16 Popular Pieces Of Advice That Contradict Each Other

There are some pieces of advice that we all know (and occasionally use and love). They seem like one-size-fits-all colloquialisms, things that help us parse what it means to be human, and for those reasons they’re unlikely to ever go away.

But what happens when you have two of those pieces of advice, and they seem to totally contradict each other?

If you’re looking to have an existential crisis, here are 16 popular pieces of advice that when you pair them up, might make you want to tear out your hair.

16. You have to know when to apply each, I think.

“Nothing ventured, nothing gained.”

“Better safe than sorry.”

15. Unless being fake is who you are.

“Just be yourself”

“Fake it till you make it”

14. Lost but not a fool.

“Fools rush in where angels fear to tread.”

“He who waits is lost.”

13. Both are ok, really.

Never go to bed angry and sleep it off, if you’re still upset about it in the morning then talk about it.

Never go to bed angry – do not leave issues unresolved because they fester

Sleep it off – if you are getting to emotional for rational discourse over something that does not seem serious give yourself time to cool down.

They seem contradictory because they refer to similar albeit different things. First one should be applied if you are upset or bothered second if your anger is getting of control.

12. I mean it says probably a duck.

“Don’t judge a book by its cover” and “If it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, it’s probably a duck.”

11. Both are true, but you have to have something in common to come together in the first place, yeah?

“Opposites attract”

“Birds of a feather flock together”

10. Just do it, but use your patience. I guess?

“Good things come to those who wait/ patience is a virtue”

“Time waits for no man/ chase your happiness”

Second one is right. You won’t get anything just by sitting and doing nothing.

9. It’s only true for awhile.

Absence makes the heart grow fonder vs. out of sight, out of mind.

Its specific to love for the absence part. You start to realize you care for this person so much more when they’re not around, and take them for granted.

And out of sight, of of mind is more about ignoring bothersome things.

But they definitely do sound contradictory next to each other, without a doubt

8. This is a good one.

“Misery loves company.”

“Laugh and the world laughs with you. Cry and you cry alone.”

7. Fields has it right, I think.

The most confusing ones :

Never give up
You should know when to quit

“If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again. Then quit. There’s no use being a damn fool about it.” – W.C. Fields

6. You should definitely take no for an answer.

“don’t take no for an answer”

“no means no”

5. Don’t kill yourself trying.

On similar lines,

If you want it, go get it.
If it’s meant to be, it will be.

4. I say both are actually good advice.

“hard work pays off” “Work smarter not harder”

3. Youth is wasted on the young.

“it’ll get better when you’re older” “enjoy your teens, they’re the best years”

I wish teenage me spent more time enjoying life.

But we were lower middle class; so smoking pot and playing video games was about all we could do in the city if you weren’t working full time.

As an adult all I want to do is be on a lake in a kayak. But I have responsibilities now. Time is precious.

2. It’s like you can’t win.

Teacher: “You must go to college and study hard for years to get a good job”.
First day on job: “Forget everything you learned in college”.

That’s why, if I ever become a college professor, I’ll be sure to teach all students “ignore whatever you learn on day 1 of your eventual job.” Employers’ words slick right off of them like water on wax, and only my lessons remain.


1. Was Yoda a secret Sith?

Do or do not. There is no try. – Yoda.

Only the Sith deal in absolutes. -Obi -Wan

To be fair, Yoda was probably just trying to get Luke to quit whining and actually accomplish something.

I mean…I guess just pick your favorite and go with it?

It’s as sound advice as any. Probably.

Can you think of any other pairs of advice like these? Drop them on us in the comments!