17 Pieces of Advice That Aren’t as Sound as They First Appear

Everyone likes to think they give the best advice. Or, maybe they just think their wise old granny or gramps gave really great advice that needs to be passed on, or perhaps a historical figure or two may have gotten more credit than they deserve for their shady life hacks.

Whatever the reason, there’s a lot of “good” advice floating around that’s actually anything but – and these 17 tidbits definitely fall into that category.

17. It’s ok to say no.

Try everything at least once.

16. Or throw it in the bin.

“Want that job? Just keep calling to check on the position. It ingrains you in the hiring manager’s mind and makes them consider you more when your resume makes it to the top of their stack.”

How it really works: The manager goes through the stack of resumes, finds yours, and throws it out. Then sends you a polite rejection email. You’re meant to think the squeaky wheel gets the grease, but in reality, they just replace the wheel.

15. There is no blanket advice.

ANY advice that doesn’t include nuance is bad advice.

ANY advice followed without honest, self-assessment, is bad advice.

14. The times have changed.

Another thing I used to get told all the time was that I should go directly to the business I want to get hired at to give them my resume.

The logic is that it shows you really want the job and they’ll take your resume for consideration.

The reality is that most places (even before COVID-19) don’t appreciate a random stranger walking in asking for a job. 99 times out of 100, they’ll just tell you to apply online.

The hiring process has become way more impersonal nowadays. Unlike in the 80’s and early 90’s, when this behavior was the norm.

13. Not everyone’s family is awesome.

“Nothing is more important than family.”

12. That’s not where the money is, Grandma.

“Marry a doctor so you can live a better life.”

My parents were never like this but I had aunts and uncles who would tell their kids this regularly.

11. Actions have consequences.

Live each day like it’s your last.

See, dying people can do this because they don’t have to deal with the consequences of their actions… you do.

10. Also, you’ll learn to hate what you love.

“Just do what you love!”

It sounds great but a lot of people aren’t good at what they love.

It’s important to do things you love but find a way to make a living too.

9. It’s inevitable.

“Never give up”

Sometimes you do need to give something up imo.

8. Don’t do that.

Being bullied? Just ignore them.

7. This one makes me angry.

That which doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger

6. But maybe not all the time.

“Just be yourself.”

At heart, this isn’t bad advice, but it is too vague to really be useful to someone who needs it.

Better put: be cognizant that you want to make a good impression, but don’t do it in a way that misrepresents who you are or makes you uncomfortable.

5. It’s not about you.

Talk to HR. They want to help you.

HR is there to protect the company, not the worker.

That’s why it’s called Human Resources and not Employee Satisfaction.

It’s not resources for employees.

The employees are the resource.

What’s best for you as a person isn’t always in sync with what is in the company’s interest.

4. It’s ok to walk away.

Always stick with family/Blood is thicker than water.

Just because someone is blood related doesn’t mean you should keep them around.

3. Just never say this. Ever.

Calm down.


To be fair, calming down would actually help, near always.

Telling someone to calm down, less so.

2. The truth, it burns.

“If you get a job doing what you love, you will never work another day in your life.”

Pretty quick way to murder all your favorite hobbies, and leave yourself with no means of escape or unwinding in your personal time.

Biggest advice I give to aspiring artists, especially those who love drawing all day long and do nothing else: before going into art full-time, find a love for something completely unrelated to it.

Happened to me when I transitioned from meditative painting to freelance artist.

1. Those things change.

“Trust your feelings.”

Dangerous so-called advice. As someone with anxiety, I often have to fight against my own feelings, or rather, to keep them from controlling me.

Not that our feelings don’t matter or that they’re never correct; however, they can and often will be extremely deceptive, and going based on your emotions alone is unwise.

Sometimes, the answer is outside yourself, not inside.

I can’t tell you how many times my mother has had to help me keep different situations in perspective.

I’m not listening to any of this crap, y’all!

What’s the worst piece of well-meaning advice you’ve ever gotten? Share it with us in the comments!