December 2, 2019 | Samuel Ira

People Share The Worst Advice They've Ever Received In Their Lives

Often times, when we're faced with a tricky situation, we turn to our family, friends, and mentors for advice on how to deal. We usually turn to people who have gone through similar moments in their lives because we assume that those experiences have allowed them to create reliable, or even foolproof, advice on such instances. However, that's not always the best assumption to make—the reality is, everybody has different perspectives and we all deal with things in our own ways. What might work for one person might not work for another. People from around the world took to the internet to share the worst advice they've ever received in their lives. The following stories will hopefully make you see that, in some instances, trusting your inner voice may be the way to go:


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#1 Let Me Write It Down For You...

My career advisor in high school gave me the worst advice. When I said, "I think I want to do something with computers," she said, "Have you heard of Microsoft?" Then she wrote Microsoft on a piece of paper and slid it across the table. That was literally my careers interview.

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#2 You Don't Say?

Me: I think I would like to work in the film and television industry.

Advisor: "Hollywood, have you ever heard of Hollywood? Literally every film is made in Hollywood. You should go to Hollywood. Hollywood."


#3 Ruthless Children

When I was little, I told my mom I was sad because some kids were bullying me. She said I should tell them that when they bullied me it hurt me inside, and they would stop. I did what she said. This was bad advice. They did not stop.


#4 The Solution: Sugar Water

When my daughter was an infant, my wife couldn't breastfeed and my daughter couldn't digest formula very well, so I had to buy a special pre-digested formula for like $25 a can.

I was at the cashier paying for the formula. The guy in front of me was gathering his things. He said to me, "When my kids were babies, I wish I knew what I know now."

I was like, "What's that? What do you know?"

He said, "Babies don't need formula. All they need is sugar water. All the rest is a scam."

I was like, "I'm so glad you didn't know that back then."

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#5 Grandma Is A TV Addict

"Stop reading! You read too much, you're going to hurt your eyes! Go watch TV for a while!" My grandma, every time she visited while grabbing the books from my hands. It was like something off The Simpsons.


#6 Wishful Thinking

"Just open another credit card, it’s free money." This coming from my friend who is in thousands of dollars worth of debt and has no idea she will eventually have to pay that off. This same girl also thought she would get a marketing job right out of college that would pay her $70K a year and she "wouldn’t take anything less because she would be selling herself short."


#7 Peaking In High School

"Your high school years will be the best ones of your life, so you better enjoy them while you can." If high school was the greatest time of my life, then I would have been better off ending myself then and there. I get that for some people, life peaks in high school. But everyone is different—I'm 30 and I don't even think my best years have happened yet.


#8 Bad Motherly Advice

When I found out I was pregnant with my youngest son, my mom and her boyfriend told me not to have the baby. Not because I couldn't afford it, or that there was something wrong with him, but because my mom was going through menopause and didn't want to be reminded that she couldn't have any more kids.


#9 Jealousy Hurts

In my final semester of college, my insanely jealous, distraught mother called me to make one last plea to get me to drop out. She went on to say "What would you do if you had to watch helplessly as your own daughter threw her life away and became a nurse?!" By the way, she married an elementary school drop out and was a bitter retail worker.

She couldn't handle watching me be the first in the family to graduate from college and make something of myself, and she dealt with it by constantly shaming me. If I scored 99% on something, she complained about the last 1%. If I got 100%, she said I was stupid because I didn't earn bonus marks. We don't talk anymore and I'm a successful nurse.


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#10 Making Things Worse

I called Kids Help Phone when I was a teen to ask for advice on how to help my depressed friend. They advised me to find new friends. I wish I was making this up. To clarify, the conversation was VERY short. I explained my friend has been struggling, depressed with no motivation and isolating herself from others, along those lines. The only piece of advice they gave me was to "let her sort it out on her own" and "find new friends." That's it. Nothing to interpret or misinterpret, I don't think. We remained friends though and she's alright now.



#11 It's Not A Phase

I once called an advice hotline and told the lady that I was afraid my parents would disown me because I thought I was bisexual. She paused and then said, "Yeah, some kids go through that phase."


#12 I Believe I Can Fly

When I was about five years old, I was given a Superman cape for my birthday, I was told that it could make me fly. But after a few days of not being able to fly, I began asking people how to make it work, and they advised that I needed to find somewhere high up to jump off of. So I started jumping off fences, trees, then I was told I needed to jump something taller...


#13 Well, That Backfired

"You know, son, there really is no such thing as cheating if you aren't married. The Bible doesn't recognize any relationship that isn't bound in the covenant of the Lord. So until you are married, relationships don't really exist."

"Thanks, Dad, you just indirectly explained why you're on your third marriage."

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#14 Total Misogynist

I had an uncle tell me that men could be allowed to “fool around” in relationships, as it was their impulse to have as many children as possible. And for women, well, look at a man other than your husband and you’re a despicable human being. I️ have some questionable family members.


#15 Don't Listen To Your Neighbor

This wasn't me personally, but my mom told me that we had a neighbor that used to constantly tell my dad that life insurance was a waste of money. He tried to convince him to stop paying for it. Fortunately, my dad was intelligent because he passe\d five years later and my family would have been completely destroyed without it.


#16 Family Is... Forever?

“Your family is the only thing that will ever be there for you. Not your friends, your family.” So then, why did I just get excommunicated from my narcissistic, abusive family two days before Thanksgiving?



#17 College Isn't Necessary

That you "need" to go to college. I was never dumb, but an awful student, meaning I hated school and physically going to class. Three years in, I had about 9 credits and thousands of dollars in debt. I wound up dropping out without telling my parents because I knew they wouldn't approve. Now, about eight years later, I have a solid career with plenty of advancement opportunities, I have paid off my college debts (luckily two years was community college so it was nothing too crazy) and I am significantly happier in general. Not everyone is meant for college, and I know here it's fairly known, but I think a lot of people still have a stigma against not having a college education.


#18 Holistic Folks Are Fun

"Don't go through chemotherapy, eat this nut and berry mix instead!" This was my younger sister when she visited me in the hospital. I went in for febrile neutropenia, which means I had no white blood cells. She also showed up claiming to have bronchitis and she didn't wear a mask while full-on hugging me. Yeah, she's a piece of work.

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#19 No Thanks, Dad

My dad sat me down when I was in college and ran me through what my life would look like and my career opportunities if I chose the history degree I had been looking at. He had a very frank and brusque conversation with me. I chose to take up accounting.


#20 A Passive-Aggressive Suggestion

I'm an engineer. I'm salaried and married with a kid. Also, I have a master's degree and several years of experience. The VP of the company advised me to work at McDonald's after work if I wanted to make more money. He even took his calculator out and told me how many hours I should work.

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#21 Your Problems Don't Matter

"Stop thinking about depression there are more people who have greater problems than yours." It's like saying don't eat food when you're hungry because someone somewhere is starving.


#22 That's Not A Charlie Horse

I mentioned in passing that my boyfriend suffered from a terrible charlie horse in the middle of the night. My bizarre, space cadet of a co-worker heard this and immediately interjected, frantically explaining that I needed to get him to a hospital because this was a surefire symptom of pregnancy. She also recommended that I call the news because my boyfriend is well... a man. I guess she thought history was about to go down. Spoiler alert: he wasn't pregnant.



#23 Close To Insanity

My psychiatrist told me I could stop taking the SNRI antidepressants I was on cold turkey. It was technically safe but holy heck, it was a tough couple of weeks... Partly because of unpleasant physical sensations and partly because it was the closest to actually insane that I'd ever felt.


#24 Happy As A Clam

"Money can't buy happiness." Sure it can! Is it a guarantee? Of course not. But the only real sources of unhappiness in my life right now are financial—paying medical bills, paying for school, making rent, etc. Otherwise, I'm happy as a clam.


#25 Don't Break Her Spirit

My child is extraordinarily wild-hearted and intelligent... and difficult to parent. When she was three, I was told to “break her spirit” so she would learn to obey. Her spirit is the best and brightest I’ve ever known. No exaggeration, I’d die to protect it. I don’t take parenting advice from that person anymore.


#26 Contrary To Popular Belief

“Renting is just throwing money away!” Sure, if you know for a fact that you’ll be living in the same town for the next 10+ years and have a steady income. Otherwise, stop rent-shaming! Renting is a great option for people who are just starting out, move every few years, or are unsure where they want to end up. Repairs are the responsibility of the landlord, and you can save a lot of money especially with a housemate or two.

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#27 Well, That's Hypocritical

When I was in high school I had a friend who was not the smartest. I remember him telling me if I didn’t want to get a woman pregnant, then you should abstain from any physical contact with one. He became a father in his sophomore year.


#28 "Just Don't Fight Back!"

"Just don't fight back! Men act like that because they want to assert dominance. As soon as he realizes you've accepted his behavior, he will leave you alone!" No. Usually, if he acts like this, to begin with, it will only get worse if you are submissive.


#29 Money Doesn't Rule All

This was given to me by a high school Headmaster. "You want to repeat your senior year? With your lousy marks? That's crazy. You could be out getting a laboring job, making $17,000 per year." Yeah, base my life decisions on money. I ended up going onto university, graduating with honors and then finishing a Ph.D.

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#30 Not All-Knowing

"Just listen to your academic advisor. They know what they're doing." Thousands of dollars added cost to education, an extra senior year, and one withdrawal on record. Seriously, don't be afraid to push back on your advisors if you're concerned about what they say or do. Withdrawals are not ideal if you pile up a few, but one is not a big deal. My girlfriend managed to get into a top master's program with good grades and a withdraw.

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#31 Don't Stand Up For Yourself?

Ignore the bullies. You don't need to fight them but standing up for yourself is far better than taking it, internalizing it and letting it hold you back. This is bad advice when given to kids because they don't understand the meaning of "ignore." An adult that is already emotionally developed and has his life figured out can afford to just walk away if someone's bullying them as kids do.


#32 The Better Man

When my marriage was on the rocks, my dad said, "Son, go out and find yourself an older woman that just wants to be intimate and keep your marriage. She doesn't have to know, you'll be getting laid and the older woman will be happy without a commitment." Thankfully... I didn't go that route, and my marriage is repaired and stronger than ever today.


#33 The Open-Door Policy

"I have an open-door policy so don't hesitate to come and see me if you have any issues at all!" I learned the hard way to never trust any boss or HR rep that says that stuff. Utilizing open-door policies is a dang good way to get fired for being a "troublemaker."


#34 A Home Remedy For Acne

When I was a teenager and had acne, none of the over-the-counter acne medicine was working. My mom brought me to a dermatologist and the medicine they prescribed was very expensive so before buying it, my mom searched for any home remedies online. The home remedy she found was to use saliva... The way to apply it was worse.


#35 Follow Your Passion!

When you're undecided about what to do with your life and people say, "Do what you're passionate about and what you love." Well, thank you. Like, I'm obviously not that passionate about anything if I've got to ask this question right? I hate this advice. I’ve been depressed for years and subsequently am hardly passionate about anything. I barely have the motivation to even look for new things to get excited about. To be honest I don’t know if I’ll ever find a job I enjoy because I don’t enjoy much of anything.

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#36 Discouraging Dad

When I was fresh out of the Navy and going to college on the GI Bill, my dad tried repeatedly to get me to drop out of college... He honestly thought that pursuing a biology degree at no cost to myself was a waste of my time. It wasn't until I started my master's degree that he was finally supportive of my educational goals. He tells me he's proud of me, and when I remind him that he tried to get me to drop out he denies it...


#37 Drawing Monsters

My high school guidance counselor: “You will never make money drawing monsters.” Fast forward a few years later: I became one of the original artists of Magic: The Gathering. I created the PROTOTYPE franchise. I ran various video game franchises for WB like Harry Potter and Game of Thrones. I created the Delta Green series of books, which topped $440K on Kickstarter and backer kit. These things are FILLED with monsters.

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#38 Scheduling Stress

My high school schedule in my junior year was messed up. I couldn't fit a junior level basic computer class because of calculus and band. The guidance counselor told me not to take calculus my junior year because I'd forget it all before college. Then, when I told her no way, she said to drop out of band class, since it was just an elective and not important. All because she didn't want to have to remember that I needed to take that computer class my senior year instead.


#39 I'll Take My Vitamin C, Thanks

Do you have a heart condition? You should try this juice cleanse. It will remove all the toxins from your body and you won’t be disabled anymore. Also, don't eat citrus so your blood pH level becomes basic (Or is it alkaline? I can never remember the right one) so your condition will be cured. I'll take my vitamin C, thanks.


#40 Untapped Potential

My high school guidance counselor said that I "wasn't college material," so I took her advice and started the process of joining the marines with my friends (who were also told this). My chemistry teacher at the time scheduled a substitute teacher and personally drove me to a nearby college. He sat there with me while I spoke with admissions.

Fast forward a few years... After receiving a chemistry and chemical engineering dual degree and then going on to get a Ph.D. in chemical engineering... I'd say that guidance counselor knew nothing.

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#41 Bad Bro Advice

A friend of mine would always get me to talk about my relationships and would somehow twist the smallest things into seeming like they were really bad. Then he'd suggest that I should break up with whoever I was with and I would be like, "You're right! Why am I putting up with this?" All when it could have been something completely normal.

It happened with three girls in a row and it was always the same stuff he said. I just snapped out of it one day and realized that I had been the terrible boyfriend and the reason it didn't work was because of how I was acting after hearing all these things put into my head. I think he was just jealous because he could never get any girls but what a weird thing to look back on.


#42 Always Hit Back

As a kid, I was bullied a lot. I was always told not to fight back and ignore them. The best thing to ACTUALLY do in that situation is hit back. For every insult, throw one back at them. If you get hit, then hit back twice as hard. Even if you lose the fight, if you make it painful enough to fight you they will move to an easier target.

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#43 Overly Prejudiced Mom

I grew up in the southeast. On my first day of elementary school, my mom dropped me off. Before I got out of the car, she told me to not hang out with people of certain races because they will get me into trouble. The real kicker was that we are of the same race as one of the ones she name-dropped.


#44 Multiple Options

In high school my friend's mom told me whoever you're dating should think you're going to leave them at any time, you should always remind them there are other people interested in you, and they're not your only option. She's now on her fourth marriage.


#45 Worst Advice Ever.

"You're not sure what you want to do? Go to law school, its a nice finishing degree and you'll earn back the money quick." Thanks, Dad, here I am ten years later, $200K in debt, making $45K a year living in a studio apartment. That was some great advice.


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