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What Is Your Opinion on Self-Help?

Hi folks.

What is your opinion on self-help, self-help junkies, and the self-help industry in general?

I don’t consider myself a self-help junkie NOW. But as a young and lonely boy back in the days, I was. Nowadays I’d rather read the Bible, a classic (like Meditations by Aurelius), and a Philosophy for Dummies type of book. And after those, I’d read about weight training.

I used to work at Walmart and encountered a co-worker in his fifties reading a self-help book and I thought “Dude, seriously, you’re over fifty and you’re still reading that?” And it was an amateuristic book, one of those with a really cheesy title. Something like “How to Stop Worrying and Start Living” and stuff like that. I was twenty-five back then and thought that if you’re in your fifties and that’s still your level of thinking, something ain’t working right. Really, folks, I mean no offense but it’s really what I think.

Some of them are pretty good though…

But what do you think? Useful, useless, or in-between?

Are you still working at walmart? (I assume you don’t mean corporate). If no, it seems to have worked well enough for you.

You’d have to follow up by asking if he works at all…

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I don’t. lol. I’m disabled.

I’ll leave it at that. I’d rather not talk about it.

Was just cracking a joke by pointing out a hole in the guy’s theory - turned out to be a bit of an awkward joke, so sorry for that, but rest assured, nobody is gonna require you to discuss personal business on here.

Oh good. lol. Thanks for clarifying that.

What theory do you even mean though? MY theory?

The theory that if you no longer work at Walmart then the self-help books did their magic. Discounting the possibility that you were disabled, my ‘hole-poke’ was a joking way of pointing out that if you had no job at all, then maybe they didn’t work.

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Never read a self help bok/manual/blog. I tend to dislike people telling me what to do and try to make my life as intuitive and spontaneous as possible… But in order to do that responsibly I’m VERY organized so when an idea or want hits, I already have all my shit in order and can pull the trigger immediately.

That is all to say, I’m sure self help stuff works for some people. And just because it doesn’t work for you, doesn’t mean that a lot of folks don’t get real benefit from it. Just don’t pay for it… The internet has everything for free.


The Walmart workplace is just like any environment in the world. It’s diverse, full good people and bad people.

I’ve met people in mental institutions literally MORE SANE than some of the dip-poops who work at Walmart. I’m not exaggerating.

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Well, celebrating 18 years of sobriety today, so

YEAH! Self help is awesome!

Next week it will suck though.

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25 years ago or so, I bought a book called “Super Self” that put me on track and set me up for a decent career. I didn’t have much direction before I read it.


Depends on your situation. If you do not have people in your life that are successful, positive and driven then there is a lot of value IMO (assuming you pick the right ones)

There is probably value for those that do as well but they are likely less impactful.

I would say there is almost certainly diminishing returns. These are really just tools and just like physical tools, one hammer brings great value but 15 do notm Once you go past a few books, I think you’re just confirming your own beliefs - which is fine if that’s what you want to do but just like diet/training not fine if you believe you are about to find out the secret the other 30 books didn’t give you


Best self help book I’ve ever read was The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People by Steven Covey. Then there was The Proper Care and Feeding of Husbands by Dr. Laura Schlesinger. Those two books helped shape how I am.


There is a great kid-raising book called “the blessing of the skinned knee”

I used it with the second set of kids after accidentally following the principles with the first set.

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I thought you’d made this up but no, there it is on Amazon. If I had bigger balls I’d get my wife a copy.


There is no other kind of help, so you better figure it out.

IMHO, or if I were you, I would first go to a qualified psychologist to pinpoint what exactly you need help for. Then get recommendations on relevant self-help books from him/her.

It’s not only logical, it’s the most efficient way to solve whatever problem(s) you might have.


As a disclaimer, I’ve never really read a self-help book in my life so I wouldn’t know their real efficacy. Sure, I’ve skimmed through some but I don’t think I got anything out of them.

All I know is that if I need help, it’s usually on specific things and I won’t want to waste my time going through different books with 70 percent of the info unrelated to my problems.

I think it really varies, given the fact that I’ve had a lot of mental health issues (depression, anxiety, social anxiety, psychosis and some ocd symptoms etc, I’ve read an absolute ton of self-help material + I’ve even published a website detailing my take on psychosis and how best to understand and hopefully at least manage psychotic symptoms.

To put it simply though, about a third of what I’ve read is so mega-obvious to probably any half way intelligent it’s almost not worth bothering with. Another third is basically advice that likely worked for the guy or ;lady who produced the self-help material, yet it likely won’t work for a lot of other people. And about a third of what I’ve experienced, at times is pure, solid gold.

The best support, help advice almost always comes from people with actual real world experience of issues a, b and c who have also taken the time to learn the theory behind what does and doesn’t work, who also have the necessary patience, articulacy and in some ways creativity to help others.


Yeah, already doing it. For a very long time.

Dude, she helps me a lot, it’s not even funny. I feel blessed.

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I know nothing about the book, except that it makes people I consider evil idiots extremely unhappy. So it’s probably worth a read.