Life, they say, is a journey filled with twists and turns, dotted with moments of profound wisdom and, well, some utterly terrible advice. We’ve all been there, nodding along to someone’s well-intentioned words of wisdom, only to realize later that we’ve been led astray.
One Redditor asked, “What was the worst advice you have ever received?” Many users commented on this thread, and we have selected the top ones for you.
1. Computer Programming
A discerning Reddit user commented, “”Don’t study computer programming. The market is probably going to be saturated by the time you graduate.” From a computer science professor in the mid-80s.”
Another added, “”I think there is a world market for maybe five computers.” – Thomas Watson, president of IBM, 1943.”
Right, because we all know the world will suddenly stop needing tech wizards, right? Ignore the fact that every corner of our lives is becoming digital; clearly, the demand for computer programming skills is just a passing fad. Cue the eye-roll.
2. Working Your Way Up
Someone commented, “My dad said to quit studying that IT stuff; if you want to be a network engineer or whatever, go to the company, find the boss, and ask to work as a janitor, then you can work your way up. Thankfully, I did not listen.”
Another replied, “This happened at my work; the guy left thinking he could start as a shop assistant on the ferries and then work his way up to skipper. You work duty free I’m fairly sure skipper is not in your career progression there.”
Forget ambition, dreams, and passions – grab a mop and start scrubbing! Maybe, just maybe, your boss will be so impressed by your cleaning skills that they’ll appoint you as the CEO.
3. Getting Pregnant for a Medical Card
Oh, and how about the genius idea of getting pregnant just to snag a medical card? Because nothing says “responsible life choices,” like bringing a human being into the world solely for the perks.
One said, “My husband needed a medical card after his heart failure from viral cardiomyopathy. The social worker told me I should get pregnant so we would qualify for help with his medical costs. I was 24 and lived in Ohio. I was horrified. She listed all the “help” we could get if I could get pregnant. He was in an ICU ward recovering from heart surgery. I walked out of there just disgusted.”
Another person agreed to it and said, “From a light, Google search, wouldn’t asking ur husband with cardiomyopathy to impregnate you send him to the hospital faster? Potentially killing him if the condition is bad enough? Or is the worker telling you to cheat on ur husband lol XO. Either way, I would feel disgusted, too.”
4. New Car
A Redditor shared, “At 24, while making $12 an hour and renting an apartment, my parents convinced me to buy a brand new Honda Accord. They assured me it was the ONLY WAY to get a new car and that the used ones broke down immediately. The payments were one entire paycheck of the two I got every month.”
Another added, “The only benefit to new cars is the probability of breaking down. At some point, the reliability for things like jobs, long trips, and adverse weather becomes worth the cost. However, it ain’t after 5 years.”
Who cares about crushing debt and financial ruin? You’ll look super cool cruising in that brand-new car, even if you can’t afford to put gas in it.
And then there’s the expert advice to file for bankruptcy without a second thought. Why bother with pesky things like budgeting and financial responsibility when you can just wipe the slate clean? Debt? What debt? It’s magic, right? Spoiler alert: it’s not magic. It’s a terrible idea.
A discerning Reddit user commented, “In my early 20s, my stepdad encouraged us (us = Me, Sister and Brother) to max out our credit cards. Then file bankruptcy. My sister did it. My brother did it. I didn’t. He insulted me for years for being stupid.”
Another added, “My mom is exactly like this. She literally told me my first credit card was free money. Just max it out and declare bankruptcy. That woman hit me up at 3 a.m. for 5k this morning. Some people never learn.”
DVDs! Yes, invest your hard-earned money in a collection of outdated technology. That’s a wrong move!
One said, “Invest in DVDs because you can pawn them for cash when you need money.”
Another replied, “As someone who works in a used DVD/CD & Vinyl store, that’s terrible advice, lol. Most discs that come to us aren’t in the best shape, so we gotta fix them; the average we pay for individual movies is like 50 cents. Unless it’s like a crazy out-of-print Blu-ray criterion movie, but those are rare.”
A Redditor shared, “Lawyer said I should just admit that I did it. I denied it, and the case was dismissed.”
Another added, “It takes a good lawyer to know the law and a great lawyer to know the judge.”
Here’s the thing: Always trust your lawyer for legal advice!
8. Being Clean
Someone commented, “Not me, but I remember reading a thread about a man who told his girlfriend every day that she stinks. She washed two or three times daily and tried everything she could to get rid of this smell.
Until she cracked and started screaming at him, asking wtf was he smelling. Apparently, his father told him, “Tell a woman she smells every day, and she’ll be constantly clean.” He just took that as normal good advice to live by.”
Another person agreed to it and said, “I’m so glad OP immediately dumped him. That is super bad, and there are probably other ways he was taught to manipulate others. In the comments, OP explained that she almost gave him a chance until she realized he’s 30 and has had plenty of time and examples to learn better.”
Just a tip: complimenting personal hygiene might work better.
9. Ignoring the Bullies
One said, “”Just ignore your bully.””
Another replied, “”Ok, I did as you advised, and they stabbed my hand with a pencil to get my attention.””
Standing up against bullies and seeking help is the way to go.
10. College Is Everything
Don’t get us wrong, education is essential, but it’s not the only path to success.
A discerning Reddit user commented, “Worst advice received and acted upon. My friend out of high school got a job at Ford starting at $28/hour full time, and in the UAW. His mom said he shouldn’t waste his life working “at a factory” and go to collage despite him having a 1.8 GPA in Highschool and very good with working with his hands.
He quit, took 2 classes at college, and dropped out. He spent the next 8 years making pizza because the job market was trash.”
Another added, “This is the biggest lie we tell our kids. Not everyone is college material, nor do they need to be. You don’t need a degree. You need a skill that you can sell to someone for money, and college is just one way to get that (or at least convince someone else that you got it). Just find something you’re good at and run with it. That may or may not require a college education.”
11. Putting Butter on Burns
One said, “”Put some butter on it” -My father to me directly after getting a 3rd degree burn on my arm (cooking accident).”
Another person agreed to it and said, “Literally the first thing I ever learned about treating burn was to “never apply butter or similar fat to a burn wound as it will amplify the cooking effect.”
Butter doesn’t heal burns; it just makes a mess. Water and a cold compress are your friends here, people!
12. Hot Showers for Sunburns
A Redditor shared, “Was told by a sailor of 5 decades that the best way to get rid of sunburn is to take the hottest shower possible. Not only did that cause immeasurable pain, but it didn’t help in the slightest.”
Another replied, “Colder showers, drinking plenty of water, aloe, and lots of moisturizers will do the trick pretty fast. Worked for me many times.”
Cold showers, Aloe Vera, and staying hydrated are the real heroes in sunburn recovery.
13. Employer Loyalty
Hate to break it to you, but loyalty in the workplace isn’t a two-way street these days. Being loyal is fantastic, but expecting unwavering loyalty in return might lead to disappointment.
Someone commented, “”Show your employer loyalty, and they will be loyal to you.””
Another said, “You should work exactly as expected and agreed upon your work contract: no more and no less. Every minute more is a gift you make to someone way richer than you that don’t really care about you.”
14. Don’t Wait for Good Things
Well, sure, patience is a virtue, but sitting around twiddling your thumbs won’t make your dreams come true. One said, “‘Good things come to those who wait.’ Nah, good things come to those who go out and take them.”
Another added, “100%. Waiting does nothing but waste time.”
Good things come to those who work hard, stay persistent, and grab opportunities when they come knocking.
15. Family Business
A discerning Reddit user commented, “”If you go work somewhere else, no one will pay you as much as me.” -my dad. I’m currently making twice as much plus benefits.”
Another person agreed to it and said, “Working with/for family can be a nightmare. I recently quit working for my dad and am already less anxious.”
Has this ever happened to you?
16. Avoid the Doctors
A Redditor shared, “From my father: don’t go to the doctor’s office if you only have one problem. Wait until you have four or five; that’s how you get the most bang for your buck.”
Another added, “And that’s how my grandma got diagnosed with Stage 4 cancer after avoiding doctors for 30 years.”
Skipping your regular check-ups will only lead to disasters.
Someone commented, “”Replace all your office computers with Macs, then you don’t need to set up network drives because you can use iCloud instead. Don’t worry about <industry-specific software we pay ££££ for>; there’ll be something in the App Store you can replace it with.””
Another said, “Wow. I am even a Mac user, and I know this is bad advice.”
Newsflash: Macs are great, but they’re not a substitute for proper IT infrastructure.
In this age of online courses and tutorials, it’s never too late to learn something new.
One said, “It’s too late for you to learn to code – I was 14.”
Another replied, “Nope. I picked it up at 30 – and I’m not the brightest light on the Christmas tree – had an amazing career ever since. Forget that noise.”
19. Dishwasher Detergent
A Redditor shared, “If you run out of dishwasher detergent, just substitute it with regular dish soap. A big mistake that will only be made once. 😡”
Another person agreed to it and said, “I was trying to be a helpful kid, and on my own, tried to run the dishwasher. I added a detergent like Dawn instead of dishwashing soap, and soon, bubbles began foaming and leaking out of the dishwasher and covering the kitchen floor.
My mom ran in but couldn’t stop the cycle or figure out how to shut it off. All of the agitator and moving parts just kept whipping the soapy water into a bubble-bath waterfall that kept pouring out as we frantically tried to mop it all up. So, in essence, a cheap and dirty foam party happens.”
Regular soap and dishwashers don’t mix – unless you’re aiming for bubbles cascading across your kitchen floor.
20. No Arguments
A discerning Reddit user commented, “To keep my mouth shut. Never argue or talk back to my partner.”
Another added, “Imagine your significant other never arguing with ANYTHING you say ever. Are they okay? Are they just being quiet to appease me? What do they really think? Why can’t we ever have a real conversation? That’s a no from me, dawg. If you can’t trust your loved ones to tell you what’s up, then that’s a huge problem.”
Healthy relationships involve talking, understanding, and, yes, sometimes arguing. It’s called being human.
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