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The Grown-Ass Woman's Guide: How to How-to, giving advice in six easy steps

You’re a grown ass woman. People know you. And they know you are a font of wisdom. This means that eventually they are going to ask you for some of it. “Wisdom, plz!” – that’s how they’re going to ask, because they’re probably asking you over Facebook chat, or Twitter, or online in some other way, because that’s how we talk to each other now. #2012

Lately I have found myself in the position of writing a number of how-to lists and other sundry piles of conjoined words from a “take this, my child, and learn” standpoint. I am unsure how I got to this place, and feel nervous about it more or less all the time, because I am 24 and this is the internet, and what do I even know about “sexting like a grown up” or making use of one’s undergraduate degree? I work part-time at a pub and my sexts have Shakespeare puns in them.* Regardless, it’s happened to me and it could happen to you. Here’s how to dispense advice, should you ever need to.

See Above

Open with a chilled out and relatable anecdote that reminds the worrier that we’re all on the same page. If you can make yourself look like an extreme nerd but maintain a semi-authoritative tone, so much the better. People don’t want advice from someone who thinks they’re better than them, but they also have to trust and like you enough to believe that what you’re saying is helpful. 

Expert Assistance

“Advice supported by data that is statistically proven or scientifically verifiable is often seen as more trust-worthy,” said Dr. Laura Goodname from the Institute of Advice-giving and Wisdomology in Boston, MA. “It doesn’t even matter if the statistics—or expert—in question are made up. What are they going to do, NOT believe a doctor?”

Say what you know

One piece of advice I would impart is not to get too high-concept with your how-tos. For example, you do not want to end up over-thinking sexting tips (just don’t say anything you don’t mean, is basically the only tip you need there)  or in an endless mise-en-abyme of meta commentary that you got yourself into and now have no idea how to escape.

Don’t be a dick

“Mise-en-abyme”? Shut up, Monica.

Platitudes, Platitudes, Platitudes

You miss 100% of the chances to kiss Joey Fatone on the lips that you don’t take. (He’s your favourite.) Shoot for the moon, even if you miss, your body will float in space forever, lost in time. There’s no I in “TOLD YOU, MOM.” When there was only one set of footsteps, that’s when I was guest-blogging for you.

End on a high note

This is a link to a picture of a monkey (SAVING A DOG FROM A FIRE!!!).

*For those wondering: “A clit, a very palpable clit!” is how that works.

~ Monica Heisey

Read more of Monica’s Grown-Ass Woman guides on hanging out in a gay bar without being a drag sneak-cercisesaying notwittertalking about your body anxietieshangover maintenancevintage clotheshow to have a long-distance relationshipsounding smart at cocktail parties, and packing to disappear.

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