Scientists say that smart people don’t pay much attention to other people’s advice. Moreover, people, in general, tend to rely on their own opinion more. However, we keep hearing some phrases so often that it seems they have been recorded in our brains, from “be smart,” to “don’t react,” to “follow your dreams.”
We at Bright Side are sure that sometimes, the most sensible decision is to dismiss other people’s advice and think with your own head. Here are 10 “kind” pieces of advice that can drag you into unhappy relationships, decrease your chances of getting a job, and spoil your life.
1. “Support your husband no matter what.”
People with an old school mentality often give this piece of advice to young people without even thinking about its consequences. When a family has one partner who works hard and counts every penny and another partner who invests all their money in some dubious business, it’s hard to call them happy. It’s also questionable when the second partner simply lies on the couch, year after year, trying to “find themselves.”
Making decisions by themselves, blaming the other partner for all their troubles, and ignoring the other person’s opinions are true signs of a toxic relationship. Enduring blind idealization and suffering for the sake of an abstract good have not yet brought happiness to anyone.
- For years, my husband went on and on about how he wanted to be a director, then a screenplay writer, and now he wants to be an actor/comedian. I supported him through the first 2, I bought him a camera he never touched, I paid for classes he dropped out of, and paid for software he never used. Now he wants to take acting classes and I’m so annoyed. I don’t want to pay for anything else.
I’m so over it and he makes me feel guilty because I’m not supporting him. Yesterday, he was depressed and moping around all night because when he asked if I believed in him, I hesitated. Of course, I’m going to hesitate, it’s been 7 years of this stuff. © ad030911 / Reddit
2. “Don’t go to bed angry with your significant other.”
What happens if people continue the quarrel, trying to find out who’s right and who’s wrong? You get tired, grow angrier, and your thoughts get tangled — you might even wish to “sting” your partner even harder.
Negative emotions, together with the lack of sleep, make a dangerous cocktail that can bring you more troubles than a solution to the quarrel. In this situation, it’s better to call it a night and sleep on it.
- After a fight, I need time to cool off. Time and time again my wife will try to “talk about it” right away with well-meaning intentions, but I always say, “I can’t, I need time to cool off if you want this conversation to be productive,” but they never listen, and sure enough, the fight blows up even more. © d_frost / Reddit
3. “Do what you love and you’ll never work a day.”
Experts in the business sphere disagree with this advice completely. Working is not a way to entertain yourself, but rather, it’s a tool for earning money. Moreover, there is a big difference between doing what you love for only yourself and doing it for someone for payment. The necessity to adjust to the employer affects creativity and makes it less joyful than before.
- I’m a filmmaker because I love films. Loving films doesn’t make you a competent filmmaker. Now I am a man stuck in the most competitive, grand-based industry. I love when I do it. But I’ve only been on an actual set 19 days in the past year. © freudsfather / Reddit
I tell my kids, “Do what you’re good at and you can do what you love with all the money you make from your lucrative career.” © zigazigazah / Reddit
4. “Always listen to your heart and follow your dreams.”
This is a piece of very popular and harmful advice. Psychologists remind us that many people are unable to objectively assess their past experiences, while at the same time, the process of rational decision-making works well in most people. Therefore, sometimes it’s better to dim emotions and switch on a cold mind.
- I know this lady who, at 40, ditched her husband and first-grader, wrote an unread self-published book about living your dreams, partied for about a year, and now lives alone in a tiny, filthy apartment, enjoying her regrets. © m_sporkboy / Reddit
- My ex-husband lived by this. He wanted to become a musician at 25 years old but never played an instrument in his life. So, there were music lessons, big debt collecting, all sorts of expensive equipment, then a whole music college degree completely paid for by debt, including living expenses. When we split, he was 60k in debt for this dream and playing little gigs around town occasionally that he’d make $20 off of. © cantikd / Reddit
5. “Get married now, love will come later.”
We can keep debating for a long time about what is more important for relationships: love, comfort, or something else. But the fear of disappointing parents or the wish to get married because of age and a “ticking” biological clock are definitely bad motives for getting married. Both partners will suffer if there is no love between them, and the saddest part is that, oftentimes, neither of them dares to stop the suffering because they’re afraid to even think about divorce and don’t want to say no to the generally accepted model of marriage.
- “Marry your best friend, not someone you’re passionate about because passion fades. You’ll be comfortable, and that’s what really matters.” Which is all well and good, until you realize 5 years down the line that your life sucks. Now you’re out 5 years, a best friend, and a partner. © meow_witch / Reddit
- I was married (and had a kid with) my former best friend. We got along so great, we made a great son, we hardly ever disagreed — I think we raised our voices to each other… once? She got bored and cheated on me repeatedly. Still friends, still do stuff together for the kid, but we’re not together and I’ve never been happier. © Condoricia / Reddit
6. “Feeling sad? Don’t think about bad things.”
People who keep hearing people say, “Calm down,” or “You have no reason to feel sad,” learn to suppress their emotions. Such people consider fear, disappointment, and sadness to be “bad” emotions and try to get rid of them. Not only can it worsen the quality of life, but it can also cause health issues.
When you feel sad, crying might be a good option. Tears reduce stress, relieve pain, and help you calm down. There’s one more widespread piece of advice that says to “stay positive,” which should be ditched once and for all. This is all because oftentimes, positive thinking is only an attempt to avoid reality as well as lie to oneself.
- I am a 9-1-1 dispatcher. This is very clearly one of the things we are told to NEVER EVER SAY. No one in the history of EVER has ever calmed down when told to calm down. © I-fall-up-stairs / Reddit
- I can keep faking a smile and faking being okay but that doesn’t just make my depression go away. © N0XDND / Reddit
- “Just be positive,” is like saying, “If you are homeless, just buy a house.” © Jospire / Reddit
7. “Be smart, don’t let it affect you!”
Oftentimes, kids find it hard to admit that they’ve become a victim of bullying. If they find the courage to share it with their parents, it means they really need support. And the worst tactic from parents would be to dismiss the kid’s complaints. Parents should teach their children to defend themselves, and in the event of serious bullying, parents should intervene.
The advice to keep silent and not to react will form a tolerant attitude toward cruelty in a kid. In the future, it can lead to developing learned helplessness. Due to all the stressful situations a kid has gone through, they’ll start to believe that they can’t control anything and won’t even try to change things.
- And we praise kids who forgive their bullies…but the thing is, a lot of times, the bullies aren’t even being punished. So the bully does the same thing again (if you did something you know was wrong and you didn’t receive punishment: guess what, you’re going to do it again). © shf500 / Reddit
- When I was being bullied, I was told to not let it affect me. Now it’s hard for me to form relationships (friendships and romantic) and trust people. © bruhitseli / Reddit
8. “Remind recruiters of yourself as often as possible to get the job.”
Some people are sure that if they’re told no, they simply should ask one more time. But such behavior will likely annoy the interlocutor, then get you to the desired result. One definitely shouldn’t behave this way with recruiters.
“Want that job? Just keep calling to check on the position. It ingrains you in the hiring manager’s mind and makes them consider you more when your resume makes it to the top of their stack.” How it really works: The manager goes through the stack of résumés, finds yours, and throws it out. © Liberi_Fatali561 / Reddit
- That’s what my dad always told me, “Call the hiring manager and annoy him. It will show ambition.” Yeah, no, it never worked. Never. © irishromani94 / Reddit
- When I was in high school, my mother forced me to try to find a job and made me call everywhere I applied every day. After the third day, one place very specifically told me to stop calling and I definitely wasn’t getting a job with them. My mother still insisted I call them again on the fourth day. At that point, I just pretended to call them to get her to shut up about it. © temalyen / Reddit
9. “Nothing is more important than family. Hold onto it.”
As the saying goes, a true family doesn’t depend on blood — it’s about people who will stay with you when there’s no one else around. There can be toxic people in your family, like relatives who constantly criticize, judge, and try to control you. In such a situation, not holding onto such a family and limiting your communication with those members who only emit negativity might be a better option.
- A day doesn’t pass without thinking about what my parents will say or if I’d make them happy or proud. I usually don’t enjoy my hobbies to the fullest because my family doesn’t approve. They don’t even approve of my career and it’s the worst feeling. © Bestboi- / Reddit
Since I was a kid, everyone would talk about how important family was. A bad family is a bad family and can cause huge amounts of damage. Cutting off most of mine has been great. © OneGuyCory / Reddit
10. “Live each day like it’s your last.”
This principle is often shown in movies. However, in real life, it can lead to a disaster, not to mention the moral responsibility that often doesn’t come with this piece of advice.
- See, dying people can do this because they don’t have to deal with the consequences of their actions…you do. © glasstumble16 / Reddit
- I knew a kid that graduated college, got a ton of credit cards, and pulled all the cash possible out of them, and moved to Guatemala — with NO INTENTION of ever coming back or paying that debt off. Come year 3, his best friend passes away, he hits an emotional wall, and he comes home. 10 years later…he’s still paying off that money. © scarybottom / Reddit
- I really want to see an apocalypse build-up film that ends with the apocalypse not happening. Like, everyone finds out that an asteroid is going to hit Earth and wipe out all life, or the sun’s gonna explode or something, leading them to do whatever they want. The last 15 minutes of the film shows people dealing with the problems they caused because they thought there’d be no tomorrow. © Goldman250 / Reddit
What widespread advice and pieces of “wisdom” do you consider to be not only silly but harmful? Which of them would you never teach your kids?