Nothing pisses me off like generic “one-size-fits-all” advice.
No matter what the situation, the internet seems to always be filled with morons parroting the same generic advice ad infinitum. It’s infuriating, because sometimes it really feels like these people are just copy-and-pasting each other’s words and putting no actual thought into the advice they give. I’m starting to see that turning to sites like Reddit or Quora for any kind of advice on pretty much anything is just an exercise in futility and does nothing but test my patience. I actually get better results saying “Fuck it” and diving headfirst into shit on my own.
Here’s just a few of the shit-nuggets of “wisdom” that idiots love to give, and why most of it is bullshit.
“Just be yourself!”
This is often used in reference to guys trying to find the courage to talk to women.
Usually the guys telling you this are the 6’3 Chads who can’t see any correlation between their appearance and their confidence, and just assume that having the courage to approach women is as easy as flipping a switch.
While it’s true that many guys are just beta chickenshits who need to man up a little bit, the people telling you to “Just be yourself lol” are often fucking idiots who don’t understand how reality works.
Let me use my old friend Slim as an example. Slim, whose nickname was meant in the same way as the large black man in prison nicknamed “Tiny”, was a pretty cool guy. Me and Slim were great friends since high school, where we first met because I was listening to a mix CD that had Weird Al tracks on it and I sat in front of him in Spanish class. Slim was fairly smart, polite, kind, had decent taste in movies and TV shows, was a decent writer, and could make you laugh with purposely lame puns (his other nickname was “The Pun-isher”). Slim also looked like if Peter Griffin had sex with a bear, then the offspring grew up and survived a 4-alarm fire. As if that’s not bad enough, he also had the social skills and oratory finesse of a potato. If Slim were to approach a woman at the bar and “just be himself” he’d have been rejected, tossed from the bar, and placed on the sex offender registry after less than three sentences.
I’m not putting Slim down here, he was a great guy who just happened to be overweight, ugly as sin, and took forever to tell a bad joke. People often judge based on appearance first and foremost, it’s just human nature. Women will cross their arms and stomp their cloven hooves and adamantly refuse to admit that they do this because they don’t want to come across as shallow, but they do, because they’re human. And before you accuse me of sexism, yes, men do it to women too. Women do it more though.
My point is that telling people like Slim to “just be yourself” is futile because unless Slim was at least a 5/10 the odds that anyone who didn’t know him already would want to interact with him beyond a polite “Hello” were, well, slim.
Just the whole concept of the phrase is stupid. Do these morons think I’m going out and pretending to be someone else? As if they’ll spout their bullshit line about being myself and I’m going to turn around and say “You know what, you’re right, I was just pretending to be ugly and socially inept!” Then I’ll turn into John Stamos and ride over to the women on a vintage ’76 Harley and take them on a trip to Poundtown.
Telling people to “just be themselves” only works if they’re already somewhat close to being a generic normie. If “yourself” goes against the grain in any significant way you’re going to run into even more problems by “being yourself”. This is the pinnacle of terrible advice, and a surefire way to guarantee you spend the rest of your life labeled a creep and ostracized by your peers. Not that I would know about that or anything. It often goes hand-in-hand with the next one…
“Don’t care what others think!”
Yes, you should absolutely care what others think about you, and anyone who says otherwise is fucking retarded.
A variant of this that gets parroted is “Those that matter don’t mind and those that mind don’t matter”, usually misattributed to Dr. Seuss. As Dr. Seuss was too busy making hilariously racist anti-Japanese cartoons, he never had time to utter this quote, which actually comes from an advisor to FDR. The quote itself is in reference to seating arrangements at state dinners and has nothing to do with not caring about your own image, but that doesn’t stop unoriginal idiots from spouting it during their social media virtue signaling sessions.
Your ability to succeed in life depends on many things. One of those things is peoples’ impressions of you. If people think you’re a fucking weirdo, nobody is going to give you the chance to prove yourself no matter how good your abilities are. Telling people to not care what others think about them is basically setting them up for failure.
You know who doesn’t care what other people think about him? The homeless guy panhandling for beer money at the bus terminal. You know why he doesn’t care? Because he’s mentally ill, drunk, and has absolutely nothing more to lose at this point in his life. You on the other hand can lose your friends, career, and reputation because you made a Facebook post that someone else found tasteless. We live in an age of cancel culture, image is everything.
I’m not saying that people should ever fear speaking their minds (despite what the media might have you think), I’m just saying that there’s a time and place for everything, and sometimes we have to exercise restraint when it’s not the right time or place. In theory you have every right to walk into the middle of the ghetto wearing a white hood and robes and say you hate black people, but in practice doing this will result in you getting your stupid ass kicked or killed. Just because you can do or say something doesn’t mean it’s a good idea to actually do or say it.
I know, I know. You’re probably pissing and moaning at this right now. “AJ U ASSHOLE THATS NOT WHAT THAT SAYING MEANS AND U KNOW IT!!!”
But I don’t care what you think.
“If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.”
If you try to do something once and you fail, get back up, dust yourself off, and give it another go.
If you try again and you still fail, re-evaluate your approach and take another shot.
If you try a third time and you haven’t come any closer to success, maybe you’re better off investing your time elsewhere.
I already hear the click-clack of your keyboards now, firing up the counter-arguments. “WELL AJ WHAT ABOUT SCIENTISTS AND INVENTORS AND PROFESSIONAL ATHLETES AND-”
Of course this doesn’t apply to the top tiers of society, you jackass. I’m not telling Usain Bolt to stop trying to set new records, nor am I telling Elon Musk to stop trying to get us to Mars. I’m telling people like Joe Dickinhand to stop trying to fix that beat-ass 1991 Chevy Cavalier that hasn’t worked in 15 years and I’m telling people like his son Johnny Dickinhand to stop trying to hit on that girl that’s rejected him ten times now. Stop wasting time and money, and learn to accept defeat sometimes. There’s nothing shameful about failing at something. The shame comes when you’re too proud to quit and end up looking like an asshole when you repeatedly fail at the same thing over and over again.
“If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again” is the mantra for creeps everywhere. If sexual harassment had a national anthem, this line of bullshit would be in the first stanza. Seriously, some of you dudes just don’t know when to give up and it’s fucking pathetic. I cringe whenever I watch some thirsty guy hit on the same girl all the time, get his advances routinely rebuffed, and come back the next day for more. Then he’ll turn around and complain that he’s giving her all this time and attention and she doesn’t care, and whine like an entitled cunt about how he deserves her but can’t get out of the friend zone. Just. Fucking. STOP. I hate guys like this, you give men a bad name. Fuck off back to 4chan’s /fit/ board and start another “tfw no tomboy girlfriend” thread you sad pathetic dweeb. I know that women pull a lot of messed-up childish bullshit, but I definitely can’t defend this bullshit from my own gender either.
And while we’re at it, why the fuck are we saying “try” twice here? Why is it “try, try again” and not just “try again”? Did the person who said it originally have a stutter or something? The person who originally came up with this stupid advice should try, try again to learn proper English. And we’re consulting this retard for life advice? Yeah, no thanks.
Encouraging people to blindly keep trying something until they succeed is only going to lead them to burn-out, and eventually depression when they wonder why they can’t achieve their goal even though they followed the conventional wisdom of idiots everywhere spouting this tired-ass mantra of “Try, try again”.
EDITOR’S NOTE: Why get generic advice from strangers on Reddit or Quora when you could get custom-tailored advice from AJnet’s very own advice columnist, Señor Juan? Email Juan your problems today at [email protected]!