Published on March 11, 2013 | by Teral Atilan


Self-help books for dummies

there are now self help books for everything

Self help books could create a spoon fed society [Flickr: Lululemon]

Self-help books are written with the intention of helping someone sort out a problem on their own.

Think of it as a shrink that costs you just £10 with the best part being that you can constantly go back to reference anything you need.

We would all like to say that we are in control of our decisions and choices we have made in our life, but what about those few members of society who rely on self help books?

The first time I remember hearing about self-help books was in Friends – where in one of the episodes Ross was given the book Sex For Dummies as a gift.

I remember wondering what other self-help books are out there, but it seems that there really is a book to help you with anything- from businesses and careers to religion and spirituality.

Sex, friends and things

According to The Independent the three main things we need help with is learning how to win friends, sex and completing things.

One of the most popular help books – The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle – has sold over two million copies and directs us to live in the moment, thus freeing ourselves from anxiety.

“If you get a book to solve an issue you have, whether or not you follow through is a different story.” Student George Mays

I remember from my time in school that my friend and her mum were talking about a book called The Secret. This book promised its reader that their life would change for the better if only they believed it.

It encouraged the readers to make a mood board of everything they wanted in life, and by thinking positively, they would attract these things into their lives and as a result become extremely happy.

I remember thinking it was complete rubbish. However as the months progressed, my friend kept telling me how certain things on her board were coming true. She told me of how her mum needed cash, then received a cheque in the post, she wanted a boyfriend and in a few weeks she found herself a handsome man.

Could this all just be coincidence or do these books really help?

Business help

If you are trying to open your own business and do not the time or money to go on business courses, then books such as Starting A Business For Dummies could really help. These books focus on the basics you need to know and help you structure your business or lives, depending on what book you are reading.

The franchise of self-help has changed over the years, with audios and videos becoming increasingly popular.

Many people trying to quit something like smoking or eating unhealthily have chosen to listen to audiotapes while sleeping, enforcing a hypnosis effect.

“I say if you get a book with the intent to learn how to solve some kind of issue you have, whether or not you follow through is a different story,” says George Mays, 23, a Business student from Queen Mary, University of London.

Twitter views

I took to Twitter to see what people thought about all of the self-help guides we have access to, and a few laughed at the prospect of even buying a self-help book. Others decided it was a form of reaching out for help, which I personally agree with.

If you are having relationship problems or you cannot seem to understand why you are so unhappy, these books are a means of helping you identify the problem in order to fix it. There is nothing wrong with a little do-it-yourself attitude when it comes to your life.

Everyone is different and those of us who realise we need help and do something to sort it out are not cowards, but strong individuals who want to rectify something. Admitting you have a problem is always the first step in solving it.


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