Self-help solutions have become a sort of self-referencing parody in pop culture ever since the ‘90’s (though some may argue that they became hilarious from the ‘70’s to the ‘80’s). But the thing is, there is no doubt that people do need self-help solutions, from getting fit while exercising at home to boosting self-confidence. So why is it that people keep on belittling self-help solutions and their supporters?

The Bad

The problem is that to be honest, many self-help solutions are get-rich-quick schemes. Some of them are little more than common sense in written form or logic solutions taken out of college books or even plagiarized from authoritative texts. It doesn’t help that, because the creators don’t have a high respect for their product, that they cut corners for marketing and advertising, thus creating some low-budget commercials that wouldn’t look out of place as a Saturday Night Live skit.

But it can also go the other way; the creator of the self-help solution might be so convinced of his or her method that it ends up feeling like the solution is the only solution, and that further reinforces, however unintentionally, a feeling of “quackery.”
As for the self-help solutions themselves, it probably pays to read them thoroughly, to see if there is anything amiss. Some may even be cult-ish in nature, so you have to read filter self-help solutions with an open but guarded mind.

The Good

Assuming you’ve already read through or watched the self-help solution, or you’ve received the package, as it were, you should just try it out. You don’t have to tell anyone about it, if you want to keep it a secret, and if you think it will work for you, then it’s a good idea to stay away from people who think it won’t work. Still, keep an open mind to their comments, as one good thing about self-help solutions is that they can also lead you to more thorough and effective assisted help, rather than making it a DIY effort.

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You should also consider what you’re going to do in the event that it does not work for you. Do you read it again, and see if there was something you did wrong? Do you just chuck it all in the garbage? It’s important that you also process what could have been wrong or lacking, and why the self-help solution didn’t work. As you can see, this is also important – whether or not the solution works, what is important is that you can narrow down the scope of your problem, until you can find a real solution, be it DIY or with proper help.

So… do they work?

That’s a hard thing to answer. For some of them, it may be simply building up your self-confidence, so you can properly manage your shortcomings. For others, there could be actual behavioral or habit modifications that might work for you. But whatever it is… if it works, it works. If it doesn’t then don’t get mad – just don’t ever use it again.

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