Advice Columnists

I just finished reading an internet advice column.  I am damn glad I am not an internet advice columnist. Someone writes to you 500 words.  From those 500 words you are supposed to figure out what their real problem is — in a sense, it’s never what they think it is — and then offer wise advice on how to deal with it.  Yeah.

This poor advice columnist I was just reading — the guy has a conscience!  He honestly wants to be helpful, and he does not want to settle for less than giving good advice.   For some reason, that causes me to feel concern for him.  Perhaps I even feel sorry for him.  How can anyone do that job?

In person, face-to-face, some people are gifted therapists.  Effective therapists.  But how can anyone be effective as an advice columnist? Effective with only 500 words to go on?

3 thoughts on “Advice Columnists”

  1. Paul, the US papers had Ann Landers, even after her demise. In Montreal, La Presse had Colette and the Montreal Gazette ran Ann Landers. You had Emily Post and now her daughter. That Blogland got an advice columnist is no great wonder nor surprise.
    Some folks just need Big brother somewhere, somehow. I never heard any of the advisors had ever been sued either. Strange in civil suit land.


  2. I never understood the lack of lawsuits either given the glib responses on little data and the extreme loading up on malpractice insurance in the therapy profession. I think advice columnists are something like fortune tellers. Their advice is vague enough it can be interpreted different ways and for the complicated ones, they always say “go see a therapist.”


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