The Best Advice I Ever Got

I would write it in letters, eleven feet tall—
And how they would shine; they would glisten!—
The advice I once got, the most useful of all:
“Just shut the fuck up… and listen.

and hey, it applies across any number of different contexts!


  1. Pierce R. Butler says

    Who was it among the major early-modernish English authors who observed that it is much easier to give good advice than to accept it?

  2. machintelligence says

    I’ll have you know that I give nothing but good advice. It costs nothing and is worth every penny you pay for it.

  3. derek lactin says

    This quote comes to mind:

    “Human beings, who are almost unique in having the ability to learn from the experience of others, are also remarkable for their apparent disinclination to do so.”

    Douglas Adams

  4. says

    No argument there. A person who isn’t willing to listen is a person who isn’t ready to talk.

    But how does one remain silent without seeming indifferent? If a thousand readers lurk without posting, it looks like nobody is paying attention or cares. And yet a thousand “Me, too” posts don’t help either.

  5. ludicrous says

    Me too! OK, some additional advice to go with. Don’t stop with just listening, indicate what you think you have heard in a tone suggesting you would be willing, pleased even, to hear more.

    Most folks only give you their topic sentence unless they receive encouragement to fill out the paragraph.

    Also, rein in your inner skeptic until you have heard the whole story, you won’t hear the whole story if inner skeptic is clammering to have its say.


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