We Asked People to Sum Up the Worst Advice They've Ever Gotten in Six Words

"Don't be depressed. Just be happy."

by Anna Goldfarb
Feb 22 2018, 6:50pm

Illustrations by Brandon Celi

We’ve received some truly idiotic words of "wisdom" in our lives; wack career tips, cringeworthy romantic pointers, terrible financial recommendations, asinine health suggestions and all-around, ill-informed bullshitery. Even the best guidance counselors, parents, friends, bosses, and well-intentioned strangers can relay some absolute stinkers about things both tiny (how to cure a hangover) or huge (your entire career!).

Most of the time we’ve been astute enough to not take the bad suggestions to heart, but it really stings when you do take the advice offered and it fucks your life up. We asked friends and co-workers about the most jaw-droppingly ridiculous/tone-deaf/harmful/awful advice they’ve ever received. Here’s what they said.

"Wear suit to your VICE interview." - Peter, 23

“Don't be depressed. Just be happy.” - Kari, 22

"Just pray your brain tumor away.” - Nik, 32

"College is totally worth the expense." - Jennifer, 24

"Unpaid internships = foot in the door." - Noah, 23

"Let's get tattoos together! So fun!" - Monica, 27

"Graduate school will pay for itself." - Chris, 28

"Forget your ex. Fuck someone else." - Terry, 25

“Don’t accept that graduate school offer.” - Mary, 36

“Archaeology isn't a field for girls.” - Karin, 63

"You'd look so great with bangs." - Wanda, 21

“Anything said in a romantic comedy.” - Gia, 32

“Male manager: 'Talk less in meetings.'” - Anna, 27

“Sick husband? Leave him. Save yourself.” - Jen, 34

“Hungover? You should drink more booze.” - Zack, 36

“Take cortisone; dance through the pain.” - Alex, 34

“Have the baby! I’ll be there.” - Tosh, 46

“Tinder dates: Don't chat, just meet.” - Allie, 25

“Pulling out during sex = no pregnancy.” - Debbie, 37

“Avoid working in the computer field.” - Justin, 33

“Your husband will cheat. Stay vigilant.” - Becca, 34

“Can't get diseases from blow jobs.” - Liz, 34

“Bathrobes are a waste of money.” - Lauren, 32

“Get married and join the military.” - Marc, 41

“Life peaks during high school years.” - Ashley, 39

"Have a kid. Money’ll sort itself.” - Fran, 35

“It's OK to try heroin once.” - C.J., 25

“Your wedding is all about YOU.” - Miriam, 33

“Take out student loans. Worst mistake.” - Jenelle, 37

“Grandpa told me to avoid college.” - Roberto, 32

“Max out all your credit cards.” - Joanna, 34

“Stay a virgin until you’re married.” - Bryan, 39

“Undergoing IVF: Just relax. It’ll happen.” - Mandy, 33

“Ladies love a good dick pic.” - Adam, 29

“Wanna lose weight? Start smoking cigarettes.” - Jasmine, 32

"You should move to New York." - Alex, 27

“‘Just be happy!’ I’m clinically depressed.” - Melissa, 30

“Wear two condoms. It’s more protection.” - Dom, 31

“Buy your house, don’t rent it.” - Pete, 38

“Have children now, when you’re younger.” - Katie, 24

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