Social Question

Vunessuh's avatar

Do you practice what you preach, or do you have the tendency to be a hypocrite and not follow your own advice?

Asked by Vunessuh (16686 points ) December 18th, 2009

When someone asks for help, I give suggestions to people about how to handle certain situations, break habits, fight demons, but sometimes have a very difficult time following my own advice, even if what I give is good advice and helps someone else.
Do you have an example like this from your own personal experience?
Why do we not listen to ourselves sometimes?

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63 Answers

ucme's avatar

Hypocrites, they’re all Greek to me! Say what I do Do what I say!

phillis's avatar

I’m as fake as they come. Not only do I NOT practice what I preach, I relish in it! I love nothing better than to stir up a bunch of crap, hurl insults and cause general dischord amongst others. I live for it. I tell EVERYBODY’S secrets and, while I’m doing it, I tell you that you can trust me. Ain’t that FUN? Dontcha just love that? There aren’t nearly enough of us.

Vunessuh's avatar

@ucme Good for you. Btw, you’re avatar is kind of awesome
@phillis We must be related ;-)

Cotton101's avatar

@phillis LMAO…..........

ucme's avatar

@Vunessuh Well it’s his birthday soon thought i’d introduce him to everyone!

Vunessuh's avatar

@ucme How thoughtful

belakyre's avatar

I try to practice what I preach, but for some messed up reason, I always mess up some time or another. That doesn’t stop me from hoping that I’ll get it right one day!

Vunessuh's avatar

@belakyre I’m in the same boat you are. Thanks for the honesty.

ucme's avatar

@Vunessuh Quite! I reckon he’s been asked how many sugars in his coffee!

grumpyfish's avatar

The conversation reminds me of the Forer Effect

“You have a great need for other people to like and admire you. You have a tendency to be critical of yourself. You have a great deal of unused capacity which you have not turned to your advantage. While you have some personality weaknesses, you are generally able to compensate for them. Disciplined and self-controlled outside, you tend to be worrisome and insecure inside. At times you have serious doubts as to whether you have made the right decision or done the right thing. You prefer a certain amount of change and variety and become dissatisfied when hemmed in by restrictions and limitations. You pride yourself as an independent thinker and do not accept others’ statements without satisfactory proof. You have found it unwise to be too frank in revealing yourself to others. At times you are extroverted, affable, sociable, while at other times you are introverted, wary, reserved. Some of your aspirations tend to be pretty unrealistic. Security is one of your major goals in life.”

And, I agree—I tend to give better advice than I follow =)

AnnieB's avatar

@grumpyfish Wow! That’s ME!

To answer the question…Sometimes, I am a hypocrite. Sometimes, it’s easier said, than done.

Vunessuh's avatar

@grumpyfish I’ve never heard of the Forer Effect before. Thanks for sharing. While I disagree with how at least half of it personally pertains to me (some of it does; some of it is dead on), I could see how it would relate to most people with this specific problem. It’s always easy to give advice. Not so much in following it yourself.
@AnnieB Easier said than done is right on the money. Thanks.

Scooby's avatar

I like to think I’m practicing what I preach although I don’t tend to preach! I offer advice but never listen when it’s offered to me, well sometimes I do !! :-/
Ain’t life HELL!! Lol…

Vunessuh's avatar

@Scooby Life sure is a challenge Scooby. I think it’s natural for a lot of people to ignore advice though. Mostly because they’re looking for someone to give them something they want to hear as opposed to something truthful. Like the saying goes, the truth hurts.

Scooby's avatar

That’s right!! the truth does hurt!! I prefer people to be honest with me as I am with them!! it works both ways even if it really hurts I prefer honesty, it’s the only way to find the real you or me!! ;-)

stranger_in_a_strange_land's avatar

@grumpyfish Great writeup on the Forer Effect. +GA

phillis's avatar

Does it have to, though? Does it really have to hurt? I’m not so sure about that. In some instances, you have to bash someone’s head in order to get through to them. but I think that’s not what normal life is on a daily basis. Did I take what you said to an extreme, Scooby? If so, I apologize. Let me know!

SABOTEUR's avatar

There’s a saying I’m always consciously aware of which helps put things in perspective regarding, “practicing what you preach”:

“You teach what you most need to learn.”

Vunessuh's avatar

It only hurts if we let it. If we’re open to the honesty (sometimes brutal honesty) it is actually more relieving than anything.
If people weren’t afraid of the truth, especially the truth within themselves, they would see that.
@SABOTEUR Now THAT was brilliant. I’ve never looked at it that way before. Thank you. GA.

stranger_in_a_strange_land's avatar

I make a major effort not to preach what I’m unwilling to practice. Actually I try not to preach at all. The principles that I have chosen to follow in my life, I will follow even to my own disadvantage. e.g. many social programs that I support would lead to greatly increased taxes in my income bracket, but what is right is right.

Cotton101's avatar

Very few people practice what they preach! Ask Jimmy Swagger…but, having said that, that is okay! We are not perfect human beings!

Scooby's avatar

It all depends on the other person Phillis, when I see someone who is falling to pieces over silly things in their life, I’ll be blunt to the point of coming across as being aggressive, it’s like you said though it’s not Dailey life just the odd time, we all need a kick in pants from time to time!! I know I do! :-/

SABOTEUR's avatar

@Vunessuh:

A woman walked many miles to seek the assistance of a wise man to rid her young son of the smoking habit. Upon listening to the woman’s request, the wise man agreed to help, provided the woman return with the child in six months time.

Now the woman had traveled a great distance, but gratefully did as the wise man requested.

Upon returning to the wise man six months later, the wise man placed his hands upon and looked gravely upon the young man and quietly said,

“Stop smoking.”

The boy’s mother was enraged.

“YOU HAD BE TRAVEL ALL THOSE MILES JUST TO TELL THE BOY TO STOP SMOKING?! WHY DIDN’T YOU DO THAT SIX MONTHS AGO?!”

The wise man quietly replied,

“Six months ago I was a smoker.”

Vunessuh's avatar

@stranger_in_a_strange_land I try not to preach as well, unless someone asks for help OR unless I care about them tremendously. Thanks for your answer.
@Cotton101 Completely agreed. Thank you.
@SABOTEUR A short story with more meaning than most people will ever recognize. Thank you.

phillis's avatar

@Scooby, Thanks! I agree with that completely. I am able to handle a harsh truth better than most folks, but I also have to take that intoconsideration when talking to others, right? I agree completely…..some folks need a good swift kick in the ass to shake them out of their current thinking process.

Scooby's avatar

Yep!! Like I said! I do too!! more often than not! Lol.. ;-)

posted it in the wrong window!! Lol….

Leanne1986's avatar

I rarely practice what I preach. I will often give someone, what I consider to be, very good advice and then I think to myself “if only I could follow that advice myself!” This is especially the case when it comes to matters of the heart.

Vunessuh's avatar

@Leanne1986 Thank you. I agree, it is especially hard to follow that same advice regarding matters of the heart and/or when dealing with something extremely personal.

J0E's avatar

Let’s just say if you take my advice you’ll end up okay, if you follow how I act…you’ll be disapointed.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

I do try to practice what I preach
maybe I’m not always 100% successful
but I am 95% so

Vunessuh's avatar

@J0E While it is the truth for me sometimes as well, I hope we can learn from it.
@Simone_De_Beauvoir That’s great! You’re ahead of most of us! :)

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@Vunessuh I don’t know – I got that number out of my butt – it’s not like I can actually quantify it

Vunessuh's avatar

@Simone_De_Beauvoir But the keyword is ‘try’.
I try as well, but most people don’t because they are either ignorant enough to not recognize it or refuse to. Some people are too stubborn, too arrogant, too selfish…they give advice, but can be so clouded by their arrogance and rebellion that they are incapable of following it.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@Vunessuh Well I am pretty hard on myself in that I expect a lot of myself and ‘practicing what I preach’ is very big on my list of things to accomplish in terms of my character development

Vunessuh's avatar

@Simone_De_Beauvoir It’s a learning process. As long as you’re growing from it. Thanks.

Symbeline's avatar

I’m a hypocrite, I don’t follow a damn thing I say. But unlike most people, I’m aware of it.

phillis's avatar

@Simone_De_Beauvoir – whas that 94% off and own it! Even the effort is worthy of acknowledgement, as I see it. I’m actually quite impressed that you put forth that much effort.

@Symbeline – You’re such a mess! No wonder I adore you :)

danbambam's avatar

when it comes to dating I’m a total hypocrite.

Shemarq's avatar

Do as I say, not as I do . . . . . that is my motto and I’m sticking to it.

Shemarq's avatar

@Vunessuh Hey darlin’! How are you doing?

TominLasVegas's avatar

Hypocrite and damn proud of it!Hooray for me and my flaws!

Brian1946's avatar

I’m the epitome of personal consistency. ;)

I’m like Tiger Woods preaching marital fidelity, Donald Trump advocating humility, Mel Gibson preaching tolerance, Rush Limbaugh criticizing somebody for being overweight, or Larry Craig opposing gay rights: men’s restroom romeo . ;)

Actually, I think I’m fairly consistent in terms of what I advocate and my actions, and I’m not that preachy, so I can’t think of any specific hypocrisies that I have.

However, I doubt that any person is 100% consistent, so I’m sure I have some.

I know that I’m emotionally inconsistent on some issues, but I try to be intellectually consistent on them.

Vunessuh's avatar

@Brian1946 Good for you as far as the consistency goes on following your own advice. I agree that we see that kind of hypocrisy in the media ALL THE TIME. Which indeed is one of the factors that prompted this question.
@TominLasVegas Thank you. Hooray for honesty as well. :)

Tomfafa's avatar

I preach… you practice!

Vunessuh's avatar

@Tomfafa Sounds gud. :)

dutchbrossis's avatar

I probably am hypocritical about some things. I truly try to practice what I preach though

Silhouette's avatar

Every now and then a situation comes along where I don’t like the advice I’d give me so I ignore it and do what’s easiest. I can be as cheesy as the next fella.

Vunessuh's avatar

Thanks Silhouette. Perfect example of why I’m careful for who I go to for advice. Sometimes the worst feeling is needing help deciding what to do and being disappointed at the suggestions someone gives you.

Silhouette's avatar

@Vunessuh That’s what we all do.

Vunessuh's avatar

@Silhouette Meh. Some people pitch their woes to everybody and their mother, but I guess those people aren’t really looking for advice.

Silhouette's avatar

@Vunessuh I know when I am seeking advice I have many questions. When I’m pissin and moaning I only have one question and it’s “Don’t you agree?”

Vunessuh's avatar

@Silhouette I have many questions as well, but I reserve them for specific people. I find that people who talk to 471 people about their troubles are probably only wanting attention, not advice.
And yes, when I’m pissy, you best agree with me or an ass whoppin’ is in order. :)

Silhouette's avatar

@Vunessuh To me it doesn’t matter so much how many people they talk to about their problem it’s more about how many times they have the same problem. You’re full of shit, you don’t get ugly if people disagree with you, you take it like a man.lol I’ve seen you get disagreed with here and you’re always a good sport about it.

Vunessuh's avatar

@Silhouette You bring up a good point. It does matter more so how many times they have the same problem. I just keep thinking about one of my friends who will tell anybody her woes as long as they’re willing to listen, even if she doesn’t know them. There are just some things you keep to yourself around certain people. At least get to know the person first, because it can be overwhelming to the person you just met. That’s what I mean by people doing it for attention. Not to mention she has the same problem often and there’s not one piece of advice you can give her that will “help”. I think she wants to ravish in the attention a bit more first.
And of course I was kidding. :) I stay relatively composed during those moments.

Silhouette's avatar

@Vunessuh Very true. I was recently involved in a situation and I spread my tell of woe hither and yon. I was seeking attention for the issue and for myself. Today someone pointed out how that’s turned into a burden for them. All I could do was accept the responsibility for my actions and admit to the selfishness of them. Had I been seeking advice I’d have held my cards a little closer to my chest. A lot of people pretend to be seeking advice when what they really want is an audience, others think if they listen some sort of action is required of them.

Vunessuh's avatar

@Silhouette I think it’s human nature for everybody to want a little attention every once in a while. It can make you feel loved or valuable or important. That can be what venting and/or ranting is for. We’ve all done that. But it’s not good when it gets to this narcissistic approach where people advertently create problems for themselves just so they have something to bitch about, so they can feel that sympathy and sorrow from others, even from people they don’t even know. That’s when it’s not cool in my book.

Silhouette's avatar

@Amen sista!

Coloma's avatar

Quite frankly I have lost nearly all interest in advising anyone.
I very rarely ask for advice but am sought out as an adviser.

I’d say I ‘walk my talk’ pretty consistantly.

peridot's avatar

I try to not be a hypocrite, but it does happen. It’s so much easier to “solve” problems you yourself aren’t living with…

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