I voted for, “I am an idiot, but I don’t want to hear it from anyone.” Virtually every fellow idiot I know shares that same view.
While hiking, I generally prefer to mind my own business. At least as long as I am alone. Meeting other people on the trail is a personal delight, usually. (I don’t like crowds, but an encounter every hour or so or even half hour or fifteen minutes isn’t a bad thing, in my book.)
My way, upon meeting fellow hikers, is to offer a greeting. Some don’t respond, or reply with a grunt. With them, there is no further communication. Others are more affable, and some even seem to welcome an excuse to take a break. It is with the latter that I often converse, about many topics.
Some topics even are related to hiking.
So yes, I both receive (and even welcome) and give advice. Usually it has to do with trail conditions and related stuff about the route I’ve just been over, sometimes we get yakking about other places and favored routes, and so recommendations are offered (both ways). On occasion the conversation turns to equipment or other “preparation” matters, which also includes a certain amount of advice-giving.
I do refrain from being critical of those I meet. It does nothing to improve the day, for me, or them.
One conversation I had a few years ago was enigmatic. I met a couple with their two younger children – I’d say ages 7 and 9 (or 6 and 8) – on the trail near Johns Brook Lodge. They were headed “in,” I was headed “out” toward The Garden. We paused and chatted a minute. Suddenly, out of nowhere, the younger boy blurted out, “My Uncle Jimmy is fatter than you!”
Mom and Dad were mortified, naturally. But what could I do, except laugh it off?
So I did, and chuckled all the way back to town.