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  • Writer's pictureLauren

The worst advice I ever received

Advice from other people: one of those things that can either help you, or make you want to throw things at the dispenser of said advice. Good advice is like gold, but misplaced advice is like a giant, coloured piece of plastic that vaguely resembles part of a toy you last saw in 2012 - not good for anything at all. 

I was thinking recently about the worst advice I've ever been given, and was wondering what bad advice other people had received over the years. What are yours? Here are some of mine:

1. If you can't exercise for at least 30 minutes at a time, there's no point. 

A personal trainer told me this when I was new to exercise and quite impressionable, and I followed this advice for years and - in doing so - didn't try to incorporate exercise incidentally into my routine at all. And, due to what the trainer had said, if I couldn't carve out 30 minutes for exercise, I'd do nothing at all. Needless to say, doing nothing often won out.  It took me a while to wake up to the fact that 5 minutes here and 15 minutes there of exercise was, in fact, better than nothing. 

2. There's no point preparing for job interviews, as you don't know what they are going to ask anyway. Lucky I eventually clued on to that one, i.e. the value of actually trying to think about examples of my skills that match the job's competencies, but I still remember how insistent the dispenser of that gem was. Someone who, it must be said, didn't have a job themselves. 

3. Those brown suede ankle boots look fabulous. No they didn't. They made my calf muscles look like a chicken drumstick, and were the color of the contents of my daughter's nappy. It may have been the late 90s, but I still don't think that's an excuse. 

4. Eggs eggs eggs! 

I've been told that eggs are a wonder-food that should be eaten daily, and that they are fatty balls of lard that you should never eat more than once a week. To be honest I don't actually know which is true, but figure that one must be wrong. 

5. Never flat with your friends. It will only end badly. I am sure that it can end badly, but I've lived in a number of house-share situations in my time, and all of the best ones have been with my friends. In fact, it made us even closer.  Even now - 15 years later in the case of one flat in particular - my ex-flatmate buddies are some of my dearest friends, and some of the people in the world that I am most comfortable around. I'm glad I ignored that advice. 6. If you drink a glass of milk and spin around three times the boy you like will ask you out. Sure, this advice was dispensed in the early 1990s, but it didn't work. Unless you count reminding me that I really dislike milk, and hate getting dizzy. Not that I particularly mind about this one. I'm on Facebook with said boy, who is now a man that isn't terribly appealing at all. 7. If you don't drink people will think you're really boring. Yeah, nah. Or maybe I really am so boring I can't even think about a decent response to this one? Not one that doesn't sound sanctimonious and ranty anyway. 8. The Gathering is a fabulous book. If you don't like it, you just don't get it.  Let's just say, it's the only Booker-winning book that I've owned and willingly given away. And by given away, I mean taken to a charity shop. Reading that book is hours of my life I'll never get back. What are yours?

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