The former Hoops hitman, speaking exclusively to Football Insider, told the right-back he needs to focus on defending.
Ralston, 22, has been a regular starter under Ange Postecoglou, making 18 appearances so far this season.
Bolingoli, 26, has only made two appearances this season with both of them coming in the Premiership.
However, according to McAvennie, it is Ralston who should be taking notes from Bolingoli if he wants to improve his game.
“Ralston should take notes from Bolingoli,” McAvennie told Football Insider correspondent Ben Wild.
“When you are a defender, you have to defend. I know it sounds simple but it’s true.
“Ralston gets forward a bit and he got a few goals at the start of the season but I want my defenders to defend.
“I have gone on about how Ralston goes missing before. Other players end up doing his work for him.
“Bolingoli actually defends. He was brilliant at the weekend. He sits back and does his job. That’s not too much to ask for me.
“Ralston wants to watch Bolingoli and how he plays, he needs to learn. He’s too lazy at the moment.
“There is a good player in there, just do your job.”
Bolingoli was sent out on loan last season after breaking lockdown rules and failing to tell the club.
He travelled abroad and proceeded to play a competitive game for the Hoops, potentially endangering every player on the pitch at the height of the pandemic.