You don’t have to look too far to find advice on the internet. Self-help (often currently sort of re-branded as self-care) is a topic that folks will dish insight on very freely.
But is all of it good?
Reddit is here to parse out some potentially bad advice. It should be noted that a lot of these posts came with edits clarifying “Of course this might be valid if blah blah blah,” so take each with a grain of salt.
1. “Surround yourself only with positive people.”
Advice to Surround yourself only with positive people, if you’re willing to cut people from the your life when they are a bit down, that’s a recipe for people hiding the negatives in their life from friends, only discussing the positive and having mostly superficial friendships, for fear of you being cut out of their lives.
Not saying you need to keep people in your life who are treating you badly, but we all go through times when we are up & times when we are down, friends give you their time through both.
2. “Ignore the haters”
Sometimes the “haters” are people who love you and want to warn you of potential pitfalls (such as MLMs, cults, abusive relationships, etc.)
3. “Be brutally honest”
Its not really advice, but its popular for people to label themselves as “brutally honest”.
Honesty is good, but beware of people who are more interested in the brutality than the honesty.
4. “Stop texting”
“stop texting people first to see who your friends are” what if they’re doing the same thing and you just ended a friendship due to a misunderstanding?
5. “There’s no wrong way to parent”
As a child of abuse, there are absolutely wrong ways to parent. Frankly I’m of the opinion that the majority of chronic mental illnesses are the result of sh**ty parenting practices because sh**ty parenting can f**k up every body system.
Every parent should consult a child psych professional just like they consult a pediatrician about their child’s wellbeing. They’re professionals who have the education to read research studies regarding child development and can direct a parent on how to raise a healthy child.
6. “Follow your heart”
Honestly this statement almost never works.
Sometimes love can be toxic, and maybe the correct decision is painful.
Maybe it pains you to leave someone. Your heart shouldn’t rule you.
7. “Just be yourself”
“Myself” is a guy who likes to work minimum wage, part time jobs that require no mental input, and then spend the rest of his time playing video games and eating junk food. He’s overweight, underpaid, and has no interaction with his friends or family.
I don’t want to be myself. I want to be a better version of myself.
8. “Find a job you love, and you’ll never work a day in your life”
First of all, even a job you love is going to suck…often. That’s why they pay you to do it. This advice leaves you feeling like a failure whenever you have a bad day at work.
Plus, there’s a lot of value in working for a living and finding your satisfaction at a more personal level.
9. “You gotta detoxify!”
Anything with “detoxify” in the description. If you have a liver you already do this.
A juice cleanse isn’t going to make up for your bottle of vodka and may even make it worst.
10. “You have to love your body”
Motherf**ker I’m short, bald, ugly, and I have chronic pain.
My body betrays me at every turn. F**k that guy.
11. “All you need is the proper mindset”
First of all, screw to the ever loving gates of h**l whoever thinks this is all it takes. I am 100% aware that mindset is probably the most important variant to being happy and successful, but some days suck and to minimize every problem to this completely dehumanizing. Sometimes your dog dies a week after you lost your job and you have to realize that any amount of mindset wouldn’t help you be a better you in 7 days or whatever these mindset coaches are saying
Don’t get me wrong, I am all here for personal development. I actually work in marketing and there is so much of that in the entrepreneur world. In general they help way more then they harm BUT that doesn’t excuse the heartless way they deal with the people for who their pre-planned coaching plan doesn’t work. Since they are not trained mental health care professionals, they can’t help the person actually find the right kind of help and it can lead to this person losing control and spiraling into psychosis. These coaches don’t care, mindset and money that’s all.
Anyways, if you are one of those people who SELL (not just think but sell the whole philosophy) that all you need is the proper mindset and you can get anything, burn in h**l, people who die of suicide because of your cult like techniques are blood on your hands. Rant over
12. “Anything is possible if you work hard enough.”
No! Not everything is possible.
You’re not going to be the new nelson Mandela, f**king president of the USA or the new pop-artist.
I’m sorry to tell you but it’s true.
13. “No one can hurt your feelings without your permission.”
Bulls**t. If someone I care about says something offside, OF COURSE I will consider it truth until I prove otherwise. That’s just respect.
I’m not going to blindly assume everyone is wrong if they say something that hurts.
I think that advice is trying yo turn people into sociopaths.
14. “Just cut out the bad things”
When the advice to deal with an anxiety problem is pretty much oh just remove the things that cause anxiety from your life
I’m sorry but this just sometimes isn’t an option for people. And I think most people understand this to be the first step to trying to deal with anxiety before it gets more severe.
If somebody’s anxiety is getting to the point where somebody else is getting concerned for them then likely there’s a larger underlying issue like them being stuck in a bad living situation or in a job that’s difficult to leave or something like that and just repeating the most asinine kindergarten level advice that you should avoid things that are causing you too much stress doesn’t benefit everyone
Plus there’s also some situations or events that are just going to be stressful whether you like it or not and you just kind of have to put up with it even if you yourself have some sort of stress or anxiety disorder
These kind of situations the focus should be more on how to have better handle that stress had a better recognize that emotion and finding positive methods of distraction and subversion to help keep them from hyper fixating on it. Obviously I’m not a medical professional and you’ll find better resources online about dealing with stress stuff but my main point here is that the advice of just removing the stressor from your life is not only unhelpful but frankly a bit insulting to the intelligence of a person receiving the advice
15. “Follow your dreams”
This is something people learn real young and what it amounts to is an attitude that “your dreams” are the only valid path, and anything else isn’t acceptable. People have no idea what everything entails practically, especially as they are learning, and at best you get real lucky and what your dreams are is also something you excel at, at worst doing anything that you didn’t view as your dream job is crushing, and most medium it gets you to not try out other things and try on different kinds of tool belts in any serious manner.
“Follow your dreams” gets people to be inflexible, to not entertain more experiences that could actually provide contentment and satisfaction, and worse to potentially sink massive time and resources on this inflexibility, all the while adding to a sense of personal failure or a false impression of unfairness.
Remember – life advice is just general. Your own situation is gonna vary a lot.
That said, what piece of advice would you like to give?
Tell us in the comments.