July 4, 2009

"Repeating positive self-statements may benefit certain people, such as individuals with high self-esteem, but backfire..."

"... for the very people who need them the most."

Are you surprised, losers? (Sorry, I was trying to help.)


Robin said...

Also interesting was the finding that wallowing in self pity made the low self esteem participants feel better.

rhhardin said...

Thurber disposed of self-help books in Let Your Mind Alone! and Other More or Less Inspirational Pieces, which contains also the memorable picture of a psychologist about to call his wife.

Lem said...

"The biggest self of self is indeed self."

Or not.

SteveR said...

Thanks! I think.

Naked Surfer said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
William said...

In most important respects I'm despicable. In most important respects, I'm better than most people, certainly you.....Does this make me a better or a worse person? Is it possible to be as grandiose in your self contempt as in your self love? Was the guy in Metamorphosis the Napoleon of self loathing?......By definition most of us are mediocore. Self esteem and self loathing are different forms of self delusion to escape the obvious fact that we are all rather ordinary. Our most honorable or wicked actions are just spit in the river.

Penny said...

At what point are people with high self esteem, and looking in a mirror reciting positive affirmations about themselves, considered narcissists?

Naked Surfer said...

The data (despite the news flash) nowhere suggests that wallowing in self pity makes people with low self esteem feel better.

The results suggest that telling yourself the truth about the facts of your bummed out life may be a big bummer, but that this kind realism is less of a bummer than the bigger bummer of lying to yourself about it with stupid chants saying how good everything is.

There’s evidence that passing through forms of depression (book, “Spiritual Emergency”) can be a necessary process for self-correction (i.e., getting real), and that the process of getting bummed out and weird can be aborted by stupid psychological self-help tricks, or even by sucking down the dope of big pharm.

There’s a reason why the genes of hunter-gatherers who lied to themselves, saying that the hard ass lion with big teeth about to eat them alive, “is, gee, a nice Easter bunny bringing me some sugar snacks and yummy hard boiled eggs, because my low self esteem deserves some treats”– did not get passed on.

Cincinnatus said...

I'm good enough, I'm smart enough, and gosh darn it! people like me!

EDH said...

Now, over to the Dream Cafe.

Jerry: Babu, may I say something?

Babu: Of course, you're a very smart man, I'll listen.

Jerry: I'm not a restaurateur by any means, but it occurred to me that perhaps you might serve some dishes from your native Pakistan? As opposed to franks and beans for example.

Babu: But there are no Pakistani people here.

Jerry: Doesn't matter. You would have the only authentic Pakistani restaurant in the whole neighborhood.

Babu: Yes, you see everything, don't you?

Jerry: Well, not everything. I do what I can.

Babu: I'll close down today and when I open again it'll be whole Pakistani restaurant. Thank you, thank you very much, you're very special person, very special.

[Babu leaves]

Jerry [thinking to himself]: I am such a great guy. Who else would've gone through the trouble of helping this poor immigrant? I am special. My mother was right. Of course I've never had Pakistani food. How bad it could be?

[Dream Cafe. Babu is on the window looking gloomy. Jerry comes in.]

Jerry: Well, congratulations my friend. You know, I sorry I missed the grand re-opening. I was out of town for about a week.

Babu: You see how I listened. I worked very hard, borrowed more money.

Jerry: I think it's fantastic. Has a certain indefinable charm.

Babu: You wish to eat?

Jerry: Let me tell you something Babu. You go back there in that kitchen and tell your chef I want the works.

Babu: Very good.

Jerry [thinking to himself]: Very good? No, not very good, very great. I am very, very great.

[Dream Cafe. Babu is looking as Jerry eats.]

Jerry: Babu? Babu...[waves Babu to come to table] Babu...you know, I got to tell you, I never do this, but the shrimp, it's just that it's a little stringy. You have any chicken?

Babu: The shrimp is stringy?

Jerry: Well, maybe your refrigerator...

Babu: Quiet!! You shut up! You make me change restaurant, but nobody comes! You say make Pakistani, Babu Bhatt have only Pakistani restaurant. But where are people? You see people? Show me people. There are no people!

Jerry: You know, I think I'll just take the check.

Babu: You bad man! You very very bad man! [leaves]

Jerry [thinking to himself]: Bad man? Could've my mother been wrong?

traditionalguy said...

The fatal flaw in self help books is that our self already is programed by the authority figures in our early life to hate ourselves. We have no authority to un-curse ourselves. An outside authority can spend the time to tell us the truth and we will listen; like a football coach, a militery superior, or a good teacher. Next we will need an atonement with the spiritual authority over this world to assure us that we are accepted and worthy no matter what other men say. That book is the best seller in world history, which only 400 years ago men were being killed and tortured for the high crime of printing and translating into English. It seems that earthly kings need us to stay weakened by guilt so that we can be more easily enslaved for their benefit. Having that book is still a death penalty offense in today's land of enslavement, called Islamic countries. If you are wise, you will get you one while they are still available.

Joe said...

Translation: acting narcissistic helps narcissists, but makes everyone else feel dirty. Big revelation.