You already know. You may not want to know, but you know. Of course this isn’t true with everything. There are plenty of times when advice is genuinely needed regarding both concrete asks – how to change a tire, what’s the best restaurant in Toronto, etc. – and interpersonal relations in the face of truly confounding behaviors. Still, most of life’s challenges are action, not information problems: you understand vegetables’ health benefits yet the pull of a Dairy Queen Blizzard is too hard to resist.
So no, advice from others won’t really help contend with these emotional desires. Part of the reason is that the outsider is unattached and experiencing zero cravings. This doesn’t make the outsider any smarter, just better able to access wisdom. Hence the phenomenon of I can’t even follow my own advice! Obviously. Standing between advice and execution is emotion. If you can ignore the emotion and altogether avoid action, the pipeline to “answers” is clean. This reality tends to leave the advice-receiver (AR) in a doubly uncomfortable position.
First comes the shame. This thing that seems so easy to everyone else is hard for the AR. What is wrong with me!??!?!?! How did I not see this when this person who pondered it for 10 seconds can?!?!??! FML. Plus, there’s the unfortunate fact that advice often feels like judgement.