Is giving advice better than getting it? We all need a helping hand and advice from someone more experienced, knowledgeable or simply from someone wise. Some people run away from asking others for their opinion or advice. Usually, the reason behind this is the feeling of shame that we don’t know how to deal with a certain situation, and that we need help. From the other side, some are dependent on others and they are clinging on other people’s opinions and are never sure what is the right thing to do.
Here, we are not against asking for advice when you need it. Of course, be mindful whose advice you need and be wise about whether you will use their advice or not. It’s only normal that when you are struggling with a problem to ask for input from someone who’s been through something similar or someone who resolved the same issue in the past.
What happens when you give advice? We all like to be asked for advice and we enjoy it when we feel respected and appreciated in a way that our opinion is of value to others. According to a new study from the University of Pennsylvania and the University of Chicago, giving advice is more effective for our self-improvement than receiving it. Researchers examined how teens and preteens operate when it comes to giving advice or receiving it. The group that was supposed to provide others with advice on vocabulary lessons spent more time working on their vocabulary than the group which did not have the task of helping others with their vocabulary.
Other experiments showed similar results not only for teens but for people of any age and in any field. Whenever we are talking about giving interpersonal, work-related advice, financial or health advice, we tend to learn more (know more) if we are expected to be a go-to person for certain fields such as fitness-related questions. When we are asked for advice, we feel motivated to help others and to learn more so we can help more and feel better about who we are as a person. The feeling leads to an overall sense of self-importance and increases the value of one’s knowledge.
When we are in the position of giving advice, that has a great impact on our confidence. Researchers proved there is a strong link between giving advice and motivation and between giving advice and a boost of confidence. We feel confident when someone says: “I would appreciate your advice.” Of course, that has a major impact on our confidence.
Here, we are not discouraging anyone to go out there and seek advice. If you are a nutritionist, you are a go-to person for any diet questions, but you don’t know everything. Right? You need help to resolve issues with your boyfriend or you need help about how to better organize your finances. We are all experts on at least one thing.
What if nobody asks you for advice? Although you might think this is you, it’s probably possible that you completely ignore and don’t pay attention to those conversations where you gave your opinion on how to tackle some issues. However, you can be your own adviser. If you feel completely uncertain about a problem, imagine someone else in that situation and give them advice on how you would resolve the issue. Giving advice is better for our confidence than receiving advice. Still, be wise and make sure you know what’s best for solving the issue. Sometimes, you just need another pair of eyes to understand and tackle an issue accordingly.