Against Advice

Most of the time, listening is enough

A 3D render of a human face with a finger on its chin, contemplative pose.
Photo: wacomka/Getty Images

“DON’T TALK TO ANYONE ELSE — THEY’RE ALL IDIOTS!”

— My father (I’m omitting the context, but I feel the sentiment stands on its own)

“Please don’t let Mow [our cat] in. She will eat the pie.”

— My mother

“Never break more than one law at a time.”

— Kevin

“Physical activity is for losers.”

— Zeke

“When you are alone in a room with a naked woman, you should be sure you do everything you might ever want to do with that woman, because there is no guarantee you will ever have that chance again.”

— A friend’s friend’s father

“You don’t have to get *everything* from your spouse or partner.”

— Lauren

“But you can’t get breasts from your friends.”

— Lucy

“Hang loose. You’ll find your way.”

— Steven Muller, President of my university, at our commencement

“Even a less-than-perfect homemade [pie] crust will impress women more than storebought.”

— Kati Jo

“You should drive everywhere.”

— Harold

“Let it soak.”

— Margot

“There are two kinds of people in the world: people who need advice, and people who give it. The ones who give it are stupid.”

— Jenny

Tim Kreider is the author of two essay collections, and a frequent contributor to Medium and The New York Times. He lives in NYC and the Chesapeake Bay area.

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