#1 Posted by Raven_Sword (3447 posts) -

For the past few months, I have been researching many self help books and free videos on YouTube or news letters to help improve my self confidence, attracting women, and having more self esteem and things like that.

In fact, I have been looking so much up and reading so many reviews about certain ones and such, that I simply cant tell if these things actualy work or not because of all the conflicting opinions and reviews I read. one person will say its life changing, the other will say its a crock of shit that will ruin your life. And really, im constantly worried that if I implement techniques and mindsets found in these books, that im secretly doing more harm than good and the changes that will occur will not be positive or better, but negative and more damaging because they are a load of shit.

Really, I have no idea which books or authors even really work because of all the conflicting reviews and opinions. I mean, a book can have 4 or 5 stars on amazon customer reviews, but I dont know if those are fake accounts and they do have people giving 1 star reviews in those as well.

Really, I'm just fearful of the books ruining me into something I don't want to be or wont help me accomplish my goals.

Does anyone have any experience or advice on these things? I don't think I can solve my personal problems without help, but im having trouble distinguishing legitimate advice and methods from Snake oil selling.

#2 Posted by Bourbon_Warrior (4523 posts) -

The easiest way to lose weight is before meals drink 2 glasses of water and wait 5 minutes before eating, eat half of what you normally eat but eat it slower and chew more then have another 2 glasses of water afterwards.....You owe me 100 dollars!

#3 Posted by CL60 (16906 posts) -

Look up a YouTube channel called Simplepickup. They're hilarious and give out advice. Their confidence is through the roof and they just don't give a fuck.

#4 Posted by Raven_Sword (3447 posts) -

Ok, but I'm looking for things that really work. That channel sounds more like a joke from your description.

#5 Posted by jaycrockett (460 posts) -

Mostly they don't, but occasionally something will resonate with you and sort of push you over the edge. It's all about where you are at the moment.

I personally wouldn't worry about attracting women or even self confidence and focus on self-esteem. If you can feel good about yourself, most other things will work itself out. And professional counselling is probably a better idea than I book if you can manage it.

#6 Posted by CL60 (16906 posts) -
@Raven_Sword
Ok, but I'm looking for things that really work. That channel sounds more like a joke from your description.
They use humor to get their point across. But they have plenty of videos just giving legit advice.
#7 Posted by BraveToaster (12589 posts) -

They probably work for some people, but why spend money on the books when you have access to the internet. Most of the stuff listed in those books can be found online. One thing I will say is, if you don't like/love yourself, no one will. Women can sense low self-esteem. I know it sounds lame, but take a good look in the mirror and list the things you don't like about yourself, then take the necessary steps to fix those things. If you're out of shape, simply eat better and exercise. If you're a nervous person, the only way to overcome it is get out into the world and connect with people. Women like men who can hold a conversation, even if many of them don't know how to hold one themselves. You also need to be honest and upfront. And if you make a fool out of yourself in the beginning, don't beat yourself up about.

#8 Posted by Raven_Sword (3447 posts) -

Well, I think my bigger issue IS self esteem. I also looked at books about that. See, their was stuff that resonated with me, but I'm a sort of gullible person. What if that thing that resonated with me isn't the right thingbfor meBb

#9 Posted by TerribleStapler (52 posts) -

Have you considered therapy? I realize that you said you felt you could solve the problem on your own, but by seeking out the help of the giant bomb community to find an author who can then guide you through your problem I see you're open to outside help. Finding a good therapist would hands down be your best bet, they're there to help guide a person through literally almost every single thing you've described. You can sit down with a person, you'll be able to see what their history is, listen to them speak and see how you personally relate to them. When it comes to taking life advice it's fairly important to know who's giving it to you. It's important to remember that authors of self-help books are often motivated more by sales and not by their effectiveness.

With a therapist you're more likely to get an educated person who can custom tailor a session to help you move towards your individual goals. They can help you deal with almost any issue or problem, even tiny things like being bad at time management or something like being scared of flying. I know therapy used to have a stigma attached, but the truth is almost anyone can benefit from seeing a therapist and perfectly normal and well balanced people still see them all the time. And if you're worried about the cost you can do a google search to find many easy ways to locate places that will charge you on a sliding scale based on your income, some even offer to do it for free. And don't let the idea of going to a free or low cost therapist put you off, they're just as effective.

#10 Posted by LikeaSsur (1537 posts) -

If you're doubting the books and lectures that are trained to help, then guess what? You're gonna fail.

If, on the other hand, you actually wanted to improve, and took those lessons to heart, practicing and doing what they said, then yes, they would work quite well. Moral of the story is, it's up to you if they work or not, and that goes for whatever else people will suggest after this post.

#11 Posted by Bell_End (1208 posts) -

im not sure if you would class it as a self help book. but the book 'allen carrs easyway to stop smoking' turned me from a 20 a day smoker for over 15 years to a non-smoker overnight.

i don't even think about smoking anymore. it was amazing

#12 Posted by Everyones_A_Critic (6301 posts) -

Wish It, Want It, Do It! That's what I always say!

#13 Posted by CaLe (3995 posts) -

If you believe it will work, it will work.

(It won't work)

#14 Edited by Ocean_H (290 posts) -

@Raven_Sword said:

Well, I think my bigger issue IS self esteem. I also looked at books about that. See, their was stuff that resonated with me, but I'm a sort of gullible person. What if that thing that resonated with me isn't the right thingbfor meBb

You sure is self-esteem and not shyness? When I was a kid, I used to be shy as hell. Getting older have your brain reason that if you don't act, you'll have worst consequences. I hate getting into troubles and see negative situations around me. That's how I lost my shyness. You man up and use your reasoning/common sense to any situation. Any situation, plan out and branch out all the consequences that might happen and how you should react. Btw, be streetsmart too and be yourself.

#15 Posted by JasonR86 (9714 posts) -

@Raven_Sword said:

For the past few months, I have been researching many self help books and free videos on YouTube or news letters to help improve my self confidence, attracting women, and having more self esteem and things like that.

In fact, I have been looking so much up and reading so many reviews about certain ones and such, that I simply cant tell if these things actualy work or not because of all the conflicting opinions and reviews I read. one person will say its life changing, the other will say its a crock of shit that will ruin your life. And really, im constantly worried that if I implement techniques and mindsets found in these books, that im secretly doing more harm than good and the changes that will occur will not be positive or better, but negative and more damaging because they are a load of shit.

Really, I have no idea which books or authors even really work because of all the conflicting reviews and opinions. I mean, a book can have 4 or 5 stars on amazon customer reviews, but I dont know if those are fake accounts and they do have people giving 1 star reviews in those as well.

Really, I'm just fearful of the books ruining me into something I don't want to be or wont help me accomplish my goals.

Does anyone have any experience or advice on these things? I don't think I can solve my personal problems without help, but im having trouble distinguishing legitimate advice and methods from Snake oil selling.

It really depends on what you want the self-help books to do. For things like self-confidence, self-esteem, and attracting women there really isn't one be all end all strategy. If you want a self-help book that can teach you a skill or possible strategies that's one thing. But it looks like you want self-help books that will totally redefine who you are and that might be asking too much of those books. What I would suggest is look at what has caused you have low self-confidence, low self-esteem, or why you have difficulty with women or whatever else you were hoping the self-help books would address. Try to look at the cause or even simply the symptoms of these bigger issues. And then you could use a self-help book to address these more specific issues.

If you are able, I would also suggest talking to a therapist. Not everyone who sees a therapist has to be off-the-walls "crazy". Working with a therapist might help you see what the specific obstacles are that are causing you to feel constrained in your life and then together you two could develop strategies that you could use to overcome those obstacles.

#16 Posted by Raven_Sword (3447 posts) -

But I don't know. I'm really getting sick of it

#17 Posted by FourWude (2261 posts) -

You got to visualise the paradigms. Systematize, creativize and operationalise. Your life is a business, maximise the opportunity cost.

#18 Posted by oraknabo (1471 posts) -

@Raven_Sword: There's a great book called 59 seconds that takes most of the fundamental ideas in self help and compares them to real peer-reviewed scientific studies. Most of these books and programs just tell you what you want to hear to get your money. It's the same with most popular diet programs that aren't based on real discipline and a quality diet (high-nutrient whole food, not low-carb).

#19 Posted by Ravenlight (8040 posts) -

@FourWude said:

You got to visualise the paradigms. Systematize, creativize and operationalise. Your life is a business, maximise the opportunity cost.

Somewhere an MBA just uncontrollably jizzed in their pants.

#20 Posted by Raven_Sword (3447 posts) -

Like, I heard if this one book called "the game" but I'm not sure if it's just sleeze ball or if it actualy works. It's a book about pick up artists. Also, can some explain the life as a business post?

#21 Posted by 9cupsoftea (654 posts) -

@Raven_Sword said:

Like, I heard if this one book called "the game" but I'm not sure if it's just sleeze ball or if it actualy works. It's a book about pick up artists. Also, can some explain the life as a business post?

The life as business post is hilarious. As is the game. Don't read self-help books, read proper books, learn a skill, do something productive with your time. You'll feel a hell of a lot better about yourself and more confident than having a bald evangelist with a Britney mike scream buzzwords at you.

#22 Posted by HistoryInRust (6321 posts) -
#23 Posted by Scrawnto (2452 posts) -

@FourWude said:

You got to visualise the paradigms. Systematize, creativize and operationalise. Your life is a business, maximise the opportunity cost.

It's been a couple of years since I took econ, but don't you want to minimize opportunity cost?

#24 Posted by Viking_Funeral (1800 posts) -

@Raven_Sword said:

Like, I heard if this one book called "the game" but I'm not sure if it's just sleeze ball or if it actualy works. It's a book about pick up artists. Also, can some explain the life as a business post?

It kinda works. One of my friends from university actually made it to third place on that show 'The Pickup Artist,' so I did some research on it. It won't help you get a girlfriend, just pickup some one night stand. It will usually be a fairly superficial girl, as well. It seems to work based on the idea of leveraging the perception of value. That is, some people naturally see themselves at a higher league than others. So you perform actions that make them second guess that perception, and that you're actually on a higher league. Superficial people tend to be very self-conscious and secretly worried that they're not as great as they hope (read: narcissistic), so it works on them.

However, 'The Game' isn't actually a book about how to do that, but rather the story of one journalist who studied the scene and became one of its biggest proponents. There are also a million other ways to meet women that work quite successfully, so I can only recommend those books if all you care about sex with women that tend to be... less than ideal long term partners.

Finally, self-help books are only as effective as you are. YOU have to have the willpower and drive to make a change, otherwise these books will only give you a vague outline on how to improve your life. Even then, I use the word 'improve' loosely. These books seem to fall into two dichotomies: Super-strict with only one path through life, or so vague that a series of Hallmark greeting cards could give you the same life advice. "Remember to smile every day!" The super-strict ones are good if you want to fall into someone else's ideal, but you have to know that's what you want in life. (Also: Be wary the advice of successful people. They don't usually share all their secrets, because they usually don't want company.)

Self-help books are kind of like home exercise equipment. People buy these machines thinking that they'll finally get off their butts and workout, but if they were already that motivated, they would have gone out jogging or joined a gym a long time before. Simply buying a product isn't the same as making a change in lifestyle. We all buy products every day. That IS part of our lifestyle, especially in the U.S.

If you want self-confidence, set yourself a goal and then stick with it. Achieving something difficult is always a great confidence booster. And if it's something athletic, it will probably also give you an extra boost with the ladies as well. For a good website that'll help you set a goal, stick with it, and satisfy that gaming itch, I'd have to recommend Fitocracy.com. I've never used it myself, but it seems to get glowing reviews.

#25 Posted by FourWude (2261 posts) -

@Scrawnto said:

@FourWude said:

You got to visualise the paradigms. Systematize, creativize and operationalise. Your life is a business, maximise the opportunity cost.

It's been a couple of years since I took econ, but don't you want to minimize opportunity cost?

This right here folks is a man who thinks inside the box. He doesn't visualise the market as a holistic entity and is in fact fixated with short term losses. By focusing on the loss he misses out on the gains. He has not visualised his paradigms, nor has he systematized his life processes, and in not doing so he cannot creativize his aims nor operationalize them into meaningful forward or lateral, be that as it may, projection.

#26 Posted by iam3green (14390 posts) -

well i suggest you just look online for stuff. some of the stuff can be found online.

#27 Posted by Clonedzero (4200 posts) -

awhile back i saw a study basically saying all self-help stuff was pretty much the placebo effect. which seems pretty accurate to me.

#28 Posted by Raven_Sword (3447 posts) -

@Viking_Funeral:

Well, in all honesty at this moment im not really looking for a realtionship. I wouldnt mind some one night stands and such. and I say that because then I can get that all out of my system when I finaly do meet the one. I mean, It could be good to maybe pick up girls like that.No0t for long term partners, but so i can just have fun and get the most out of my life like that and find "the one" later down the line. If that makes sense. I mean, im not saying I dont want a realtionship one day, im just saying right now I just want to meet and have fun with women and just be a confidant, fun loving 23 year old heterosexual male.

#29 Posted by Ghost_Cat (1447 posts) -

People write self-esteem books because they know they can make a few bucks off people like you. They study how to stretch out the simple truths, dress it up, and put out on the market. Some people are writing legit lessons in being more confident, but you are just going to waste time and money to find the right one, and, even if you do, maybe it won't help. Maybe not even therapy. Why I say that is because you don't seem to trust people or yourself, and that is a huge problem for you. If you want to be more confident, have more friends, and attract girls, it all starts with trust. Trust that people will judge you no matter what, and it's fine (as long as you are nice and not being rude or disgusting). Trust in yourself that you are a good guy, because people are attracted to good, trusting people. The rest you will learn on your own, as long as you know how to take criticism and social beat downs the right way and learn from them. I guess there is more that I can say, but I don't want to make this long. PM if you like.

#30 Posted by DriveupLife (917 posts) -

@Raven_Sword:

Do not buy "The Game". I don't think it will help you where are you right now. Buy it in six months after doing some work on yourself.

Here's a piece of advice you're not going to hear anywhere else, try ballroom dancing lessons. I take ballroom dancing private and group lessons and I'm surrounded by women every time I step in the studio, its a female dominated hobby. I've been on dates with 5 different women and I've met one girlfriend there in the past year. Plus, you learn how to dance which is handy after age 23 and for the rest of your life.

#31 Posted by Silvergun (297 posts) -

What you need to do is talk to a therapist.

The problem with books is that the people writing them often (usually) have no training, no clue, and basically just put a bunch of feel-good BS on a page and called it a day. A therapist on the other hand has been trained in the field, has been licensed by the state they work in, and believe it or not, have probably treated countless people who have the same issues you do. One thing that will probably help you out is knowing that whatever your issue is (shyness/depression/etc), you're not unique and that there are people out there who are trained to help you. You don't need to be some manic-depressive wrist-slashing nutcase to get something out of therapy, they're basically to your mental health what a physician is to your physical health.

Also, that pickup artist stuff is literally the worst and the people who buy into it are scum.

#32 Posted by Raven_Sword (3447 posts) -

Actualy, I am seeing a therapist. I just wanted to read self help books to go with thd therapy. But the therapy is for self confidence and such, not relationships or anything.

#33 Posted by TyCobb (1972 posts) -
#34 Edited by gla55jAw (2689 posts) -

@Viking_Funeral @Raven_Sword said:

Actualy, I am seeing a therapist. I just wanted to read self help books to go with thd therapy. But the therapy is for self confidence and such, not relationships or anything.

I read The Game a few years ago and found it extremely interesting. Some of the things he talks are good ideas for the future, I would say it's worth the read, although, not really for the purpose of being a "pick up artist".

I've read a few of these types of books, sometimes you get good ideas out of them, sometimes they're just entertaining, but what you usually learn is that you have to build confidence in yourself.

I don't know if you have any interest in the UFC, but Urijah Faber's book "The Laws of the Ring" is really good. Each chapter is a story about his life (not necessarily about fighting) and is one of his "Laws of Power". It's more of a motivational book than self help. I loved it.

Chris Hardwick's "The Nerdist Way: How to Reach the Next Level (In Real Life)", was good from the little I read of it (I need to go back and finish it). He has you make a sort of journal and write exercises for goals and such.

You can also watch this video from Greg Plitt. Grab the overall message, and not necessarily all the workout stuff.

#35 Edited by John1912 (1891 posts) -

@Raven_Sword: Self help books are a guide. They can only help you in so much as you believe in them. If you are willing to embrace what they have to offer 100%, Im 100% sure they can help you. If you do it half hearted, tell your self this is fucking stupid half the time your working on them, then im 100% sure they wont help you. Like anything its trail an error. Be prepared to fail, but treat it as what failing should always be. A learning experience. You actually learn MUCH more from failing then being given an answer.

*Thats also assuming you didnt pick up some book written by a complete chode lol

#36 Edited by Inkerman (1451 posts) -

I'm really in your place right now man, not super confident around getting girls and finding relationships, I've honestly never had a girlfriend. I'm trying to overcome that, bit by bit. My advice is pretty simple, and you can just add it to whatever confidence routine you're running.

First of all, eat healthy. Now this isn't crazy eat healthy, this is simple diet eat healthy, based on our very own EpicSteve's advice; No Potato chips, no soft drink/energy drink, no hotdogs, no steak fat. Also, pop a multivitamin pill everyday.

Second, get in shape. Again, I follow EpicSteve's advice on this one; jumping jacks, sit-ups/crunches, pushups. Steve's workout also includes flutter kicks and a .5 mile run every other day. I don't do either, for various reasons, but I think I get enough cardio from walking up all the goddam hills on my campus. Personally I'm aiming to reach a 50/50/50 routine. 50 jumping jacks, sit-ups and push ups. I've got a bit to go on both the sit-ups and push ups, but I'm getting there. Not only does the workout make you look good, you'll begin to feel better about yourself and get hormones and brain juices flowing that otherwise wouldn't be there.

Thirdly, get used to people, especially girls. DriveUpLife's advice about Ballroom was fucking perfect, and I intend to get into it when I have some time/money. Even just around campus, to push myself I'm trying to get into leadership positions in two of my classes, in part because I know its in something I'm good at, and that gives me the extra confidence boost I need to engage people. Even if you're not trying to sleep with a girl, or date her, or you don't have any goals to get somewhere in any relationship, getting used to other people will help you when you do want something from the relationship.

Fourth, and probably the most important. GET REGULAR SLEEP. I cannot stress this enough! Get into a regular sleeping pattern and stick to it. Right now it's 10 to 11 where I am and I'm kicking myself because I need to get to sleep, and I don't even have to wake up tomorrow. Wake up at the LATEST 8 am, and get to sleep at the LATEST 11 pm.

Also, here's a LINK to EpicSteve's blog post about the diet and exercise.

#37 Posted by b4d533d (36 posts) -

if you need a book to motivate you, you are missing the point. you have to want to do it. find that movitation within. and the easiest way to lose weight- exercise and eat sensibly. fuck diets.

#38 Posted by kindgineer (2734 posts) -

A book will never help you mature your self-confidence, help you exercise, or even give you legitimate tips on how to talk to the ladies. These things are born from experience. It's the same reason the military won't enlist a man as a sniper simply because he studied the hell out of that aspect at the local library.

If you're really interested in helping your self, simply do the things that you "fear." You simply "fear" them only because you have not experienced them yet, and will soon find that you are just loading the situations with unnecessary stress. Exercising is something that is insanely hard to commit yourself to, but when you finally do, it's hard to go back. I can't really say anything about eating simply because I feel that there is really only one real way to succeed in improving ones visual appearance and that is dieting with exercise. Diet's that tell you to ignore/avoid one source of nutrient or food group is total bullshit. Eat less (you know, like the rest of the world) and get off your butt. I weighed 230lb's once (5'11") and while that is not visually obese, I knew I needed to change and I'm better for it. Maybe telling yourself that weight isn't simply a vanity issue as much as it is a life destroyer.

TL;DR - Don't waste your money on "self-help" books when that sort of information and helpful community-based discussion is free everywhere around on the internet. You need to start holding your chin up high regardless of your current attitude and just tell the world you're worth it. Next step would be to actually prove it correct!

#39 Posted by Raven_Sword (3447 posts) -

I was mainly concerned that "the game" would send me wrong messages or something.

#40 Posted by Raven_Sword (3447 posts) -

Anyone know?

#41 Posted by cnlmullen (900 posts) -

In general, how-to books have been useful for me, improving myself. I learned a lot about programming, guitar, gardening, ukulele, music theory, psychology and philosophy from books. Although I took college courses in a lot of these things, I learned more from reading books on my own in those subjects than from the courses.

I've also benefited greatly from reading books on mindfulness and optimism. Although, I'll admit I'm still a little neurotic at times, I think I'm much closer to having "inner peace" now than I ever have been, in part because of reading those books. I get stressed from time to time, but I'm never depressed anymore.

#42 Posted by Nodachie (77 posts) -

George Carlin said that if you're motivated to buy a book you're motivated enough to do what ever bullshit you need to be motivated to do...

Do not buy self help anything. Most people do not even need a professional therapist. You know what, I'll do you a favor and tell you the truth:

You have to fail. You have to screw up. You have to be humiliated, isolated and ostracised. You have to know what went wrong because you did that, or something like that. After that, you will know what will work.

Accept your mistakes, then you'll be confidant. Accept your self then you'll be confidant. Take a chance, then you'll succeed.

Nothing more to it then that.

#43 Posted by jmic75 (264 posts) -

Well they work...in that the authors make money off of them.

#44 Edited by Socialone (202 posts) -

I came here thinking someone could help me find legit books about cuisine, piano and German.

Sorry duder, I'm just as helpless as you when it comes to women, and I doubt any Youtube video could change that.

#45 Posted by Joey2683 (359 posts) -

Stuff like this and Celebrate Recovery has really changed my life in the last five years. Two additonal things. 1. There is no quick fix. 2. You can't do it alone.

http://www.saddleback.com/mc/m/e423c/

You can also find Celebrate Recovery meetings in your area.