What is the worst or most condescending advice you have been given?

Just asking. Everyone has received questionable advice. Which examples were particularly noteworthy?

This isn’t exactly “advice,” but a woman once told me (a man) that she understood boys better than I do because "I have two sons and you don’t. "

This is still enshrined in United States military regulations for a member of the Armed Forces who wishes to marry a foreign national must get the area commander’s permission. When I queried the senior yeoman at the command in Guam responsible for not only enforcing such regulation but also for issuing it what the delay in issuing the regulation was, the response was, “It’s for your own good, Petty Officer Monty; it’s to ensure you don’t marry some hooker”. That’s some pretty questionable, if not downright eprehensible, “advice”.

This happened way back in the early 1990s and, yes, I’m still pissed off that it’s still required. Go to fucking Hell, institutionalizing racist jerks!

What little I’ve read (and even less that I’ve actually heard) about Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) strikes me as awfully condescending and dismissive and, basically, downright lame. CBT seems to be some kind of hive-mind cult. I suppose it’s the right thing for somebody.

Some of the worst advice I’ve ever gotten was from my father. But he also gave me some of the best advice, so I’ll give him a pass.

Not exactly advice, but my middle school shop teacher told my father (who was his boss), “It’s a good thing she’s pretty, because she sure doesn’t have it up here [head tap].” I assume his advice would have been to marry and not bother with college. At the time, I was exploiting the extra credit options for his class to do all extra credit and no construction, for which I earned As. Eventually I went to a highly selective college a year early, earned two master’s and a doctorate, and have taught university undergraduates, graduate students, and post-docs, and provide continuing education units for professionals. I did eventually marry, though I imagine my lovely wife was not quite what he would have envisioned.

When I graduated from high school, I had to get a job. I was planning to go to university, but before that I was supposed to find a way to support myself.

One day, a good friend of mine told me that he was going to introduce his best friend to me - a guy whom I had never seen because he had entered one of the best universities in a different city. So, we had lunch and went to the cinema. It was a philosophical movie by a Swedish director. Afterwards we walked through a park, talking about the movie we had just watched and about things in general. When I revealed my plans to go to college, the university fellow said something like: “I’ve been listening to you all day and I have to tell you - don’t quit your day job. Honestly, university is not for you.”

[quote=“Monty, post:3, topic:915781, full:true”], “It’s for your own good, Petty Officer Monty; it’s to ensure you don’t marry some hooker”. That’s some pretty questionable, if not downright eprehensible, “advice”.

Canadian forces in Cyprus were offered similar advice: Before you think about marrying some cute young thing, take a look at her mother.

Ha, ha. That was my father’s advice. (He was a military officer also.)

Yeah but did you ever finish that birdhouse?

Nope. Safety requirements weren’t being enforced in the shop. I worked through all the extra credit in the book. No birds had their fingers cut off or eyes poked out in relation to my actually cutting anything. Note: it was still a thousand times better than home ec.

Just one word: plastic!

Oh wait a minute, that may have been fiction…

I have been told at a number of point in my life to do this, that or the other thing - ranging from different types of make up, to how I dress, to how I talk, and “proper” feminine interests - or I would “never get a man”. The funny thing is meddlesome sorts continued to give me such advice even after I was married for many years.

Also amusing when such advice-givers were single, had terrible relationships, multiple divorces, etc. I had 30 years of stable marriage to the same man.

Google isn’t worth $95/share.

I took my young Malinois to obedience classes. Day one, as I’m struggling to get him to ‘down’, because he doesn’t really know what that means, the instructor told me, “You’re going to have problems with that dog”
I’m pretty sure I’m the only person in that class that went on to actually title their dog in obedience, once I found the right people and methods to help me work with him. Best dog ever.

When I was in college studying electrical engineering, I was playing in a band. The bass player’s father (Mr. K) owned an electrical construction business. He apparently didn’t understand that electrical engineering was not the study of wiring houses, and thought that I would be a useful employee. But he wasn’t honest enough to ask me to come to work for him. Instead, he advised that I was wasting my time interviewing with these Fortune 500 companies and federal agencies. They all offered nothing but dead-end jobs with no “hands-on” experience. In the long run, I would be much better off if I took a job with a place that didn’t require a degree, because they would give me that valuable hands-on experience. Say, an electrical construction company…

I thanked him, but ended up taking one of those “dead-end” jobs at a federal agency, specializing in communications satellites.

Sadly, Mr. K was right about the lack of hands-on experience–I spent my entire thirty-five year career on the ground.

Not exactly advice, but sorta along the same lines: the day before I left for Navy bootcamp, my grandmother said “Well, we did our best to talk you out of this…”

First off, no, no one tried to talk me out of it. In fact, my dad thought it was a great idea. I suspect my mom and her mother were strongly against the idea, tho. Second, that was August 1973. In July 2011, I retired after 11 years on active duty in the Navy, 3 or 4 years as a reservist, and 26+ years working for the Navy as an engineer. Can’t imagine where I’d be today if they’d “talked me out of it.”

I’ve actually been through it, and I can’t see how any of it could be condescending. Sure, it does sometimes tell you things you might already know–but that’s true when you learn anything new. Plus, even if you knew all of it, the hard part is actually putting it into practice–the “behavioral” part.

The theory it is based on is sound–that our thoughts, feelings, and behaviors influence each other, and that, if you can’t tackle one (usually feelings), you can tackle the other two.

The therapy is 50-75% effective on the situations it is actually used for. Cults generally are only effective by chance. The reason people believe in it–the reason every psychologist I’ve ever been to believes in it–is because they’ve seen it work.

Sorry if this type of post is annoying, BTW. But the last thing I want is for someone to read your post, and then decide to avoid CBT when it would have been an effective treatment for them. I’m not trying to tell you how you have to feel about it, just that my experience is different, and that it is one of our most effective therapies.

I was good at math in high school, so naturally my guidance counselor recommended getting a degree in agriculture.

I don’t know if the following is condescending advice exactly:

At about the time I was going to get my Masters (in electrical engineering), I started interviewing at a few companies in Silicon Valley and got a few offers. I was talking to my professor about my job search and he asked me “Have you ever thought about pursuing a PhD? I have some research grants coming in and I think I can support you on one of them.” So I thought about it and decided that sounded attractive. I called the companies that had made job offers and let them know that I would be declining the offer and why.

One recruiter snapped at me: “PhDs are a dime a dozen! You’ll regret this decision the rest of your life.” After 35+ years conducting and managing advanced technology research and development, the regrets have not yet materialized…