Is it a red flag if someone says they don’t believe in self help books like Atomic Habits, Attached, etc?

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Self help books can help a small percentage of the population even though they are marketed as ‘universal’ advice. I have been in therapy for a few years and take self-improvement really seriously, but cannot relate to the self help books at all.

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I think it depends on the book. There are certainly self help books that are based on pseudoscience and written by “life coaches” who claim to be experts but are really looking for cash grabs from vulnerable people looking for advice.

There are also “self help” books which are written by established professionals and researchers that I believe break down ideas in a digestible way, making it possible to reach a wider audience, and having access to all that information as a resource is hugely beneficial for people.

Either way, I would never vilify anyone reading self help books. More often than not, people who read them are looking to improve their lives and have an attitude of change. Many people are not blessed with amazing parents, coaches, teachers, mentors, or friends, and can’t always access therapy. I also think therapy should be used in conjunction with other methods (a therapist should not be your only influence - they are still a flawed human at the end of the day).

I think there’s a lot of wisdom to be gained by books, granted you do have to read them with a lens of critical thinking and form your own opinion about the material. Sometimes reading them helps you solidify your own views, because you come across ideas that question your own beliefs and you either change them or realize you still value your original belief. At least people are trying to get better by spending their time reading instead of watching netflix and repeating the same habits, never questioning what they’re doing or seeking help.

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Yeah, a lot of commenters are vilifying people who do (saying it’s a red flag, narcissistic, etc), so I was leaving my thoughts

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No. It takes a special kind of person to believe in those

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It was a just dark humor. 😂 I’m sorry.

It’s a red flag if they say they do believe in those.

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The opposite. Not only are self help books mainly BS with no solid content, they appeal to a very narcissistic impulse in people to only want to read about themselves. I think people should read about other people, about other people’s ideas and opinions and achievements, so we can learn from each other.

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Yes, there is toxic positivity out there and people that don’t really care about there and are scamming people into believing these things.
but it all depends on what kind of books you’re reading for self improvement. Not all self improvement books have to deal with the mindset. Sometimes it could even be possibly for learning hard skills are creating habits that will help benefit your hygiene or even possibly your well-being because of that doesn’t necessarily mean that they are promoting toxic positivity. I feel like a lot of people get what toxic positivity actually is.

Nah, it’s a red flag that you need a book to hold yourself accountable

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I read one and thought it was a scam but if I could read a book instead of go to therapy that would be amazing. Let’s not judge what works for someone.

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I find it a red flag if you fall prey to "self-help" books. Pyramid scheme herbal supplements aren't far behind then.

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Most self-help books are pure marketing. I say this as someone working in psychology.

Is it a red flag that you would consider it could be s red flag?

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What about psychology books that are based on scientific evidence?

I am vary wary of self help gurus. So many are completely under qualified to speak on topics and then are telling you how to live your life. Example- Rachel Hollis- all about girl get it together, sells marriage conferences, gets divorced, practically married to the next guy and now talks bout how much she doesn’t know on her podcast….ick. I stick to business analysis books and therapy. Self help preys on the vulnerable.

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No its not a red flag. For me its a red flag if a people read too much of those (some are fine) but still their life seems like a mess.

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Lol what a wild comment section. I think it depends on why they don’t believe self help books are useful

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I’d ask if they’re anti-vax with that reasoning and then run for the hills if they are

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ITT: People who have never read Atomic Habits

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That James Clear, author of your example Atomic Habits, doesn't merit a Wikipedia entry should say everything about his credentials as a person worth listening to. Even influencers are allowed to have a Wiki page.

Self-help books are mostly pseudo/half-science junk used to pray on insecure, immature, and damaged people. It's a huge red flag if you believe in self-help books.

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It takes a very selective reading to come to this conclusion...

My point is that it's all nonsense, but it's especially easy to spot when you can't even get public recognition beyond your own website...

Yes

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Is it really "self help" if you are paying the author for assistance?

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It's a yellow flag

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Self help books are like consultants, they tell you what you already know. Some of it, is pure common sense.

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You'd be surprised how many people don't have common sense

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Green flag! I think there are many other means to find purpose and clarity in life. Productivity/optimization focused bullet points from thought leaders is not at the top of my list

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Lets put this to the test. For those of you who don't believe in self help books, what is your salary? For those of you who do read self help books, what's yours?

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Grownups like numbers.

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