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  1. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by cafe View Post
    Whatever you need to tell yourself to make yourself feel superior. I'd rather admit my ignorance and take steps to stop being ignorant, but to each his/her own.
    Can you explain to me how I am wrong?

  2. #12
    insert random title here Randomnity's Avatar
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    I enjoy them but I don't think they're very useful, they just trick you into thinking that they are. For the most part, anyway. I think they can be enjoyable because they make you feel like you're solving your problems when really you're just hiding from them. Once in a while you'll get a tiny tip that sticks with you, but usually it's just a diversion that doesn't actually change anything in your life.

    They seem to be especially popular with the xNFPs I know IRL, if that is relevant. Sample size means that it probably means nothing.

    edit: to be clear, I still read them (or far more commonly, the equivalent online articles), even if I do cringe a little at myself the whole time.
    -end of thread-

  3. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by Typoz View Post
    Personally... I would never even consider reading a self-help/motivational books. Unless of course I'd have a hidden agenda, but that is very unlikely.

    I consistently noticed S types liking them... A lot. "Books about life" is what they call them. N types, however, don't seem to like them much, in my surroundings (online and offline) at least.

    SJs or SPs, they like them. STs or SFs, they like them. Why? Is this "phenomena" widespread, or is it just my surroundings?

    Would/have you read such a book? Why?
    I've read a lot of them, they're of pretty varying quality or usefulness.

  4. #14
    Senior Member cafe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Typoz View Post
    Can you explain to me how I am wrong?
    Self-help books are just how-to books for your finances, psyche, or relationships. Those are some of the most important factors in one's quality of life. Writing off a whole segment of potentially useful information because some sources are crackpots is illogical.
    “There are two novels that can change a bookish fourteen-year old’s life: The Lord of the Rings and Atlas Shrugged. One is a childish fantasy that often engenders a lifelong obsession with its unbelievable heroes, leading to an emotionally stunted, socially crippled adulthood, unable to deal with the real world. The other, of course, involves orcs.”
    ~ John Rogers

  5. #15
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    It's like anything. A good self-help book is very useful, and many have been proven to be so by experiments and results. These are books which use psychological and scientific facts, and proven methods, to inform people fully on how to gain a wide range of specific results according to their own personality and desires. i.e. realize their own potential rather than a "one size fits all" approach.

    Really MBTI itself is a self-help tool...so why would someone here dismiss the whole genre but accept MBTI? Seems...ironic.

  6. #16
    i love skylights's Avatar
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    I think of self-help books as the NF department, not S.

    I generally like them, you just have to sort through the fluff to find the useful ones. I'd say they're more useful as an inspiring touchstone and casual resource than the panacea they sometimes present themselves as.

    Basically self help books that focus on happiness are pointless, agreed. Knowing a lot of facts about happiness doesn't actually make anyone happier.
    I disagree with this. I think that there's a lot of good literature on paths to happiness. Facts about happiness are generally presented with the point of you figuring out the correlations... If I know, for example, that any increases in my salary past 70K will have no statistically significant impact on my quality of life, then I can apply that in a number of ways.

  7. #17
    Babylon Candle Venom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by skylights View Post
    I think of self-help books as the NF department, not S.

    I generally like them, you just have to sort through the fluff to find the useful ones. I'd say they're more useful as an inspiring touchstone and casual resource than the panacea they sometimes present themselves as.



    I disagree with this. I think that there's a lot of good literature on paths to happiness. Facts about happiness are generally presented with the point of you figuring out the correlations... If I know, for example, that any increases in my salary past 70K will have no statistically significant impact on my quality of life, then I can apply that in a number of ways.
    Im not going to let this go :P ... Think about those self help books though where it's the psychologist/sociologist who track "happy people".. The happy people almost always are the type of people who DONT ever even think "am I happy?". The researchers are probably no more happy than they were before they started their "quest" for happiness, and that's because happiness is probably a state of being rather than a place to arrive to. Merely asking yourself is probably enough to push you farther from it.

    Secondly, not enough books tell the truth about giving up. The easiest way to overcome being a lone wolf with no friends? To get past not having a cool enough house? Give up and stop caring.

  8. #18
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    Stephen Covey himself has been typed as a hardcore ENTJ, and he's been one of the most influential writers for personal/professional development.
    Quote Originally Posted by Lark View Post
    I've read a lot of them, they're of pretty varying quality or usefulness.
    Same.

  9. #19

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    I began reading these sorts of books in my late teens when I read How to Win Friends and Influence People, I wanted to read it because I was lead to believe it was a classic book and when I did I liked the style of writing and thought it imparted knowledge which deserved to be common sense or common place and it wasnt.

    Then when I was at university for the first time I read books from this genre with a sort of deconstructionist view, I wanted to discover things about what these books were and who the target market where. I would not have said that at that time I had a positive view of them and then I read a few which made a negative impression, in particular Norman Vincent's books.

    Today I am largely neutral because while I think people who are talking negatively about these books are usually talking about Norman Vincent's kind of writing I take the view that the books are much, much wider in scope than they are generally given credit for. If you read the instructions on hardware its essentially "self-help", although its not motivational, it could be but that's not the intention I guess. I also think that all the books for the business savy, the vicious, the machavellian, the PUA books etc. are all "self-help" and "motivational".

    There was a storyline in a Batman comic once about a cult leader who horribly disfigured his followers with a molten hot metal mask which removed their faces and he was motivated by a madness stoked by self-help or "can do" books.

  10. #20
    Administrator highlander's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lark View Post
    I began reading these sorts of books in my late teens when I read How to Win Friends and Influence People, I wanted to read it because I was lead to believe it was a classic book and when I did I liked the style of writing and thought it imparted knowledge which deserved to be common sense or common place and it wasnt.
    That was the first one I read. I have always enjoyed the psychology and self help section at the book store though I seldom go there anymore. I tried reading a couple "motivation" books before and couldnt make it very far. Otherwise, my approach to anything I want to get good at is to read about it. In the past, this has included things like learning about how to be a good leader and manager, reading technical books and manuals to be technically proficient at work, how to understand people better (mbti). I even read books about sex when I started having that. I got a masters degree and did my thesis on things that were very dirctly related to work. So, when I am new to something or want to get good at it, I study and research it. It is what I have always done.

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