I love Self-Help. I am a self professing Self-Help junkie. And I know, from all of my Self-Help study, that admitting you have a problem is the first step towards recovery. Not that it’s a problem though. Not for me, anyway. (And I am NOT in denial- the act of believing something to be untrue- at least I don’t think I am). Although it might be a problem for the people around me. (Not that I’m paranoid.) It’s just that by now, I’ve acquired so much useful information from all the books I’ve read and classes I’ve taken, that I could be so helpful to other people. Isn’t that a good thing? What could possibly be wrong with that? I mean, as long as I’m not being an enabler and subconsciously encouraging co-dependency, right?
Does this make me weird? Although, I shouldn’t really care–that would be insecurity–the belief that I am somehow being judged by others and am somehow inferior. And I’ve read Beth Moore’s book, So Long Insecurity, so I should be all set in that area. It’s just that I find myself so interesting. And not just me–because that would be Narcissistic: the obsession with oneself and the feeling that one is somehow particularly special or different from other people. But everyone else, too.
I somewhat consider myself a deep thinker–an analyzer– my husband claims that I’m always psychoanalyzing him. When at times, he asks me what I’m thinking, the truth is, he probably doesn’t want to know–because it’s a tiny bit possible that I’m OVER thinking. Maybe. Why
does he do we do the things we do? Why does he do we think the things we do? How do our perspectives get so incredibly skewed and confused and at times so far from the truth? I read a quote one time that said, “How I see it is not how it is. It’s just how I see it.” That’s a lot to ponder. Especially when you think you’re right all the time. You want other people to see it your way, too! Aren’t you just helping them gain a better perspective? Although this could seem controlling. Maybe as long as you don’t say things like, “WINNING!” …Because that doesn’t seem helpful.
I think the Self-Help sections of the library and the bookstores are really rather fun. I’m sure you’re familiar with some of the titles out there, but here are a few of my personal favorites: “How To Be Happy Though Married”, “When Your Phone Doesn’t Ring, It’ll Be Me”, “Sippy Cups Are Not for Chardonnay and Other Things I Had to Learn as a New Mom”, “How To Be Pope”, “Anybody Can Be Cool…But Awesome Takes Practice” and “Have a New Husband By Friday”. This last one kills me. I swear I have not personally read it, (though I know someone who has) but if I ever saw my husband reading a book called “Have a New Wife by Friday”, I would make it really easy for him. By Tuesday. Trust me.
But here’s the funny thing about Self-Help–a lot of times when you’re reading it, you don’t see yourself. You see everyone else in your world. Instead of thinking of all the ways you need to modify your own behavior, all you can think about are the people you know who could really benefit from these new truths and insights. I am guilty of actually reading and highlighting in these books and adding other people’s initials in the margins! It’s like sitting in church, hearing a sermon and wishing so and so was there because you know they could really apply this in their life. I don’t have a technical psychobabble term for this behavioral phenomenon. I think it might just be called judgmental. Or critical. But those words sound kind of harsh and I mean it to be kind. And helpful. So let’s call it something nicer, like, love.