Ignoring good advice

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 and therefore we must come to terms with the fact that we may need help at some point.

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 opinions.

For those who work from their ego, taking advice is always more difficult. 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 assertive and 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 do have, should never be based on ego, but should always be based on us improving our confidence and self-empowerment.

 


22 Jan, 2016

6 thoughts on “Ignoring good advice

  1. I think we all have a tendency to listen to ourselves first and foremost and to ignore what turns out to be good advice.

    In my case, I had the benefit of no advice so learned to make decisions on my own and to stand by the consequences of those decisions from a very early age.

    Now I listen to advice and take a view based on my own judgement and experiences. If my decision runs counter to that advice then I am responsible and I am okay with that.

    1. Thanks, yes there is an element of truth in what you say. We do have a tendency to listen to ourselves first, but there are those of us who choose not to take advice, regardless of whether we take our own advice first.

      We somehow think we’re weak when we take advice from someone else. Some of us would rather make our own mistakes, than take another person’s advice. It’s just the way some of us choose to be.

  2. I’ve chosen to listen to advice that was good and not so good. So for me, listening to my instincts and comparing the pros and cons and listening to your advice is the best!!

    1. Awww thanks Bonnie!! I also go with my gut instinct!

      If the advice I’m listening to concurs with my gut instinct, I know I’m on the right track. It’s easy to take advice. The hard part is understanding whether the advice we’re taking is good advice or not. We usually find out later whether it was good or bad advice.

      I don’t know about you Bonnie, but I find the people who give advice are usually confident on the advice they’re giving, but for those of us who are less confident, we’re the ones who aren’t always so sure.

  3. Boy, that sounds like my life story! I’ve always seemed to have to do things the hard way, even when people would give good advice.

    I know a lot of it stemmed from being told what to do, what to think and how to feel most of my childhood. I didn’t really get a lot of good advice or had parents who knew what they were doing, so I had to figure out so many things on my own.

    They never did anything without expecting something in return, so asking for help wasn’t an option we had as kids. I have watched so many other people behave the same way, so I think there’s definitely a common theme there!

    What I have to do now is find a way to let the past go and not worry so much about the future so I can enjoy the present.

    1. Thanks Randy. Yes we can sometimes end up doing things the hard way!

      It’s not always easy to take advice, because of our upbringing, particularly when we’re constantly being told what to do and how to do it.

      It’s also sometimes difficult to understand how to take advice, even if it’s good advice. I do agree it’s important for us to find a way to let go of the past, but it’s even more important for us to stick with advice we’re comfortable with, even if it means ignoring good advice.

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