Tag Archives: advice

Me ripping on an innocent, well-intentioned person cowardly on the Internet

I found this adorable article while I was reading blogs about the season finale of Bachelorette 7. Well, okay, it’s not really an article. It’s just a list, and it’s titled “10 Things to say to a Friend Who Says “I’m So Fat!” In this post, I will be responding to a few highlights from the post.

  1. “Would you say that to me? Okay, so don’t say it to yourself.”
  2. “I think you’re hurting your feelings.”

So, you’re agreeing that they’re fat and just telling them not to admit it because it’s rude?

“Compared to what? Photoshopped magazine covers?”

Legitimately obese people are also “so fat” compared to Photoshopped magazine covers.

“You feel fat? I feel like it’s BS that we judge our bodies by how they look instead of what they can do.”

Bodies can generally do a lot more if they’re not overweight.

Okay, now that I sufficiently sound like a dick, I’ll try to add more clarity and perhaps even be constructive.

First off, if your friend is not actually fat, don’t come up with a line that may leave open the possibility that you agree with their assessment.

If they are fat… well… I realize that sometimes, people don’t want to hear the truth, and they just want to feel better about themselves. However, realistically, someone that is overweight isn’t being done much of a favor if all of their friends are reinforcing the message that it’s okay to be overweight. Aside from aesthetics, with obesity comes serious health risks, and if they want to reduce their risk of having to spend the rest of their lives measuring their blood glucose on a daily basis, they should probably consider changes in diet and exercise.

So what would I say? Well, if they’re male and have <15% body fat or female and <20%, I’d call them an asshole and tell them to F off. If they’re above that but not obese, sure, I’d probably use something in the article above (that doesn’t actually imply that I agree with their assessment of being “so fat.”) If they are actual risking their health, I’d probably ask them if they’d considered making some changes to reduce their health risks. Easier said than done, but that’s probably the right thing to do, right?

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Oh and I don’t want your unsolicited stock advice at all

enronOn occasion, I’ll have an interesting conversation with someone about stocks and finance. The person I’m talking to will bring up some numbers, but it’ll mostly be about durable competitive advantage, specific plans for growth, and I’ll learn something.

Most of the time, however, I just find people sharing their uninformed opinions about things, and it’s really depressing. It’s like they used the following steps to make their stock pick:

  1. Hear something from a dubious source. For example, a friend that has no business giving any stock advice.
  2. Notice that the stock prices have been going up.
  3. Rationalize why the stock would be doing so well with a bunch of buzz words. “Monetize,” “China,” and “growth potential” seem to be good ones.
  4. Proceed to not actually buy the stock – just be satisfied with knowing that you are a stock expert.

So, in order to avoid being that guy, here are my following rules for sharing opinions on investing:

  • I don’t do it.

If you ask a specific question, I can talk about relevant things I’ve read, and I’ll try to cite my sources, but I am no diviner of good stocks, and I will not pretend to be one.

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I want your unsolicited gym advice about as much as I want your unsolicited stock tips

ultimate-gym-fail-in-3-2-1Let me start this post out by saying that if Mark Rippetoe ever ran into me at the gym and started giving me unsolicited advice on lifting, I would absolutely take it seriously and thank him. If Warren Buffett ever ran into me anywhere and gave me unsolicited advice on stocks or economics, I’d probably take that pretty seriously.

However, that never happens, and instead, I see that the vast majority of people at the gym are doing dumb stuff (ever see someone on the Smith machine?). Why are they doing such dumb stuff? Because their friend that “knows a lot about lifting” told them to do it. That person probably heard it from someone else that “knows a lot about lifting.” From there, it’s turtles all the way down… until you get to some illiterate gym rat who originated the technique.

But is there something about the gym that makes people more inclined to want to give you advice? I’d guess it’s some machismo thing, but I’ve got no evidence to back that up, so I’ll just say “I don’t know.” I do know that I don’t want to be “that guy,” so I created a few rules about helping people at the gym. I won’t do it unless:

  1. The person asks for it. Verbally.
  2. The person is going to hurt themselves.

And for #2, I don’t mean “I think long term, he’ll find better results if he follows my advice.” I mean “this guy is about to drop a 500lb barbell on his neck.” This has never happened before, but I imagine that one day, I’m going to see someone benching too much without a spot with a suicide grip, and I’m going to stand by until he starts failing, and then I’m going to help guide the bar up and tell him he’s an idiot.

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