Archive for Emma Thompson

The problem with self-help books…

Posted in blogging, chick lit, ebooks, fiction, humor, life, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 5, 2011 by Ella Slayne

I was watching Nanny PcPhee Returns the other day (I know it’s a kids’ movie but it was on telly and I had nothing better to do … besides Emma Thompson reminds me of home). Anyway at the beginning, when Nanny McPhee has just arrived and is trying to explain her appearance to the bunch of unruly children, she says something along the lines of:

“When you need me but don’t want me, I must stay. When you want me but no longer need me, I must go”

And it occurred to me that the same thing could be applied to self-help books…

I think self-help books have a fundemental flaw: the people they target are the people least likely to actually pick one up and read it. I mean when you’re down in the dumps, your focus is usually wallowing in your own self-pity. You’re not usually receptive to some positive bright spark advising you on how to “Gain Control of Your Gloom” or “Walk Over To The Sunny Side of the Street”. No, because it just makes you feel worse, even more of a failure. You look at the picture of smug self-help book author and you weep, because next to them you look like a worthless drip! You read one chapter of their book and end up snivelling into a chocolate bar.

It’s like when Simon Cowell was on American Idol and he used to say to the contestants: “The only thing stopping you from winning this competetion is you!” And the poor wanna-be pop star would just stand there blinking back the tears. I mean come on Simon – how on earth is that helpful? You’re basically telling the poor sods that they’re ruining their own chances just by being themselves which they can’t do anything about!

It seems to me that we are most receptive to positive thinking when we are already thinking positively! So we should make a point of stocking up on our self-help reading when we feel we don’t need it, in the hope that it will carry us through the glum phases and then hopefully we, too, stand a chance of becoming an AMERICAN IDOL! Well not really but you know what I mean…although just so you know, I’m am actually quite good a karaoke

Bye y’all!

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