What qualifies someone to give you advice? Do they need to have experience with the given subject? Must they have significant success in that area. Often, I hear people say that they wouldn't take relationship advise from someone that wasn't in a good relationship. Or that they wouldn't take parenting advise from someone who didn't have children, etc.

But suppose that person has an advanced degree in children's psychology, but are childless? Would you discount the advice of such a person? Would a woman with several children be a better source of information?

What do you think? When you seek out advice from family, friends, or even professionals--what criteria do you use? Should they have experience the problem first hand? Or do they simply have to have your best interests in mind? Let me know what you think..

Your comments--priceless!!
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5 Responses
  1. catladysd Says:

    I once worked with 2 MSWs who specialized in working with children. Neither had children of their own, and both were quick to blame the parents for everything, i think sometimes it does help to have some experience with similar situations. I ask advice about non personal things from anyone i think can help. As to personal things there are just a few folks i talk to and really they don't give advice so much as let me talk it out and figure it out myself!

  2. JenellyBean Says:

    I personally can't follow advice from someone who has NEVER been in the situation.

    Yes they can give a good sound objective opinion or view, but they don't have the emotional background to empathize with how hard something is or will be for me to do.

    *Come check out my blog and FOLLOW ME!!*

  3. lifeisfantaztic2 embrace it Says:

    I think you should be aware at all times of where your advice is coming from. Do your own research, READ READ READ.

    Personally, I don't think you have to have a degree to give out good advice nor do you have to be in the situation to give an opinion. But the receiver of this information should research any advice or opinions and proceed according to what they have conceived from it.

    That way the only person you can blame for your mistakes is oneself.

    I personally like to talk out things with my personal friends, however in a chatroom I maybe the "Devil's Advocate"

  4. I think there are 3 things that make advice useful - trust, credibility, explanation.

    --Must have appropriate level of TRUST in the advice giver. If you don't trust the person, you will always discount the advice. The easiest way to mess with someone's head is to have a person that they definitely mistrust to give them good advice.

    --Must have rational acceptance of credibility. Once people get a reason to believe, they tend to go with it. Does it help if the advice giver has real experience in the topic area--absolutely. However, think about all the situations where we take it for granted. Most advice givers on TV don't share personal experience, but an occupational credibility. I don't know if the financial advisors make a ton in the stock market or have others do it for them. Seems like male doctors would have less credibility as OB/GYNs, but more when dealing with prostate health. The more trust you have for an advice giver, the less credibility you require

    --Must have a reasonable explanation of advice. It is difficult to follow advice that you do not understand. The flip side of that is people are more likely to follow a reasonable, simple explanation even if it is dead wrong. The Freakonomics folks have tons of fun with these ideas. One of the most interesting ones is when they talk about parenting, guns, & swimming pools. A simple explanation, that is factual, makes it easier to accept the advice.

  5. I always like to get advice or input from people who have been in similar situations or circumstances. I also like to get the input from family and friends. It really just depends but for the most part I think it's good to cover all your bases.

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