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'Here's What You Oughta Do...' Advice On Giving Advice.

Submitted by Quartermain at 2012-05-29 04:39:40 EDT
Rating: 1.81 on 11 ratings (15 reviews) (Review this item) (V)

“When people ask for advice, they don’t actually want advice. What they want is for you to rubber-stamp the decision they’ve already made.” -My Father

Do you give advice? I do. I tend to run my mouth pretty freely, actually. This is partly because I’m a fascinating man with a wide variety of life experiences, and partly because I know everything about everything. As a function of me running my mouth, I tend to hand out a lot of advice, some of which is asked for, and some of which is provided unsolicited, as a public service. Now, there’s an art to handing out advice. A technique, if you will, that distinguishes the classic and selfless purveyor of valuable information from the random mumbling nutbag often found on street corners and public transportation. (And because I know that someone who thinks they’re clever will at this point ask ‘which one are you again?’ I’ll go ahead and allow that I’m the first one, and not the second.)

There are two major points you have to keep in mind when giving advice. First, you have to know the people involved. If you don’t know the people involved, you’re just saying random things to strangers, which edges you into mumbling nutbag territory. Secondly, you have to listen. Even if they’re boring, you still have to listen. Listening is the key to giving good(or sometimes, for your own entertainment, comically bad)advice. If you’re giving unsolicited advice, just fire it on out there, maybe preface it with a ‘you know what, here’s what ya oughta do…’ If the advice is solicited, on the other hand, you can put a little more into it. Like with a magician, people appreciate a little show, it makes them feel they’re getting their money's worth.

1. Start by leaning back in your chair. If you like, and you’re not too fat or clumsy, maybe tip it back onto two legs. This indicates that you’re looking at The Big Picture, and appreciating their problem’s place in The Wider Scope of Things.

2. Narrow your eyes. This indicates that you’re bringing all of your considerable brain-power to bear on the problem. You may also wish to make some sort of sucking sound with your teeth, to indicate that you’re thinking really hard.

3. Lean forward again and/or let your chair thump back onto all four legs. This indicates that you’re come to a decision, and are now ready to render a verdict in the case of Person You Know v. Problem.

4. Extend your dominant hand and wag your index finger in their general direction. This focuses their attention and primes them for the pearls of wisdom you’re about to bestow. Then preface your remarks with one of the following phrases: ‘I tell you what…’; ‘You know what you oughta do…’ or ‘Here’s what you oughta do…’ These aren’t strictly necessary, but it’s a nice little formality before the chaos, kind of like how the The Star-Spangled Banner is played before a Lions game.

5. Depending on the kind of advice handed out, it may be necessary to add some sort of disclaimer. These may include, but are not limited to, such statements as ‘You do know how to tie a tourniquet, right?’; ‘If you get caught, I don’t know you.’; ‘but that’s just me...’ or ‘I’m not a lawyer, though.’

It should be pointed out that you will hardly ever see that last one appended to advice given on the Internet, although you will see its opposite thrown about quite freely.


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Submitted by Average_Dan at 2012-07-24 09:32:46 EDT (#)
Rating: 2

auto bad advice +2

Submitted by monkeyswithguns at 2012-06-08 10:08:27 EDT (#)
Rating: 2

Yeah, I'm pretty bad about that. I'm well into mumbling nutbag territory.

Submitted by Quartermain at 2012-06-03 11:54:03 EDT (#)

Submitted by Sage at 2012-06-02 22:08:29 CDT: Nice to know someone else is a mouth-runnerer too. :D
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I look on it as a public service, you know? Noblesse oblige, and all that.

Submitted by Sage at 2012-06-02 23:08:29 EDT (#)
Rating: 2

Nice to know someone else is a mouth-runnerer too. :D

Submitted by Quartermain at 2012-05-31 01:15:55 EDT (#)

I do know how to tie a tourniquet, although tourniquets seem to have fallen out of favor with the medical profession as of late. I can also splint a broken bone and do other such rough 'battlefield medicine.'

Submitted by X54 at 2012-05-30 22:32:06 EDT (#)
Rating: 2

You do know how to tie a tourniquet, right?

Submitted by SilvrWolf at 2012-05-30 21:57:10 EDT (#)
Rating: 2

I liked this post, but that's just me.

Submitted by (Brotherbabycakes) at 2012-05-30 21:23:54 EDT (#)
Rating: 2

Submitted by HighatChurch at 2012-05-30 11:46:43 EDT (#)
Rating: 1

Submitted by Bubba2341 at 2012-05-30 01:14:56 EDT (#)
Rating: 2

Submitted by Poots at 2012-05-29 19:40:49 EDT (#)
Rating: 2

Dr. Gonzo: As your attorney, I advise you to take a hit out of the little brown bottle in my shaving kit.

I advise you to write a story called Let Me Ask You This. About how to properly, what the advantages of and why a person would command another person to listen and to possibly answer a question you didn't need to preface.



Submitted by Yozz at 2012-05-29 15:21:53 EDT (#)
Rating: 2

As a lawyer, I have adopted the practice of saying "But that's not a legal opinion" to close any conversation in which I've given advice and have not acted within the boundaries of a attorney-client relationship. Consequently, most people don't ask me for advice.

Submitted by skrapmetal at 2012-05-29 14:50:34 EDT (#)

Four ways to get free drinks from a drunk guy in a bar:

1. Say "You are right."
2. Say "I know that's right."
3. Say "I heard that."
4. Appear to possess a vagina.

Submitted by FALLEN at 2012-05-29 14:15:16 EDT (#)

your old man was right on the money with that advice

Submitted by FartSmeller at 2012-05-29 12:09:55 EDT (#)
Rating: 1

It made me smile.


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