Please Take My Advice

8 March 2010

If you know me, you’re unlikely to describe me as a shrinking violet or lacking in confidence. In a meeting about a year or so ago, someone announced that I was “full of self-doubt”.  There were loud guffaws around the room and cries of “Sally doesn’t DO self-doubt”.

But I hope I’m not a “know-all” or cocky.  I’ve learnt over the years that the best thing to do if you don’t know something is to admit it and ask someone who does.  It’s quite easy and generally nobody thinks any worse of you; in fact, quite the reverse. 

To pretend you’re proficient at something when you’re not is not clever;  it’s stupid.

To fail to seek advice or help from people who are better qualified/more experienced is not clever;  it’s stupid.

If I need legal advice, I ask a lawyer.  If I need knitting advice, I ask a knitter.  If a lawyer needs knitting advice, as Judith pointed out here, s/he doesn’t go along to the Law Society.  S/he asks a knitter.

Now if everyone would just take MY advice on this and stop pretending that they’re experts in everything under the sun, my life (and those of lots of others) would have been a lot easier over the last few weeks.




  1. MY advice to ME would be just to keep my mouth shut permanently. I should have learned my lesson at a party a few years ago. I was dancing madly with a very nice man and after a while he laughed at our efforts and said we seemed to be generating more heat than light. Having read somewhere that motion produces heat and that there was a formule for that, I said, “Ah, the second law of thermodynamics”, thinking he’d be very impressed.

    He wasn’t – after questioning me on this and establishing that I hadn’t a clue what I was talking about, he revealed that he was the senior mechanical engineer of the largest engineeting company in the UK and a qualified thermodynamicist.

    Which left me looking stupid, rather than clever, which had been my intention.

    So have I learned my lesson? No. I can still foot-in-mouth to gold medal standard at every opportunity.

  2. No, HE was the dope, for taking the joke (and himself) so VERY seriously. Hopefully he did not actually intend to make you feel foolish. He should have worked out by now that there just ain’t that many thermo-whatsits at the average party.

    Gae, in Callala Bay

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