At some point in our lives, we’ve all reached out to our friends and family in search of advice.
Whether it’s about a relationship problem, issues with kids, a job, or anything else, we often search for answers by confiding in those around us.
But just because you hear good advice doesn’t necessarily mean it’s good for you, says Alison Hill, psychologist and author of Stand Out, A real world guide to get clear, find purpose and become the boss of busy.
So, how can you discern whether advice is good for you, and when should you run in the other direction?
Alison, who is the co-founder of Pragmatic Thinking and runs the popular podcast Stand Out Life, says there are key guidelines to consider before you make any drastic life changes.
So, listen up…seriously people, this is helpful.
When to take advice with a grain of salt
1. When it’s unsolicited
Just because someone’s got an opinion doesn’t mean you need to swallow it. If it comes your way without you asking say thanks, pick out any gems if there are any, and move on.
2. When it’s not about you
All of us see the world through our own lens. The friend who hates their job and starts a lobby group for you to leave yours could be an indication of the type of advice that is not actually about you.
3. When you’re hangry
Or tired, or at the wrong end of a bottle of champagne. You need to be in the right frame of mind to take advice on board. If you’re not – defer the conversation – even for 5 minutes, reset and then come back in.
When to take advice on board
1. When you’ve asked for it
Yep, you’ve actually given the other person permission to share their opinion, it’s highly likely you are seeking a solution for something you think they might be a valuable contributor on. Be specific though.
2. When their expertise exceeds yours
If the other person has a deep expertise or experience in the area that you are seeking advice for it’s highly likely that this advice is worthy of your time. It might not match for your situation, but they have wisdom to pass on.
3. When they have YOUR success at heart
Those who actually ask you questions first, seek to clarify what would be helpful to you now, and who, at the end of the day want nothing but the best of success for you. That person is the person I’d listen to.