April 19, 2009
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Advice is tricky
One of the things that I've just seemed to realize that when people provide advice, it's usually the same course of action that they have already taken. I'm not sure if it's just "I went through it, and this was the right choice so I did it" or if it's "I made a choice (right or wrong), and now cognitive dissonance is kicking in". Maybe it's just the brain tricking itself thinking a random choice was logically thought out (aside: I wish I could find the study that talks about that. I don't think that Magic and the Brain is it, but it's good reading anyways).
What I find more interesting is when people advise you to do something that they did not do. I think that there potentially more useful information in that decision and the discussion that follows. It's like the more valuable things to know on an assignment are the things that you got wrong, rather than correct.
Posted by jim at April 19, 2009 10:38 PM
Taking advice is tricky. People give advice for a number of reasons, like you mentioned. The trick is to try and figure out WHY they're giving the advice that they are giving.
Although there are a number of motivators for giving advice, I think you can probably boil it down to 3 main categories:
1 - People who want to validate their own decision.
2 - People who have pertinent experience, and are trying to share it with you.
3 - People who just talk out of their ass, and really don't know what their talking about, but like giving advice anyway.
Try to figure out what kind of person is giving you the advice, and filter accordingly. That's my advice!!! :D
At the end of the day, advice is just that; advice. It's ultimately up to you, and you're the only person you have to please at the end of the day.
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