Asking for advice shouldn’t be a difficult thing to do but sometimes it really feels like it is. Maybe you don’t want to bother someone, or maybe you feel like you’ll be perceived as weak because you’re essentially asking for help. We can assure you that asking for advice is a great way to figure something out, and 99% of the time you’ll be better off having another opinion other than your own. You probably already know that it would be beneficial to bounce an idea or two off someone, but you might not feel totally comfortable doing so. That’s when having some excuses for asking for advice to throw out there could help you save face and still get the information you want.
Our best excuses for asking for advice
We won’t distract you with a long-winded paragraph about the nature of advice excuses, nor will we drop some Chinese proverbs that could relate to your situation. Instead, we’ll get straight into our list of the best excuses you can give if you want to ask for advice.
1. You’re not an expert
Why spend hours researching the topic if you know someone who’s already an expert? Not only will they save you from wasting time, but they’ll probably also have a much wider area of knowledge when it comes to other applicable topics. That means you won’t just be getting the textbook answer, you’ll be getting the benefit of experience too. For example, if you asked your traffic lawyer friend what the minimum fine for doing 15 mph over the speed limit is, you’d get the fine amount, plus all the ways you might be able to reduce said fine in court. They might even offer to fight your ticket for you or at least give you some workable excuses for speeding. Situations like that are why if you know an expert who can help, you should definitely speak to them – no need to have an excuse for asking for advice.
2. I have too much on my plate
You would spend the time figuring something out for yourself if you weren’t so busy at the moment. Coming to the right conclusion often takes time, which sometimes you won’t have, and if you can ask for advice to speed things up, then you should.
3. I don’t have the resources to figure it out
If figuring out the thing you’re unsure of requires some research, then it might be that you don’t even have access to the information you need. This happens a lot when you delve deeper into a topic and really get down to the nitty-gritty aspects. For example, if you were looking to buy a Japanese carbon steel cooking knife but weren’t sure what type of steel or blacksmith is best (trust us, there are thousands of combinations out there), you would quickly find the readily available information is lacking. Sure, you could look up the elemental composition of a certain steel, but you still wouldn’t know how good the heat treat is, or what edge grind was employed. The only way to figure that out is to ask the advice of someone who has seen, handled, or used the knives in question and can advise you on what decision to make.
4. My internet connection is down
Asking people for advice these days can often be met with a “Google it yourself” attitude. Instead of helping you with their knowledge, someone might expect you to simply search for the answer online. That would be a good time to use your internet being down as an excuse to ask for advice, because after all, your research would be at a big disadvantage without internet.
5. My library card expired
Similarly, saying you don’t have internet, you could say that your library membership isn’t active and the info you’re looking for is out of reach. We don’t get why people would be stingy with advice if they have something that might help you, but if they are, this can be a handy excuse to ask for advice.
6. There’s a time constraint
You need to know something quickly which means that spending the time to research and ponder is out of the question. If you’re lucky and know someone who can help you make a snap decision correctly, then you need to reach out to them and ask for their advice.
7. You’ve been down this road before
Research papers, YouTube videos, and Reddit posts are all tools you can use to make a decision, but none of those are as valuable as experience. Why ask someone without kids if you should have a baby? Will they have the best answer? Probably not. Better to seek out someone who’s experienced in the matter (has kids), so you’ll get advice based on real-world experience as opposed to hearsay and speculation.
8. It’s an important decision
If there’s a lot riding on your decision, you better make the right one. In this case, the more opinions you get, the better. You obviously don’t need to take the advice you’re given, but it never hurts to hear as many points of view as you can. You never know if something will pop out at you and be helpful, or if your own ideas will get validated in the process.
9. I can’t make up my mind
Fretting over a decision? Reaching out to someone you trust, or someone who might know the answer to what you’re pondering is a great idea. You asking for someone else’s opinion might provide a new insight or reinforce what you’ve already been leaning towards. Using this as an excuse to ask for advice works well because it shows you’ve done your homework, and that you value someone else’s opinion.
You don’t need excuses to ask for advice – people are happy to help
When you need to ask someone for advice, you might feel like you’re being a burden. Truth is, it’s quite the opposite and people usually want to help. Think about what you would do if the roles were reversed. Wouldn’t you want to tell someone what you think about their question, concern, or problem? Asking someone for help will make them feel that you trust them and value their opinion, which is a really empowering thing. You might even find that your friendship or bond gets stronger because you reached out to this person.
Do you need excuses to ask your parents for advice?
Your parents have been through a lot more than you and they also probably know you really well. These two things rank them at the top of the list when it comes to people to get advice from (provided the topic is something you’re comfortable sharing). They’ll also never expect an excuse to ask for advice from you, quite the opposite, they’ll want to give you their opinions.
Of course, depending on the relationship you have with your parents you might not feel comfortable asking them for advice. If that’s the case, you’ll need to weigh your need for their guidance, and their depth of knowledge on the topic against your own feelings, or just have a really good excuse for asking for advice.
Will your friends expect an excuse to ask for advice?
Other than your parents, your close friends are the next best people to get advice from. They’ll know you well, likely have similar interests, and should also have your best interests at heart. You shouldn’t need an excuse to ask friends for advice, but you might feel like you want to give one anyway. That’s ok, because saving face is important, even when it comes to your trusted friends, and you might want to “play it cool” and not show any weakness. That’s understandable, but if you need an opinion, just go for it and ask – you can always follow up with a reason or excuse for asking someone’s advice.