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People Share The Most Useless Advice They Ever Received

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As we come up to new milestones, we may find ourselves face-to-face with a life experience we don’t know how to navigate.

While this reasonably will lead us to ask those around us for advice, that doesn’t necessarily mean the advice we will receive will actually be useful.

Redditor PsychedelicAirFusion asked:

“What’s the worst advice you have ever received?”

Some Redditors discussed mental health.

“‘Don’t be depressed, you have nothing to be depressed about.'”

“I hate any advice, especially concerning mental health, that invalidates or considers anyone’s personal situation as a reason why they can’t have x condition.”

“Yes, I had a good home life and a good childhood. But that doesn’t make my brain produce more dopamine or serotonin. I can’t just ‘get over it’ or stop feeling sad.”

“I was encouraged by my mom to stop taking my medication because it would have ‘long-term effects’ on me. She may not be wrong, but I think perpetual sadness and depression are worse.”

“I took control of my own mental health once I realized it wasn’t shameful to do so. It was way later than it needed to be. I’m doing better but there are still things I need to work on.” – dawrina

“‘Don’t go on meds, just exercise’ for depression.”

“Meds ended up practically saving my life.” – Introvertedpanda3

“My mom told me not to ‘bother’ one of my boyfriends by talking about my mental health issues. She said he doesn’t need to hear about it and it’ll just overwhelm him and make him more likely to break up with me.”

“I ignored that advice, and my current boyfriend and I frequently talk about our mental health issues and it makes us stronger.” – mrwilliamschue

There was a mention of addiction.

“When I realized I was an alcoholic at 21, I opened up to a friend and they said, ‘We’re supposed to be young and wild and free! There’s nothing wrong with that!'”

“I lost 3 more years of my life to drinking and a suicide attempt before I got sober at 24 – I’ll have 3 years in February! (No thanks to her)” – OrganizationQuiet470

Some received terrible relationship advice. 

“To break up with the girl I was dating because I felt unsure about it.”

“From there she became my girlfriend, I moved in with her, we moved to a bigger house, got married, and took a dog and now we plan for children.”

“Meanwhile, most of those friends only had short-lived relationships with long single periods for years. I think they are the ones doing something wrong.” – Lvcivs2311

“‘You weren’t physically abused so just get over it, it wasn’t that bad.'”

“Bro, I was mentally, verbally, and financially abused for two years straight by someone who was supposed to love me.”

“He pointed out insecurities I didn’t even realize I had, putting my self-esteem so low that for literally the first time in my life, I started to have very intense suicidal thoughts. And now I have an extremely hard time trusting anyone that comes into my life in a romantic sense because I’m convinced that the same thing is going to happen again.”

“I would love to just get over it. I would love to be the person I was before I met my ex. I would love to just have my self-esteem back and love to not to be as anxious as I am.”

“But I’m not. It took me almost a year, and getting back with him briefly to realize it WAS that bad. Maybe he didn’t beat the s**t out of me, but he made me believe that I was someone that wasn’t worthy of love. It was absolutely that bad and it’s going to take a long time before I completely heal from the trauma he caused.” – Pear_Jam2

“Only make friends with people who are of a higher ‘status’ than you are so you can use them to better your situation.”

“This came from my paternal unit (PU) when I was about 15 (in response to a new friendship of mine with the daughter of a cemetery worker*) and I knew it was pure bulls**t the second he said it. Lost all remaining shreds of respect for him in that moment.”

“*his job mattered to the PU, which is the only reason I mention it.” – maggie081670

Others received questionable advice for their futures.

“April 2008 – ‘You should really look into buying a house instead of renting.’ I started the process of getting preapproved and looking, but for some reason decided to wait.” – ioncloud9

“When my wife and I were looking for houses, my manager at the time called to ask how the house hunting was going.”

“At this time, I was rumored to be up for a promotion that would be a rather sizable boost in salary, about $1,200 a month. There was absolutely no guarantee when this promotion could hypothetically take place.”

“He said, ‘Here’s the thing, I could be a finance guy doing this s**t for a living, but I couldn’t stop smoking weed long enough to finish college — don’t buy something that suits you now, because you’re always going to wish you would have gone bigger.'”

“He continued, ‘Buy something that you can grow into. You’re going to be making a lot more money soon, so buy something you almost don’t even feel comfortable buying.'”

“I bought a house well within our means, got promoted a few months later, now have a huge disposable income. Glad I didn’t think his advice was sound.” – Forwardbase_Kodai

“I was told by a guidance counselor as an incoming freshman (who didn’t know me from anyone else, by the way) that taking more than one honors course plus being in Band was too much.”

“My mom was persuaded. I had to fight both of them to ignore the advice. I ended up taking every honors and AP course possible throughout high school, finishing with a perfect 4.0 GPA, then doing the same in college.”

“Don’t take advice on what you should or shouldn’t do from someone who doesn’t know you. Always take into account your personal strengths and weaknesses when considering any advice in life.” – Kooky_Finding8516

While the people expressing these pieces of advice might have been earnest, these definitely weren’t the shiniest gems of advice we’ve ever seen.

The glowing takeaway here seems to be to understand yourself, what you need, what you want and what you’re capable of.

If you remain honest about that, you’ll make a better decision than any of this advice could lead you to.

Written by McKenzie Lynn Tozan

McKenzie Lynn Tozan lives in North Chicago, where she works as a poet, freelance writer, and editor. She received her MFA in Creative Writing from Western Michigan University, and her BA in English from Indiana University South Bend. Her poems have appeared in Rogue Agent, Whale Road Review, the James Franco Review, Thank You for Swallowing, and elsewhere; and her essays and book reviews have appeared with Memoir Mixtapes, The Rumpus, BookPage, and Motherly, among others. When she's not reading and writing, she's in her garden or spending time with her family. For more, visit