior I am. Responses such as, "That's a great point!" or "I never looked at it that way!" or "You are an amazing genius! I'm lucky to know you!" typically let me know that my job is complete. I have imparted my knowledge on your wretched soul, and now you are forever indebted to my beautiful mind.


There is an inherent problem in all of this. That problem, of course, is that despite these frequent admissions of my accuracy, few people actually use the advice that they have been given. "So," you're saying, "these people admit that you're right, but then ignore your advice?" Yes. That is exactly what I'm saying.

This used to frustrate me. It would upset me, not only because I felt like I wasted my breath, but also because I had trouble understanding why anyone would purposefully do what they knew was a poor decision. It's kinda like deciding to buy a new car, and then getting an American one. Or deciding to settle down, and then marrying a white woman. None of these things make sense.

But then someone pointed something out to me one day. She said to me, "You're a hypocrite. Half of the advice that you give to other people you wouldn't even take yourself." Was she an ex-girlfriend? Of course she was. But she was also right. And the more I thought about it, I realized that I myself have made plenty of ill-advised decisions knowing fully well that they were ill-advised when I made them. Why, you ask? Because I felt like it. Even though I knew it wasn't the best idea, I knew it was what I wanted to do. I threw rationale out the window and just did wtf I wanted to.

At the end of the day, that's all anybody wants to do. Whatever the f they want. People don't make decisions based on what they think is best. They make decisions based on what makes them feel good. It's the reason people drive drunk or have sex without condoms. Because they felt like it. I'm pretty sure that everyone under 25 who is single with kids had someone tell them they should have protected sex at one point or another. But now they spend their Friday nights changing diapers because they did wtf they felt like doing. (Who am I kidding? They go clubbing and leave the baby with grandma.)

So what point am I ultimately trying to make? Giving advice is a waste of time. No one cares what you have to say, and they certainly don't care whether you're right or not. Sometimes people ask for advice, but rarely are they really looking for you to tell them what to do. More times than not, they've already made up their mind, but they still want you to tell them whatever they want to hear to give themselves some false sense of validation. It's stupid. So, the next time someone asks you for some advice, tell them to forget rationality. Tell them to just do whatever makes them feel good. More than likely, that's what they were going to do, anyway.


Anonymous said...

::Rolls eyes:: Get over yourself Joela!!

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