Giving and Receiving Advice: Quotes From Well-Known Figures

How do you feel about giving and receiving advice? Do you give it? Under what circumstances? Do you like getting it? Solicited, unsolicited, or both? Do you actually take the advice? Does it usually work out for you? Who do you go to for advice?

Many say that therapists are in the business of giving advice—I think that’s true, to a point. While we tend to refrain from telling people what they “should” do, we certainly may recommend things to consider.

As all clients and therapists are unique, some clients want more advice or direction than they receive from their shrinks, some want less. My unsolicited advice? Tell your therapist what you want in this regard and proceed from there.

Here’s a sampling of quotes from some non-therapists regarding giving and receiving advice:

P.G. Wodehouse: I always advise people never to give advice.

Erica Jong: Advice is what we ask for when we already know the answer but wish we didn’t.

Alexandre Dumas: As a general rule,’ he had once said, ‘people ask for advice only in order not to follow it; or, if they do follow it, in order to have someone to blame for giving it.’ (Athos)

Khalil Gibran: Most people who ask for advice from others have already resolved to act as it pleases them.

Ben Franklin: Wise men don’t need advice. Fools won’t take it. 

Edna St. Vincent MillayI am glad that I paid so little attention to good advice; had I abided by it I might have been saved from some of my most valuable mistakes.

Uncle Dynamite: There’s nothing a failure likes more than giving advice. 

Douglas Adams: The quality of any advice anybody has to offer has to be judged against the quality of life they actually lead.

Erin Whitehead: I’ve never not regretted taking advice that started with ˝You should…˝

Oscar Wilde: The only good thing to do with good advice is pass it on; it is never of any use to oneself.

Anne Tyler: It is very difficult to live among people you love and hold back from offering them advice.

Amy Sedaris: My mother always said ‘Don’t bother other people.’ I think that’s good advice.
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