I used to take advice regularly. I saw all the folks ignoring their good advice, and I was determined to not be like that. Autism superpowers activate! They couldn't tell good advice from bad, why would I be able to? I'll take all of it. The conflicting bits I'll take alternately and compare. Secretly I have high agreeableness and would rather get along.
Unfortunately all the advice was bad. Haha, joke's on me.
You know the advice I needed to hear?
"Yeah, you're right. They don't respect you. So quit. You can't walk through walls without using a door, you can't fly to the moon by flapping your arms, you can't draw a circle with corners, and you can't offer advice worth a damn. Fun fact: impossible things are impossible."
Who offers this advice? It's plain brutal. Nobody offers it. Jocko: "No no it's just in your head, everyone loves you." Yeah thanks heard that one before.
The first time I offered myself the advice, I took it. I took everyone's advice, but especially my own. And it fuckin' worked. You know respect isn't needed to live? And you can just let folk fail? They were going to fail anyway, but now I don't look like a douche. (I am a douche, but I don't look like one IRL. In fact I had to tone down the persona's charisma because I was regularly getting limpets.)
When my brutal advice worked, I immediately wondered. What other brutal things would work? Well, all your base. I offered myself the nastiest shit I could possibly imagine and damn it has been effective. I got most of it during the first pass but I did miss a major one until just last year. I'm somewhat addicted. If it's not caustic enough to pry apart flesh and bone I can hardly be bothered. My last one knocked me on my ass for two weeks, and that's about the level I like. Borderline existential crisis.
If you think about it, all advice is brutal. You can lie about it or you can be upfront. I guess that's being 'indirect'. What's Jocko actually saying to this poor sap? "Yeah you're wrong about everything and actually your judgment is bad, your lived experience is pure illusion. Reals not feels jackhole, haha. This is what I sound like when I'm trying to be nice." You know what? That's properly caustic. Might be true. Let's check. (Later.) It sure as hell ain't nice. It's wearing the smiley drama mask, but being 'indirect' is a fuckin' lie, that's what's wrong with it.
Let's think about it: either the caustic version is true, or not. If it's true, it turns out he's an idiot and there's no cure for idiocy. You're fucked, have fun with that mate. If it's false - if in fact his environment has a respect problem - Jocko's advice is worthless due to being wrong on both levels. The advice is self-refuting in all conceivable situations.
By contrast, "don't offer advice" is especially true. If you're an idiot, well that explains why nobody respects you or takes your advice, doesn't it? If you're not an idiot, odds are your environment has a respect problem. It's not you, it's them, but it still means: don't offer advice. They have head injuries which are in the way. Impossible things are impossible.
But wait, there's more. The poor sap is going to feel like he was offered the caustic version whether it's veiled or not. I've never seen someone successfully let down easy. Have you? Rejection feels like rejection, which feels like failure. There's no combination of words or etiquette which makes failure feel like not-failure; and thank God for small mercies. Sure, don't deliberately add a pain garnish on the pain steak, but... Likewise, being called an idiot feels like being called an idiot, no matter how fancy you dress it up.
Let's twist the knife. Jocko is saying, "Oh yeah, sure folk respect you. I mean, I don't, but others, yeah definitely those others who I don't even know as well as a faceless letter." Savage. Shit, what would this bastard say if he was trying to be mean?
All advice boils down to virtue signalling. "I know how to run your life and you don't." If that's true, it's brutal. If it's false, you're an asshole. In almost all cases they know how to run their life better than you by virtue of years of experience. "Hey fattie, you need to lose weight." Fatty: "Shocking insight Sherlock. You spend all night figuring that out?" They either already know or they're a fuckin' idiot and can't take the advice anyway.
Basically humans are rational. If their rationale doesn't seem to make sense it's merely because they're lying to you. Work out what the action will accomplish and infer they intend to do that thing. Typically the motivation for lying to you will be immediately obvious. Taking your advice would have stopped them from accomplishing their real goal, so... The fatty is fat because they care more about other things than about losing weight. Starvation diets are bad for you but if you're willing to be hungry forever you can be as skinny as you want. It's never impossible. Anorexics are the opposite. They care more about being skinny than about little things like not dying. No accounting for taste. "You might buy it!" Real talk: "Yeah. So?"
This poor sap is probably playing some sort of Game that People Play. Slave morality: being persecuted is holy. If he can offer good advice (the best! peer-reviewed and everything!) and get it rejected, he is persecuted, and thus a Good Person. Woe is Me or I Got You Now, SOB. He's deliberately trying to get his advice rejected, but has this niggling small voice saying that even winning this 4D chess game isn't worth the time spent playing...
I do occasionally get asked for advice, but in meatspace I always deflect. They don't want advice, they want affirmation, but I hate lying so that doesn't work out. I suppose in theory you could probably do [a fool who persists in his folly becomes wise]. Want to get a tattoo? Double down man. Get a whole sleeve. I know this one guy (on twitch) and he's was so happy with his sleeve he had to get another. It was expensive and he was saving up and everything. Problem being this is a touch too parasitic. Feels like I would be encouraging others to really fuck up their life so I look better by comparison. Falling institutions should be pushed but I'm less sanguine about treating poor gullible individuals like that.
I still occasionally offer advice. When I feel like deliberately being a dick. The only point is to set up an, "I told you so," which in turn only serves the cause of being smug.