Why do people avoid seeking advice?

My personal experiences, research, and discussions have uncovered 28 reasons that lead people not to seek personalized advice from others.

For example, here are three:

  • they just don’t think of it (this is very common)
  • they are too shy to approach others
  • they don’t want to share credit for a successful outcome

I’d like to hear from readers about their own thoughts, stories, and reasons why they or others haven’t proactively sought advice on important issues at work or in life.

7 Responses to Why do people avoid seeking advice?

  1. Dave Cohen says:

    In a corporate setting, I believe people often avoid seeking advice due to concerns about exposing themselves politically or in some other way creating negative impressions with the advisor.

    If you have a trusted advisor, this should not be an issue.

    But, many people think of their boss as an advisor and that is not always the best advisor/advice-seeker relationship.

  2. People don’t seek advice because of insecurity. When you seek advice you are admitting that you don’t know something. A secure person is not afraid to show vulnerability and knows that nobody has all of the answers.

    But an insecure person feels that they must hide the fact that they do not know or are uncertain about something. They feel that it makes them look weak.

  3. Lindsay says:

    I’m comparing this scenario to a “Day at The Spa.”

    You know that the spa will make you feel better, look better and even have a renewed energy, yet it always gets pushed off to the side and your busy life takes hold. Yet, the thought remains in a special place, with other fantasy to-do’s, somewhere in your mind.

    Much is the same for taking the time to seek advice and participate in training events. I know that after going to the EGC I will feel reenergized and approach business challenges with a new found confidence and gusto, however day-to-day operations typically seem to win the debate of to go or not to go.

    I plan to attend the EGC and by winning a ticket I will tell the daily events to take the day off — this workin’ mama is going to the spa! (of business that is)

  4. Marc says:

    I don’t know why others don’t seek advice but I can explain my reasons:

    1. Hubris – thinking I can go it alone and know more than others.
    2. Not knowing who to ask in my network, and not being creative about reaching out for answers I might not know exist. I.e. – I should be open to expecting the unusual & stimulating response from random people.

  5. Manuela B. Kuchta says:

    I think it boils down to human nature. One reason is pride not wanting to appear stupid or inadequate. The fall out that may occur as a result of asking, exposing ones’s weaknesses.
    Sometimes people have too high of an opinion of their skills and knowledge and feel as though they are above asking for advice.
    Myself, I am open to all the good advise I can obtain through EGC, reading and of course asking others.

  6. [sexism warning] Being reluctant to ask for advice is most commonly a male problem. It’s the man who refuses to stop and ask directions when the couple is lost. And it is men who are less likely to take advice when it is given.

  7. federick says:

    the number 1 reason 4 is nothing but pride. Humility has vanished 4rm d society today and dats d coz of most problems. But my advice for those who have nw made up their mind to start seeking advice is dat they should never seek advice on all aspect of their lives from one person because when u do, u giv him/her total acess over u. Have different people to seek different advice from and in dat way, u are more safe. For any comment, u can also contact me via jahkid4life@yahoo.com

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