How to listen to advice

Dorothy Neddermeyer

Dorothy Neddermeyer

2 mins read

My advice to anyone who has either asked for advice or was given advice without asking is this:   

1. Consider the person's credibility, expertise, and experience on the topic. Ask yourself: 

Does the depth and breadth of their intelligence, knowledge, and comprehension meet the level I need? 

Does this person hold the same integrity and ethics that I hold? 

2. Some people have a strong impulse to give unsought advice. Such behavior suggests that a person whose ego compels them to give unsolicited advice needs perpetual reassurance that his/her advice is exceptional--in some way a higher '"rank" or "order"--than the one who is receiving the advice.


Consider for example, if deep down, inveterate advice-giver views his/her worth on the basis of how well she/he compares to others, she/he might remain in perpetual competition with you--(albeit unconsciously). In this regard, he/she can claim interpersonal victory--or gain the familial "upper hand" through, authoritatively, providing you frequent advice on any aspect of your life.


While I was in high school older people often told me scenarios about their experiences. While it wasn't advice per se, I often wondered, what is prompting them to give me this information, it doesn't relate to what I am doing now. Wisely, I decided to file the information in my 'if needed file'. Weeks, months or a year later, I encountered a life experience that the information I was given was perfect to resolve something and move forward. I thought 'Wow, what if I hadn't filed that information?' As many have learned 'Nothing transpires by accident and All is in the right order.' 

I made it a habit to listen intently to people's comments, experiences, and unsolicited advice, I thank him/her for caring about me enough to give me the information. Then, I make a determination whether that information is worth using now or filing it for future use. 

Enjoy your journey. All is in the right order.