One of the most interesting subreddits to me is called Unpopular Opinion. It’s a place where you can go and share your unpopular opinion, and a lot of people do! Obviously, I’m very into self-help, so I thought I would check out some of the unpopular opinions around that topic. There were some that I agree with, but I’ll talk about those another day. Today I want to talk about the unpopular opinions on self-help that I don’t agree with and explain why.
Unpopular Opinion 1: Self-Help Books Are Trash
The person who posted this unpopular opinion listed a few reasons why they think that self-help books are trash, and I only agree with two of them, but not for the reason that self-help books are trash.
First, they said that life’s not easy and you need to keep on going to get to where you want to be. Yes, that’s true. But you are not psychic and don’t always know the next step you should take. Self-help books help you see the next step, or they give you insight into something you’ve never thought of before so that you can take the next step. If you only rely on your own information, you can only get so far. You know what you know, and to add to that knowledge you either need to experience things or learn from others who have experienced the things that can help you. This is where self-help books come in handy.
Next, they say that there’s no such thing as shortcuts or mysterious advice that can help your life be better instantly. Agreed! And most self-help authors don’t claim that you can make things better in an instant. Most authors clearly tell you that you need to put into place new beliefs, habits, or strategies in order to get the results you want. Self-help books are not books that instantly change your life when you close them. To have that expectation is unrealistic. You need to take what you learn and apply it to your life.
Next, he tries to insinuate that the writers are simply out to make money from their book. That’s such bullshit. That’s offensive to me on so many levels. Yes, there may be some self-help writers out there just trying to make a buck. But most authors and writers are just trying to help and make a living off that passion of wanting to help. This ‘everyone is out to scam me’ mentality will keep you in dark places all your life.
Then he says that self-help books set you up for unrealistic expectations. Well, yeah! If you expect to rule the world, that may be unrealistic. But most self-help books encourage you to do your best and set yourself up for your personal goals, not unrealistic goals. It’s about your mindset and what you are willing to do. If you have an optimistic and realistic mindset and take steps to where you want to go, you can achieve great things. You may not achieve exactly what you set out for, but you may achieve something else that’s just as great. Self-help books offer tools to help you get to where you want to go if you are willing to do the work.
Lastly, he says in his unpopular opinion on Reddit that self-help books present pointless arguments. Wow. What a generalization. That’s just nonsense. Most self-help books include examples, studies, and real-life instances. Most self-help books are writing by someone who has been there and done that either themselves or with their clients. If you take their arguments as pointless, that’s up to you, but it doesn’t make it so just because you say so.
Unpopular Opinion 2: People Posting Self Help Quotes Are Cringeworthy
As someone who posts articles based around quotes, I like to think I’m not cringeworthy. I’m sorry if this person feels awkward reading them, but that doesn’t make me awkward for posting them.
I hope this person’s post really is an unpopular opinion.
Quotes give us insight into other people and ourselves. They are used daily in the news and we remember people through their most popular quotes.
We may not be able to learn everything from quotes, but the right quote at the right time can help us understand something better and give us insight into who we are, what we want, and where we are going.
Saying that people posting little bits of wisdom causes you embarrassment has more to do with you than the people posting the self-help quotes.
Unpopular Opinion 3: The Self-Help Industry Is About Milking Money From You
This is an unpopular opinion about the self-help industry that I think a lot of people agree with. They see a self-help product and think it should be free because, after all, it’s about improving their lives and if the author or creator wanted to help them then they would do it for free.
I think it’s absolute nonsense.
- Nobody expects someone to cook for us at a restaurant for free.
- Nobody expects to get their college education taught for free.
- Nobody expects their car to be fixed by a mechanic for free.
All those things are helping us, but we still have to pay for them.
Just because someone wrote a book or created a product in the self-help industry, it doesn’t mean that they don’t deserve to get paid for their creation too – just like the chef, teacher, or mechanic.
Everyone offers something in exchange for something else. That’s how people keep a roof over their heads and food on the table, so stop trying to corner the self-help industry into the ONLY industry that shouldn’t charge for their services.
Despite all that, I find the self-help industry actually offers the most products for free. You can take a ton of free masterclasses on Mindvalley, for example, and there’s no commitment to buy anything after you take the class. Yes, you can further your learning around them if you want to, but you don’t have to and then you walk away with someone for nothing.
And, yes, the self-help industry has become more profitable over the years, but more people are looking for help and are willing to try to find answers that they are looking for. If not, there would be no self-help industry.
It’s like plant-based cheese. It was a small industry for a while, but now it’s booming and growing because of demand for it. So, as we go on, we will see more and more companies pop up and try to give customers what they are looking for.
Also, this Reddit poster’s unpopular opinion states that the only people who get success from these products are the people who are selling them. I know firsthand that’s not true. My life has changed completely because of self-help programs and books. I’ve improved my life in every area and have much more success than I did before I started to expand my awareness around all topics and implement what I’ve learned into my life.
And I’m not the only one. All you have to do is talk to other people who have read the self-help book you want to read or taken the self-help course you want to take and you will see that people who are willing to do the work can get results.
Interestingly, I heard a statistic that only 30% of people who buy a self-help product actually finish the self-help book or course. And 15% of people never even pick up that book or start that course. So, I’m assuming the poster’s unpopular opinion has developed because he or she hasn’t had success using self-help products, and I have to wonder if they are in one of these statistics or simply someone who doesn’t actually implement anything that they’ve learned through the book or course.
Note: Please feel free to share your unpopular opinion or counterargument to an unpopular opinion on self-help in the comments below.