Do Self Help Books Actually Help

3 minutes

Generally speaking, people who read are considered to be more intellectual and enlightened than the ones who don’t. Every individual reader has his or her preference in a particular genre or genres of books like fiction, autobiographies, magazines, spiritual books, political books, etc.

However, one of the newest and rapidly becoming popular genre is self-help books. With titles like, ‘How To Quit Drinking Without AA’, ‘How To Shine In A Crowd’, ‘The Power Of Positive Thinking’, it’s not hard to see why people are so drawn towards them! Let us analyse both ‘pros’ and ‘cons’ of reading these;

Pros Of Reading Self Help Books

  • Gain New Knowledge – First and foremost, reading and learning from a self-help book helps you onto a path where you can learn and practice strategies that help you better yourself. You can improve your lives without asking others for help.
  • Increases Confidence – Over time, self-help books can inculcate a higher sense of self-confidence in a person, allowing them to overcome challenges without needing to ask for help.
  • Tough Mental Attitude – Another major benefit is that one gains a tough attitude of relying on themselves to deal with and to get out of difficult situations. It helps to deal with the day-to-day problems on your own.
  • Self-Acceptance – A lot of these books teach self-acceptance, providing you with exercises that you can perform to love and accept yourself as you are. It inculcates a positive self-image which will take you further in life.
  • Support System – Having a particular stack of book, blogs that you can read whenever you feel the need for inspiration, emotional support, reminders is good for your body and soul.

Cons Of Reading Self Help Books

  • Over-dependence – Relying on self-help books too much or completely can make you detached from your closed ones, and make you feel even more alone. You need to strike a balance between these and not lose out on your actual support system, i.e., family and friends.
  • Lack Of Perspective – While the idea of solving your problems on your own may seem very attractive but in some cases you may lack the perspective to understand the full extent or root cause of your problem, leading to worsening of the situation.
  • Lack Of Motivation – Like in case of diets, you may be very Gung-Ho when starting the self-help lessons but if you lack the willpower to stick it to the finish line then also you may only worsen your situation.
  • Often Opposite Results – Psychologists say that self-help may actually show a result opposite to what is promised by it. This can be due to a variety of reasons but they mostly caution against relying only on these books to tide you over.

As is the case with everything we do, here also arises the need to strike a balance between solving your problems with self-help books and reaching out to others. It’s a tightrope you must walk carefully!

Arshi Gupta

Arshi Gupta is a young blogger who loves to travel to unexplored places to get a feel of different cultures. She is interested in reading, photography and binge-watching TV shows & movies. Though YourDOST she would like to share her thoughts to youth of the Nation.