⌄ Scroll down to continue ⌄

Why Asking for Advice Doesn’t Help You Make Better Decisions (and What to Do Instead)

⌄ Scroll down to continue ⌄
Why Asking for Advice Doesn’t Help You Make Better Decisions (and What to Do Instead)

I used to consider myself a great advice giver and I thought that that is what makes me a great friend, sister, daughter, and partner. People used to say that I am a great listener and that I always helped them to make the best decision. The same goes other way around. Whenever I was facing a problem, or a dilemma of any sort, I would ask my closest ones for advice. In the end, they are the ones who know me best and want what is best for me, right? As I am getting older, and a bit wiser, I am beginning to realize that I was wrong the whole time. Let me tell you why.

⌄ Scroll down to continue reading article ⌄

⌄ Scroll down to continue reading article ⌄

Seeking Advice May Make You Feel Reassured But It Brings About These 5 Problems

It has been a common practice for people to ask for second opinion of a friend or a loved one when facing a big decision in their lives. It makes us feel less alone when facing harsh circumstances, or more assured in the rightness of our decision when our closest ones share the same opinion. Yet, if we take a closer look at the process of advice seeking we would soon realize that asking for advice doesn’t in fact help us make better decisions.

⌄ Scroll down to continue reading article ⌄

⌄ Scroll down to continue reading article ⌄
  • We often tend to ask for validation rather than an advice. When you, for example, say “My job is giving me a lot of stress, I should quit it, right?” you are not exactly asking for advice, but you are just seeking for someone to validate your opinion and a decision you have already made.
  • The people you usually turn to for advice are not always the most competent or knowledgeable ones about a problem at hand. Most of the times, you will turn to your closest ones for advice, yet asking your best friend who is a professional hairdresser to give you advice on job in accounting, would be ineffective in most cases.
  • If you decide to ask a close friend or a family member to give you some advice regarding the situation they have had faced earlier, doesn’t always result in the most appropriate solution. This is because we are rarely objective. Therefore, asking a parent to help you decide on a major at university, could lead to them deciding on a subject that they consider best for you rather than you choosing a subject you are most passionate about.
  • We usually seek advice from a couple of our closest ones, and then make a decision. Yet, in most cases a small group of people usually isn’t enough of a sample to help us reach the most optimal choice. For example, if you are planning a vacation and you ask a couple of your friends about a place they have visited, you might not be able to get the most objective picture of a place. A larger group of people on a tourist forum is much more reliable source of information.
  • Sometimes when we are not really sure about the decision we are about to make, we tend to let other people’s opinions guide us in one direction, just so we wouldn’t feel the responsibility if things turned out to be wrong. Most of the time, we do this unconsciously, yet it is a mechanism that helps us be free from responsibility, but it also leads to a great number of bad decisions.

When Seeking Advice Is Not an Option, You Can Do These 4 Things to Make Better Decisions

Question your beliefs

Our beliefs are what leads us to trust the person giving us advice, since most often we share the same beliefs. Even if we don’t, the advice that resonates with our beliefs the most is the advice we would most likely take. In order to not fall into the trap of belief bias, make sure to question our beliefs about a specific topic, and then analyze the facts.

⌄ Scroll down to continue reading article ⌄
⌄ Scroll down to continue reading article ⌄

Ask for information but not advice

Consider the idea by Ryan Holiday, an author who suggests to look for information, rather than advice.[1] He explains the method as analyzing your problem or dilemma, and deciding on the most influential points which you can find more about by asking for information by people who are knowledgeable about it.

⌄ Scroll down to continue reading article ⌄
⌄ Scroll down to continue reading article ⌄

Look at the whole picture before forming your opinions

In order to avoid another the confirmation bias that leads us to only consider the proof for our ideas and beliefs, while completely ignoring the opposite, we should take enough time to analyze the facts that contradict our initial opinion. By doing this we are being mindful of the possible negative results, and as a result, our point can even become stronger.

⌄ Scroll down to continue reading article ⌄
⌄ Scroll down to continue reading article ⌄

Check the numbers to have a more objective judgement of the situation

When making decision we tend to get blindsided by somebody’s success story regarding the issue we are dealing with. Of course you are going to expect the same outcome for yourself, yet you need to get a bigger picture and actually check the statistics before deciding on a whim.

Reference

More by this author

Ana Erkic

Social Media Consultant, Online Marketing Strategist, Copywriter, CEO and Co-Founder of Growato

If You Want To Learn Everything 100% Faster, Try This Science-Backed Approach
If You Want To Learn Everything 100% Faster, Try This Science-Backed Approach
What is Turmeric? The Ultimate Guide To Tumeric
What is Turmeric? The Ultimate Guide To Tumeric
How To Find Your Passion And Struggles You Might Encounter
How To Find Your Passion And Struggles You Might Encounter
2 Killer Tips You Should Master When Setting Goals For The New Year
2 Killer Tips You Should Master When Setting Goals For The New Year
Stop Failing At Your Goals Again With This Habits Buidling Model
Stop Failing At Your Goals Again With This Habits Buidling Model

Trending in Productivity

1 5 Lessons on How to Be a Productive Leader by Nathan Chan 2 What Is Delegation and How Does It Enhance Team Management? 3 How to Start Delegating Tasks Effectively (Step-by-Step Guide) 4 How Journaling Can Improve Your Life 5 22 Best Habit Tracking Apps You Need in 2022

Read Next

Advertising
Advertising

Explore the Full Life Framework

Advertising
Advertising