• caedynwheeler

Should you take a hypocrite's advice?

Updated: Nov 16

Should you take a hypocrite's advice?

Short answer: Maybe

Hypocrisy is probably the biggest deterrent when we receive advice, understandably so. The implicit assumption is, if your advice is so good, then why aren’t you doing it? This is true, but we personalize it with the advice-giver too much. It doesn’t matter if the person speaking is being hypocritical: does what they’re saying still align with the results you want from OTHERS that are doing what they’re saying?

Example of good advice from a hypocrite:

A YouTuber who has a mental breakdown every other week is advising that for you to maintain good mental health, you should minimize your time on social media, eat healthily, exercise, and so on, none of which they are doing.

All of this is pretty basic advice but it is true. While they are being hypocritical in giving this advice that they're not taking, there's plenty of empirical evidence of people who do take this advice getting the results said questioner is looking for.

Example of bad advice from a hypocrite:

A millionaire who made their money through an entrepreneurial venture is telling you to just save $100 a week to become rich.

While they have the results you want, their actions aren't aligning with their words. So then we'd look to see all the millionaires who became millionaires by saving $100 a week. Oh, none? Bad advice, even in the scenario of the person you would like to emulate. Just because someone has what you want doesn't mean they're not a hypocrite or have good advice.

This is probably where we could just cut to the chase and say follow actions not words, but I'll wrap this bad boy up.

People who are intellectually consistent with good advice are most likely the best ones to listen to because, if nothing else, it cuts down on the amount of energy you need to exert to figure it out. And if you do find these consistent, good-faith people, you can ask more specific questions that are not readily found at your fingertips. However, I will conclude that you can't necessarily judge the merit of the advice on the advice-givers hypocrisy.