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Self-help Books


Llwellyn
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I really like self-help books. The Bible never offered any valuable information about how to be saved, instead it just concocted the problem of divine vengeance and then filled my cognitive circuitry with spyware.

 

Self-help books, on the other hand, tell us how we can be saved from disfunction, hopelessness, and Christianity. Here are my top four books:

 

"The Feeling Good Handbook by David D. Burns

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Leaving the Fold by Marlene Winell

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Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway by Susan Jeffers

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Dying of Embarrassment: Help for Social Anxiety & Phobia by Barbara Markway, Cheryl N. Carmin (Ph.D.), C. Alec Pollard, Teresa Flynn

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Do you guys read self-help books? Which have been your favorite?

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My favourite self-help books........hmmm. The Art of Learning to Love Yourself by Cecil Osbourne had a tremendous impact on my life because it was the first book I read on self-esteem. I could probably have learned the same things from a dozen other authors but this is the one I happened to stumble across. Something told me to buy it so I borrowed money off a friend to buy it. It introduced me to the idea that perhaps my problems were not all my fault and that perhaps my up-bringing had something to do with who I was now. That was twenty years ago.

 

Llwellyn, thanks for listing Marlene Winnel's book. I've been wanting that book for years and couldn't get it because it's out of print. The one you listed linked me to Amazon's used books and I have now placed an order. Hopefully I will soon have a copy in my hands.

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I personally don't like self help books. I have tried many of them. I've found that it simply takes time to get past certain emotional wounds and that some wounds just take longer to heal than others. You can imagine having as many conversations with your inner child all you want, but IMO, it still takes time to heal.

 

I have found journaling to be a great method of stress relief, though. It's especially good when you can't talk to anyone or don't have anyone to talk to.

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I don't like self help books anymore either.....the bible put me off big time or the idea that someone else can tell you how to live your life. I've read a bundle of them in my time. Thankfully didn't take it all to heart ....imagine all the niffty labels a person can wear - its too much..

 

besides....a book is only a book....its a great way to cop out and not do any 'real' work to change stuff that might be troubling you or fucking up your life.

 

Every man and his cat seems to be writing one these days....

 

I agree you are your own best 'expert'....journaling works best I think

 

oh and art

love the visuals

great way to express emotions that you can put into words

 

yeah..love art.

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Snookums and Amethyst,

 

Putting down self-help books because you didn't need the help is really weird. They were my life-line. If I were the only person who NEEDED these books they would never have been written. I think this question is addressed to people who needed them and used them and benefited from them.

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Snookums and Amethyst,

 

Putting down self-help books because you didn't need the help is really weird. They were my life-line. If I were the only person who NEEDED these books they would never have been written. I think this question is addressed to people who needed them and used them and benefited from them.

 

I think you misunderstand. I needed the help, but they didn't give it to me. I gave it to me myself, on my own. I have nothing against people who get help from them. I am just saying that I personally did not get any help from reading them. I have bought a half dozen or so such books over the past couple of years. The only thing that helped me was myself.

 

Also, nowhere in the OP did I see that people who did not care for them were not allowed to respond.

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yes I also think 'you' are your own best 'expert' in your life.

 

as I said...I read a bundle of them but I found that in the end reading them didn't help me. I'm speaking for myself and that's what I recommend ...to write for yourself - using your own words.

 

Self help is big business these days....it saves money not to bother with them anymore...oh and library shelf space.

 

the amount of old stuff I've thrown out lately...I'm embrassed to let you some of the titles...really bad 70's stuff - right down to the 'road less travelled'...tripe.!

 

as far as I'm concerned..its a fad - money making -self obsessed trip

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I might get some flack for this due to his reputation, but personally, I thought that Awakening the Giant Within by Anthony Robbins was great.

 

He gets into some weird stuff where he introduces mantras and such, which I consider bullshit. 50% of the advice he offers though is quite apt and even profound. Some charge he stole it from others. Big deal. He is a good communicator and he has obviously read a serious amount of books going back to Aristotle and has taken the good stuff whereever he could find it. This book has been a big inspiration to me in the past and has helped me put together the gumption to get my own business started, and in generally, to be free to just be me and pursue what I want.

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I might get some flack for this due to his reputation, but personally, I thought that Awakening the Giant Within by Anthony Robbins was great.

 

I see your point VDF but relax, people find inspiration in strange places and if something helps you put life in perspective, great.

 

I never actually read one of Robbins's books but his infomercial did have an impact on my life. In his early years, he highlighted something like:

**If you wanted to be successful at doing something, you should find people who are succeeding at it and emulate them.**

 

As a result of that idea coming into my awareness I began to watch people more carefully to see what was working for them and what was not. This was very helpful for dealing with people but I have used this in several ways. I watch people with well behaved/adjusted kids and ask what they have (besides better genes ha ha) that I can use.

 

I have also found Dale Carnegie's How to Win Friends and Influence People is a great book that I would recommend for young adults. It is unabashedly simple but it is also practical and also packed with common sense.

 

I read a book on body language once and while it did not make a resounding impact, it raised my awareness of body language and got me watching certain things in people.

 

In a sence, I target "how to" type self-help books and have found this approach quite successful.

 

On the other hand, at the behest of someone I read Real Magic by Wayne Dyer. He confuses me and I can't grasp his point. I once tried to listen to some Depak Chopra tapes and the same thing happened. I've read some Zimbardo and some others. About 1/8 of the way into these types of authors, I want to grab them by the throat, shake them violently and ask "What is your damn point?" I believe that people should be careful of any author who overcomplicates social issues. If you are not getting it, don't assume the problem is you.

 

Mongo

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Being raised in a wacked-out alcoholic family I've found books by Timmen Cermak and Janet Woititz to be helpful. Alice Miller is also interesting.

 

In a way I look at any book as a "self-help" book, because I can take an idea from any book and run with it. I don't care if it's Robert Heinlein or Matt Groening or Margaret Atwood, anything is fair game.

 

I'm reading the Tao Te Ching at the moment, so we'll see if I get anything out of it.

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I highly recommend a book by a fellow Atheist, and friend of mine:

 

Dr. Albert Ellis (foundation) (bio)

 

His book: A Guide to Rational Living, is great. If no other self help book helped you, this one will.

 

I also taught REBT for 10 years. I know it works. I've seen it work. It might not be for everyone, but those that have integrated it into their lives say it works wonders.

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yes I also think 'you' are your own best 'expert' in your life.

 

as I said...I read a bundle of them but I found that in the end reading them didn't help me. I'm speaking for myself and that's what I recommend ...to write for yourself - using your own words.

 

Self help is big business these days....it saves money not to bother with them anymore...oh and library shelf space.

 

the amount of old stuff I've thrown out lately...I'm embrassed to let you some of the titles...really bad 70's stuff - right down to the 'road less travelled'...tripe.!

 

as far as I'm concerned..its a fad - money making -self obsessed trip

 

I agree with this. Self-help books may help people to get over similar experiences, but it has its limits where the result is far different than what one is looking for. One should be their own guide in life and not rely on what tries to steer people into a direction according to that one person's suggestions based on his/her experience. Knowing what you want and knowing yourself is a better guide IMO.

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"Feel the Fear and do it anyway" is one of my favorites! I live by the title alone.
Another book title to live by; Don't Sweat the Small Stuff.... And It's ALL Small Stuff.
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I like self-help books that impart knowledge, not ones that claim to know exactly what's going on.

 

In that respect they are very useful to help you gain a better perspective on yourself and those around you.

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Be wary of living by any book. People have a tendency to believe them because, well, books are always true arn't they? Even in the fiction section you know its not real but.....well.... you know, it has a lot to say.

 

We have a tendency of ascribing more to the written word than we should. When reading any of these (curiously expensive for someone trying to help you) self help books, imagine some guy, in need of a shower, saying it to you on a bus. If its "wisdom" then it's still "wisdom" coming from smell boy. Don't judge a book by its cover, or simply the fact that its a book.

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I agree with this. Self-help books may help people to get over similar experiences, but it has its limits where the result is far different than what one is looking for. One should be their own guide in life and not rely on what tries to steer people into a direction according to that one person's suggestions based on his/her experience. Knowing what you want and knowing yourself is a better guide IMO.

 

Respectfully, Everglaze, I'd like you to consider that you are somewhat off centre on this issue.

 

Your comment "Knowing what you want and knowing yourself is a better guide (than self-help books)" kind of suggests that knowing yourself is easy. Kind of a “skip the books and think for yourself” thing that I doubt you intend to suggest.

 

I find that maturation is a life long endeavour and understanding one self is a prime key to standing on your own two emotional feet.

 

Emotional strength comes easier for some people just as athletics or science come easier to some.

 

For a whole lot of people, books, confidants, counselors and sites like this one are of great assistance in getting to know one self. I encourage people to sample many sources as a means of discovery.

 

Should people aim towards greater emotional independence? Absolutely… but if one finds books or other resources help them wend their way through to that path then this too is a most excellent thing.

 

Mongo

 

Oh I forgot...

 

Dr. Phil's Self Matters is an excellent "sanity check" book.

 

I thoroughly enjoyed it and I find the "Life Laws" insightful.

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Respectfully, Everglaze, I'd like you to consider that you are somewhat off centre on this issue.

 

Your comment "Knowing what you want and knowing yourself is a better guide (than self-help books)" kind of suggests that knowing yourself is easy. Kind of a “skip the books and think for yourself” thing that I doubt you intend to suggest.

 

I find that maturation is a life long endeavour and understanding one self is a prime key to standing on your own two emotional feet.

 

Emotional strength comes easier for some people just as athletics or science come easier to some.

 

For a whole lot of people, books, confidants, counselors and sites like this one are of great assistance in getting to know one self. I encourage people to sample many sources as a means of discovery.

 

 

I never said it was easy, nor was I suggesting that. My comment also did not mean to imply that it applies to everyone, because it doesn't (notice that it's my opinion and not my statement). We have to look at it on a broader level here. A book can only offer so much. That is why I said it does help, but it has its limitations.

 

Man 1: That book really helped me when it said I should try taking a walk when I'm stressed.

 

Man 2: I know what the book is trying to say, but I've tried that before and it just doesn't work for me.

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I agree with this. Self-help books may help people to get over similar experiences, but it has its limits where the result is far different than what one is looking for. One should be their own guide in life and not rely on what tries to steer people into a direction according to that one person's suggestions based on his/her experience. Knowing what you want and knowing yourself is a better guide IMO.

 

Respectfully, Everglaze, I'd like you to consider that you are somewhat off centre on this issue.

 

Your comment "Knowing what you want and knowing yourself is a better guide (than self-help books)" kind of suggests that knowing yourself is easy. Kind of a "skip the books and think for yourself" thing that I doubt you intend to suggest.

 

Mongo, thank you for addressing this issue. Several people left this impression. Whew! if self-help books are good only for the gutter I might as well go kill myself. Some people do better with counselors. Counselors didn't work for me. Life was intolerable. I was in an extremely abusive/oppressive situation and didn't know it because it was all I'd ever known. It's not as though ER personnel could see the broken bones and bruises. But books got at the issues. Books went at a rate I could absorb at my own speed. I could choose books that were helpful and reject books that were not helpful. No hurt feelings; no terminating treatment. It was all in my control. And control was something I desperately needed. I needed to do MUCH work simply to get into counseling. Books fit the bill.

 

It was books that got me outside the community I had been born into. (I could see why fundies have a problem with this but they don't rule the world--yet. I hope to keep it this way.) There was no ban on reading material. Thus, I could get stuff through the public library or local bookstore. I did not have to track down a good counselor and make an appointment. I could do the art-work, the remembering, the self-analysis all on my own time and in my own way and not a soul had to know about it. I wrote letters all over the continent to get the info I needed.

 

Via books on self-esteem I got to the level where I could handle books on Myers-Briggs personality type. The latter put me into contact with local people and led indirectly to university and a new life. Today I am in a position where, if my family don't treat me well, I can do without them. I think anyone who has broken out of fundamentalist Christianity knows the importance of this.

 

For a whole lot of people, books, confidants, counselors and sites like this one are of great assistance in getting to know one self. I encourage people to sample many sources as a means of discovery.

 

Should people aim towards greater emotional independence? Absolutely… but if one finds books or other resources help them wend their way through to that path then this too is a most excellent thing.

 

Thank you!

 

neverclear5 said:

 

Be wary of living by any book. People have a tendency to believe them because, well, books are always true arn't they? Even in the fiction section you know its not real but.....well.... you know, it has a lot to say.

 

We have a tendency of ascribing more to the written word than we should. When reading any of these (curiously expensive for someone trying to help you) self help books, imagine some guy, in need of a shower, saying it to you on a bus. If its "wisdom" then it's still "wisdom" coming from smell boy. Don't judge a book by its cover, or simply the fact that its a book.

 

You talk like a fundy. Just because YOU ascribe "more to the written word than [you] should" does not say I do. Or anyone else. A smelly farm boy may well have wisdom but, so far as I am concerned, there is little to none in your post.

 

 

 

Mongo said:

 

Oh I forgot...

 

Dr. Phil's Self Matters is an excellent "sanity check" book.

 

I thoroughly enjoyed it and I find the "Life Laws" insightful.

 

I've read over Dr. Phil's Laws more than once as you post them in your signature. I find some of them helpful but not others. I think this testifies that you're right in that what works for one person does not necessarily work for another. Thanks for posting them and thanks again for standing up for those of us who don't have the necessary courage and insight to do so for ourselves.

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Breaking Free from the Victim Trap by Diane Zimberoff. It puts into perspective the little mindgames we all play with each other that's become a deeply rooted part of our culture. It's not about religon, though it doesn't get mentioned in it.

 

I found it a very enlightening book and it helped me recognize patterns I hadn't noticed before so I could stop them.

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neverclear5 said:

 

Be wary of living by any book. People have a tendency to believe them because, well, books are always true arn't they? Even in the fiction section you know its not real but.....well.... you know, it has a lot to say.

 

We have a tendency of ascribing more to the written word than we should. When reading any of these (curiously expensive for someone trying to help you) self help books, imagine some guy, in need of a shower, saying it to you on a bus. If its "wisdom" then it's still "wisdom" coming from smell boy. Don't judge a book by its cover, or simply the fact that its a book.

 

[ruby]You talk like a fundy. Just because YOU ascribe "more to the written word than [you] should" does not say I do. Or anyone else. A smelly farm boy may well have wisdom but, so far as I am concerned, there is little to none in your post.

 

 

Well, I guess that told me. It was just a warning to some. A lot of people will beleive anything that is written down, because they think whatever is written must be true. I didn't say everyone does and I didn't say you do. It is easy to get someone to publish you these days because so long as the book will sell, they don't mind whats in it.

I guess I just mean that most of us used to live by a book (bible) which looked very important, spoke with authority, and was supported by lots of other people. A lot of self help books sell because of the same reasons. Just be wary of trading one dependence and desire to fit in, for another.

 

Also, who mentioned farms?? I always saw my bus dwelling wise man as coming home from a long trip, or possibly the gym.

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Leaving the Fold by Marlene Winell

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Do you guys read self-help books? Which have been your favorite?

 

I read em on occasion. I think I'm beyond help, actually. But this one looks interesting. Thanks, Llwellyn. I may check this book out.

 

 

Dave: I read "A Guide to Rational Living" by Ellis many years ago. (it has been around for a very long time) It had a pretty profound impact on me. I still have the book. I may have to read it again. It's not just fluff like some self-help books. It really does provide a person with the tools needed to change self-defeating emotions and behaviors. I'd recommend this one for sure.

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