The world is full of advice and a lot of that advice is pretty bad.
It turns out that giving good advice is harder than it looks. I think this partially because if you reduce advice to a pretty generic level, it’s bound to be at least somewhat crappy. People are so different and employ such varying tactics to reach success that a piece of advice that’s great for one person is probably fundamentally wrong for someone else.
Some of it is that certain pieces of advice have become so baked into standard interactions that a lot if it is just tired at this point. Or, as many people are discovering, many classic pearls of wisdom are really so ill advised, they will simply cause the recipient to melt into a puddle of anger. (At this point I’m pretty sure if you run into a harried young parent in a grocery store who is about to undergo a nervous breakdown while their child screams nonstop and tell them to “Enjoy this while it lasts,” you deserve to receive at least one colorful swear word thrown back at you.)
I am good at giving myself bad advice. I do it daily. Not only that, I regularly tell myself the same kind of bad advice that for some reason I expect to be good advice today. Almost every morning I wake up telling myself that with a little work and some willpower, I’ll be able to fundamentally change my habits and who I am as a person. (Spoiler alert: It doesn’t work. For more on that, read about what I should know better by now.)
Recently, I was thinking about contributing my services to a silent auction by providing something different than a physical object or a solid deliverable of some kind. I had the thought that I could send someone daily affirmations, weekly compliments, a series of songs and GIFS and videos that were guaranteed to brighten their day. But my favorite concept idea was sending someone deliberately terrible advice.
Not the kind of terrible advice they might think is good advice. Advice that is so obviously bad they would absolutely never take it. For some reason, the idea of telling someone to smash all their computers with a hammer or only eat grapes from here on out really cracked me up. So I decided to do a short write up of some advice I have for you. It is very bad.
When life gives you lemons, juice the lemons, toss the juice, and then eat the dried out pulp and rinds with relish.
We’re all sick of hearing about making lemonade out of our extremely enormous pile of lemons at this point. But have we all tried to feast on the lemons themselves until we can no longer feel our tongues and our mouths are stinging badly from multiple micro cuts we didn’t know we had?
When the baby sleeps, go dream walking with a series of mysterious and fantastical creatures to discover the secrets of the universe. When the baby wakes, go to sleep for real.
Sometimes babies have to understand that you need time to pursue your hobbies and passions and time to properly rest.
Sprained your ankle? Get purposefully bitten by a poisonous spider so the sprain will hurt less in comparison.
Snakes and scorpions are also acceptable alternatives in a pinch.
If you are trying to meet a tight deadline and can’t find the motivation, close your laptop and walk into the woods, never to be heard from again.
Honestly, this is great advice.
If at first you don’t succeed, stubbornly refuse to do that thing ever again and avoid mention of said hobby until your brain literally wipes all memory of it ever existing.
It’ll be pretty awkward when you don’t know that baseball, swimming, or art exist, but that’s a price you have to be willing to pay.
Remember, when it comes to communication more is more. Relentlessly text each member of your family about anything and everything that pops in your head. The more mundane the better.
Every meal, every bowel movement, every moment of idle chatter. If five minutes have passed, it’s been too long.
If anyone asks how you’re doing, just scream wordlessly until you pass out.
Bonus points if you tell them you’re haunted and the ghost inside you hates feelings.
Now that I’ve purposefully tried to generate some bad advice, I think some of it might be good? Definitely the disappearing into the woods thing. You should definitely drop everything you’ve got and just go disappear into the woods. (Disclaimer: Don’t do this.)
I have amused myself. Now it’s your turn. Go on, hit me with your best bad advice!