I managed to read a couple of self-help books this week, even if I haven't managed to find time to write about them.
First off, I read 'Loving Yourself, Loving Another' by Julia Cole, and I really didn't get along with this one. It talks a lot about couple esteem, and how one person having a downer of a day can really put a dampener on their partners mood, and that just made me feel sad - everyone is going to have at least one bad day in a while, so why put even more stress on yourself by linking your bad day to someone else's happiness?
Similarly, I didn't get on with the questionnaires section of this book. While attempting to establish which area of self-esteem that the reader may need assistance in (either emotiona, physical or mental) you had to go through a series of questionnaires, the recommended completion times of which were thirty to forty minutes. I didn't fill out the questionnaires, but I had a good hard think about each of the options, and I just found that they didn't really access any deeper levels. The questions would be paired (e.g. 'I regard myself as an introvert' followed by 'I regard myself as an extrovert') but because the rating system was from strongly agree to strongly disagree it meant that the answer to the second question was the exact opposite of the first, which was completely pointless. Furthermore, there was no column for not applicable, which - when referring to how you believe your disabilities impacted you in your day to day life - could have come in handy, as the questions did not apply to me in the slightest.
The theory behind the book is good: teach you about general self-esteem, then the specific areas of individual self-esteem, then couple-esteem. But despite the fact that the theory was good, the execution was dreary, boring, and, quite frankly, predictable.
Secondly, I picked up 'Live More, Spend Less' by Sarah Flower.
"Wait," you ask. "A self-help book on money?"
Why yes, loyal reader, a self-help book on money! Going off of advice from a colleague last week, in which she told me that when she feels anxious she finds that reading money advice calms her down, I decided to take a punt and give it a shot. If I'm going to do this investigation, I might as well make it as wild and wacky as I possibly can!
The funny thing is, I completely agree with her. Whereas the other self-help books just seemed to contradict themselves with every piece of advice, trying to tear the reader in two as they attempted to embody such double standards, money books make a hell of a lot more sense. I'm not a big spender - I am quite good at saving and only buying things when I need to, but the level-headed advice offered within these pages can easily be extrapolated for use in the real world, which is a big change from the other books I've attempted over these last three weeks.
An example of this is the inclusion of a section on cheap and healthy recipes. By offering cheap recipes, it effectively caters to the money savers of the world, but by giving cheap and healthy options, this book could also help boost readers self-esteem - a change of diet is one of the easiest ways to change your mentality.
I highly recommend this book, and I'm definitely going to try to squeeze in some more money books over the next week, just to see if this trend continues.
Because this update is so late, and I've had no chance to read any self-help books over the last couple of days, the concluding post to this investigation is actually going to be posted on the 29th of June, so keep an eye out!