As a child, I was always being told what to do. What I was given wasn’t as much a guide as a demand. As an adult, I’ve often wondered, why people who are genuinely given good advice, choose to ignore it?
The world over, we routinely sabotage ourselves by refusing to take good advice when it’s given to us. According, to a study from Pennsylvania University, the things we think about just before we receive advice, will decide whether we choose to listen to the advice. Mood is often responsible for whether we choose to accept another person’s advice.
Something as simple as reflecting on our core values can change the way our brain responds to the kind of messages we encounter every day and whether we choose to listen to advice or not. Over time, of course that impact can be huge.
From my own understanding, unless someone else has the same thinking, we’re also less likely to go with that person’s advice. We’re also more likely to feel defensive when other people’s suggestions seemingly point out our weaknesses. Although we’re not always consciously aware that is what we’re doing, I believe that’s usually how it works.
I tend to go with whether I think the advice I’m being given serves my purpose. I also think it depends on how the advice is given. If the person giving the advice isn’t dictatorial and is coming from a place of care, then I’m quite happy to listen to their advice, but they must do it in a conciliatory way.
We all like to feel we’re in control, but on some level need to accept that we can’t know everything and therefore won’t always be in control. No one can be an expert in all things. I believe it’s prudent to take other people’s advice, if it helps us.
It’s not to say we must take all advice that’s given to us. We can discount the advice we feel isn’t for us and accept the advice that helps us. Another person’s perspective is always helpful. We can learn a lot from another person’s opinion.
For those who work from their ego, taking advice invariably doesn’t happen. When anyone works from their ego, they listen only to themselves. When the ego is taken out of the equation, those people are more likely to listen to what others say. The more powerful we think we are, the more likely we are to discount and ignore good advice that’s given to us.
The irony is that we become more powerful when we allow others to help us. The power we have should never be based on ego, but should always be based on us improving ourselves.