Some people just don’t want good advice

I know, right?  I’m sure that you’ve probably offered some good advice to somebody before and they just dismissed it, like it was nothing (especially if you are the parent of a teenager).  I mean, gosh, you might have just saved that person’s hide, but sheesh.  Whatev’s.  Then they brushed-it-off and jumped off a bridge anyway or something.  It is completely senseless!

When I see stuff like that, it just boggles my mind.  Maybe I’m getting old enough that I don’t remember what it is like to be a teenager, having all of the answers and stuff.  Even-more baffling is when you get this response from a grown man or woman at work.  I’m talking, somebody twice a teenager’s years, at least.  When an actual grown-up disregards some good advice, the world doesn’t make sense for a few minutes.

To ease my troubled mind, I felt compelled to understand why this happens.  Here is what I figure:

  1. This person doesn’t know you from Adam.  So, maybe he doesn’t realize just how wise and authoritative you are.  It is like you just handed him 500,000 yen and he thinks it is equivalent to 500,000 pesos.  “No biggie” he thinks.
  2. History of receiving bad advice.  My parents sometimes had some terrible advice for me.  I found this out the hard-way.  After I realized it, I didn’t trust the advice that people gave me for a while.  Eventually, I got better at discerning good advice from bad advice.
  3. Loves to solve puzzles without help.  My older sisters always loved to tell me how to solve puzzles or wreck the endings of movies for me.  Evil rascals!  Anyway, when I am working on a puzzle, I find it very satisfying to solve it myself, without people telling me where to put the pieces or finishing it when I’m away for a few minutes.  I suppose some people are like that with their work.  It is weird, but some people are that way.  Just let them have their joy, or whatever it is.
  4. Just doesn’t learn, unless it is “the hard way”.  That used to be me.  Half my life, I had to learn things the hard way.  It drove other people nuts, but I just had to know if [doing it wrong] would not work, ever.  Some people just gotta do it the wrong way first.  That’s just how they are.
  5. A “know it all” has a fragile ego that is threatened if you know something that he doesn’t.  I have seen stubborn people who would rather lose everything, than give you the satisfaction of being right.  Of course those people are bananas and their egos and stubbornness are usually their undoing.  However, when you meet one of these people, don’t try to be a bigger ass.  Find a way to graciously let that person win, or just walk away.  It is really hard, because you just really want to shove it in their face, but don’t.  Be a bigger person and leave them alone.

So, when you meet one of these people, don’t take it personally.  You did your part.  Just walk away and keep doing what is right.  The rest of humanity still needs people like you. Save it for the rest of us.

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About Tim Golisch

I'm a geek. I do geeky things.
This entry was posted in Career, Professionalism. Bookmark the permalink.

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