Pick one and only one recommendation

Here’s my pet peeve:

Person 1: Anyone have a favorite book for new managers?

Person 2: Sure, here’s a list of ten of them.

What does “a favorite” mean to you, Person 2? Did I ask for ten favorites, butthead? How can you even have ten favorites? Person 2’s recommendations seem more like bragging (“look how much I read”) than trying to help.

I see it every time someone asks for a recommendation. Books, movies, bands, apps, restaurants, whatever. They ask for one and they get a dozen.

Multiple suggestions mean I have to do homework. How can I be sure I pick the best one?! I must research! Then four days later I’m still weighing the pros and cons. Ah, analysis paralysis, hello old friend.

Please, just give me one. There’s something beautiful about getting exactly one suggestion. I can take it or leave it. And if you don’t know enough about what I need to pick just one, then ask me for details instead of trying to land a direct hit via scattershot.

I get that picking just one is scary. What if they don’t like it, right? Then you led them astray! They’ll never trust you again! Well, suck it up. At least you had the courage to take a stance.

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