Why People Don’t Take Advice

There’s a lot of advice being thrown around these days, probably always has been. I wonder if there’s more nowadays due to the information age. Opinions are available 24/7. Everybody is the expert.


There’s pregnancy advice, business advice, parenting advice, fashion advice, love advice, advice column advice, advice for advice. When I say ‘advice’, I mean spoken and written. This advice comes from people who care about being the expert. Maybe their intentions are good. Maybe they just want you to do what they say so they can feel better about themselves. But with the advice I’m talking about that people don’t take, it’s given with some attachment to the outcome. From the advisor’s perspective, if you don’t take it, you’ll harm yourself, your children, and your life in some way. If you pair those shoes with that dress, you’ll be the laughing stock of the party.


Reasons Why We Don’t Take It


We don’t like conflict. For the most part we’re super nice people. We don’t want to hurt people’s feelings. We are polite, so we don’t tell them no, we just listen and don’t share our private feelings about anything they are saying.


We don’t remember to implement the advice. When someone offers you advice, you may be slightly swayed at the moment. But then you just forget. Good intentions are not always memorable. We are definitely creatures of habit. Our neural pathways are hardwired. Rewiring takes a lot of conscious awareness. We think we might want to change the way we brush our teeth. Though when we go to bed, we do it the way we always do it.


We are too independent for advice. When we were toddlers, we decided that we were going to test our power of individuality. We stretched our limits, demanding things from our parents, pushing our siblings around, and negotiating everything. We felt an inflated sense of self and played to get our way. And from that day on, we never wanted anyone to tell us what to do.


We especially don’t want the pushy advice coming out as arrogant criticism and judgment. If you’re anything like me, you tend to be hard on yourself. You demand the best from yourself. When someone interrupts you to tell you the way it is, it’s not going to be received well. Again, even if the vitamin pusher means well, it’s just not coming across the way she intended because her passion gets lost in her intensity. If she relaxed a little and let herself model her vision, she could connect much more lovingly.


As Usual, Love is the Answer.

Advice should come from pure unattached love. I care for you. I want you to hear my offering. It might save you or make your life easier. I love you, (even if you are a ‘stranger’) and I want you to have fun and enjoy yourself in this world. I have some experiences that will enrich your life if you’re ready for them.


We have a choice on how to navigate this world. We can suffer through every turn, or we can stay present for the ride. We can make lots of friends along the way, and take the turns as they come. Advice is only absorbed when it comes from a pure loving place. When we take advice while in a fearful state, it is certain to backfire on us with lots of negative emotions with negative outcomes.




Tips to Get People to Take Your Advice

  • Replace your attachment to your expected outcome with love and curiosity. I know. You’re human. You’re passionate. All my advice comes from thoughtfulness and love. I’m hoping you listen, just not hoping so intensely that I scare you away. J


  • Get curious about where the other person stands regarding this topic. What’s their experience? What may work best for them? We can’t take a huge leap if we’re too far away from the goal. Baby steps are sometimes the only way for people to get from A to G. They also have to stop at B and C and.. you get the picture. Overwhelm is a gravitational force. Baby steps are much more realistic.


  • Love them up and trust they will make the change that is best for them at the best time possible. Trusting in life is a blessing. It also helps the detachment blen with caring. Paradoxes abound when it comes to human nature. Sending people love is always the best choice. That’s a great thing to do especially if you know you’re the kind of passionate person that expects people to listen to you.
  • The more we infuse love into our energy, the more people will hear us. Giving advice is human nature. Play with this idea when your kids are around. If you love them for who they are and don’t act concerned that they eat their vegetables, they will. If you put any sort of pressure on it, guess who gets their way?


Summon a little curiosity, vulnerability, and love. People will look to you for advice, but you won’t care as much to give it. You’ll be too busy wondering about their life and connecting with their heart.

That’s the world I want to see. How about you?