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Jack Averty: Take my advice. . . or don’t, it’s up to you

By Jack Averty | Weekend | Published:

If there’s one thing I love to do more than eating, it’s giving out advice.

Words of wisdom

Give me any topic or scenario and I can provide my expert opinion. From relationships to the best TV programmes to watch, I’m your man – at least I think I am.

See I’m beginning to think that my advice might be a bit pants given that no one ever seems to listen to me.

From friends to family, all my nuggets of wisdom and information seem to go in through one ear and out the other.

The latest example is my marvellous find of something called Gousto boxes. These food boxes are delivered to your door every week featuring delicious recipes that you have chosen yourself from a wide selection and all the ingredients you need to make your meals for the week.

Not only is the food absolutely divine but it is reasonably priced, the portions are generous and it makes cooking after work incredibly easy and borderline fun. What isn’t there to love?!

Well clearly quite a lot because despite my constant raving of the spicy pork with rice and sesame vegetables I devoured the other day, not one friend or family member has tried the box.

The same can be said of no one watching the TV shows I shouted from the rooftops about or listening to the soulful tunes I recommended.

But why is no one listening to me? Do I have an untrustworthy face? Am I a poor salesman?

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Or is the answer, quite simply, nothing to do with me at all.

See there’s two factors that are always at play whenever you try and give someone advice – the first of which is always stubborness.

Everyone tries to pretend they’re not stubborn but no one likes taking advice.

People are set in their ways and do not appreciate change.

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Why would they start watching Goliath on Amazon Prime (it really is brilliant, please someone else watch it!) when Coronation Street and EastEnders are on most nights? There’s always re-runs of Top Gear as well to fill the gaps between the soaps.

Even if your friends or family do step out of their comfort zone, take your advice, try something new and heaven forbid enjoy it – they will never admit you were right.

The best you’ll ever get was ‘it’s alright’, which is code for ‘this is the greatest thing ever thank you’.

I still to this day pretend I don’t like certain bands my friends recommended to me years ago despite now listening to them daily.

The pride of admitting someone else was right is just too much to swallow – don’t take it personally when someone refuses to take your advice.

But far important than stubbornness is the fact that, however well you know someone, you will never know them as well as themselves.

For example everyone likes to stick their oar in after a relationship breaks up to give their two pence worth. Your friends will tell you to get on dating apps, your family will tell you to not rush into anything and people you barely know but have seen the change of the dreaded Facebook relationship status will start popping up saying the best thing to do is tell them all about it.

But however genuine the advice you’re given might be, the only person who truly knows what’s best is you. You’ll know if you’re in the right place to find someone else, or if you’re heartbroken and need time alone.

Similar situations occur when you lose a loved one. One person will tell you to keep yourself busy, another will tell you to lock yourself away and grieve endlessly. Ultimately only you know the best way to get over it, be it to relive all the happy memories or try and put what’s happened out of your mind.

This isn’t to say people should stop giving advice altogether – far from it. I would never have found the Gousto boxes without a tip-off and my Spotify playlist would consist of about four songs if it wasn’t for friends’ recommendations.

But in the end it’s people’s choice if they want to listen to you or not. You can lead a horse to water etc. . .

Even if you’re certain your friend is making a grave mistake, it’s up to them to make that mistake so they can learn from it.

Keep giving advice, just don’t take it personally if no one listens. And when you ultimately turn out to be right (we always are), try not to be a smug s***.

Jack Averty

By Jack Averty
Senior Reporter - @javerty_star

Reporter with the Express & Star, based at head office in Wolverhampton

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