Dr. Phil gives you ten "laws" of life

I was passing by the “for sale” table at my local library, and this one was in the $1 pile. I looked at it out of curiosity: “Life Strategies,” okay, let’s see.

#1: “You either get it or you don’t.” Then, “Become one of those who gets it.” Of course. Either you get that a book is bogus or you don’t . Get it, and don’t buy that book.

#2: “You create your own experience.” I’m sure all those people in Darfur can identify with this.

#3: “People do what works.”
Yeah. Iraq really works.

#4: “You cannot change what you do not acknowledge.”
So true, Dr. Phil. Have you acknowledged that you are a hack trying to rake in money on others’ insecurities?

5 “Life rewards action.”

“Life” doesn’t do anything. Life lets you do whatever you want. Sometimes you get punished, sometimes you don’t.

#6: “There is no reality; only perception.” Adjunct: “Identity filters through which you view the world.”

Dr. Phil, please come to LA and try to rob a bank. When they catch you, and interrogate you, you can say that everyone just “perceived” that you were robbing a bank. They will still prosecute you. You’ll probably end up in prison. Have fun.

#7: “Life is mangaged; it is not cured. Learn to take chage or your life.”

Do you think I’d wait around for YOU to take charge of it?

#8: “We teach people how to treat us.” “Own, rather than complain about, how people treat you.”

Do you think that if someone accosted me on the street late at night with a knife, and slashed my gut, I’d be trying to educate him on the correct way to assault people?

#9: “There is power in forgiveness.”’
I can give a lot of forgiveness, but not to a scammer like you, Dr. Phil. Take your snake oil elsewhere.

#10: “You have to name it before you can claim it.”
Great. I name you “idiot.”
Now that I’ve done that, I claim you to be an idiot, and a scam. I’ve taken my turn.

Um, it says Life Strategies, not Absolute Laws of the Universe That You Naively Apply to Every Boneheaded Analogy That You Can Think Of. I’m the first person to call Dr. Phil a hack, but get your head out of your ass. Blind hatred doesn’t get you points.

It’s true. There are some people who don’t get “it.” If you don’t notice these people every day, you are one of them.

You temper all your experiences with your attitude. If you approach everything openly, without prejudice, you’ll almost always come out better than if you approach everything as a judgemental ass. And no, he is not saying you can magically change your reality.

This is kind of dumb. Though, most people do try to do what works, rather than what doesn’t work.

Ask anyone in a 12 step program if they could change their problem without acknowledging it.

So you’re saying inaction is equal to or better than action. Sitting on your ass all day is better than working. Hiding in your house is better than confronting your problems.

This is one of his fluffy statements. If it helps you somehow, then good. Otherwise…???

No, instead of waiting for someone to take charge of your life, you take charge of your own life.

No, but you’re just being dim. He is talking about normal everyday interpersonal relationships.

The power in forgiveness is the ability to let go of the anger for yourself. Keeping grudges ultimately hurts yourself more than the one you are angry at.

Same as the thing about acknowledgement, if you can’t name your problem, you can’t do anything about it. So I’ll take this time to name you as the Idiot for taking some generally good notions and trying to twist them to correspond with your Dr.Phil-Hate. Why you would pit something because you are too willfully ignorant to understand it, is beyond me.

#1: "You either get it or you don’t."
Very true, I didn’t get it for about six months before I met my wife.

**#2: “You create your own experience.” **
Also true. I spent six months creating my own experience

#3: "People do what works."
You pretty much need a job for somebody to do you.

#4: "You cannot change what you do not acknowledge."
Agreed. If I don’t acknowledge the smell, then I can’t change the baby and the little woman ends up doing it.

# 5 "Life rewards action."
There was plenty of action going on when the life of the baby was created

#6: "There is no reality; only perception.
I tried to tell her that the oil stains from the motorcycle on the patio weren’t real if she refused to perceive them, but I guess she hasn’t read the book.

**#7: "Life is managed; it is not cured. **
The wife threatened to cure me of my current state of being alive after the diaper thing and the oil stain thing. She really needs to read that book.

#8: "We teach people how to treat us."
Too true, I had to sleep on the couch, which then relates to number 1. I guess she taught me something.

#9: “There is power in forgiveness.”'
That’s what I told her!

#10: "You have to name it before you can claim it."
My brother in law is in prison and one of his fellow inmates named him “Barbiedoll”. Does that apply?

Hmm, the book was in the dollar pile, and it hadn’t yet sold. I suspect that locked away somewhere is significant information about the value of its contents, if only I can discover it.

Clearest, simplest, least gimmicky, truest self-help book I ever read or tried to read, absolute aces. Not a shred of bullshit, makes perfect sense, pretty much everyone could see huge improvements in their lives if they could internalize what he has to say.

Remember, this was his first book, before he had his show, when he was just an occasional guest on Oprah. His head could still fit through doors back then.

Even now, as obnoxious as he can be, the core of what he has to say is usually pretty hard to argue with, (with one or two exceptions where I think he panders pretty heavily to his female audience) he just says it in what is an increasingly grating way.

175 people on Amazon gave this book 5 stars. This is a losing battle.

I’m not sure whose “rebuttal” to #4 made me giggle harder.

How many pittings of Dr Phil since mine?

While I am completely with you about Dr. Phil being an attention-whoring, holier-than-thou pimp of dysfunction porn, I can offer a coherent explanation of #3. It is what caused me to buy one of his books when he was starting out, because it did ring true and give me some perspective on my own issues.

“People do what works” simply means that whatever your behavior, you are doing it because it gives you rewards. I’ve struggled with overeating, and wondered why the hell I could keep doing it, when I hated the consequences so much. Well, the thing I was overlooking was that the immediate rewards of what I was doing (and on the flipside, the immediate discomfort that would result if I restrained myself) were winning out over the long term drawbacks. Having that realization could help people more objectively balance whether the rewards are worth the cost for any given behavior.

But, given that his TV show seems to be nothing but a forum for the audience, through him as proxy, to tsk tsk at overwhelmingly awful people, and get to think, “Well, I’m sooo much better than they are!” I’m going with the overall judgment that he’s a twat.

Way to miss the point. This is fairly obvious to me.

If someone is a rude ignorant jackass, they are acting that way because it gets them what they want out of life.

People are like pets or children; if their behaviour is rewarded, they will continue. If it doesn’t “work” in the sense of having the desired effect on the people around them, they will try something else.

That is why I wish we didn’t capitulate so often to rude, ignorant, and manipulative people. If we had the courage to say; “That’s not acceptable and it won’t get you what you want,” then people might wake up and STOP acting that way. But until we do, they have no reason to change.

A Monkey With a Gun]: priceless. My coworkers are wondering just what I’m on about now.

I’m going to be laughing all the way home. Heh.

I vote for Monkey’s. Much funnier.

People slam Dr. Phil all the time, but it’s actually pretty baseless. The 4 or 5 days a year that I’m home on a weekday at 3pm and can watch him, he’s always made perfect sense. He doesn’t coddle people and allow them to bullshit him, he tells them what they need to hear, not what they want to hear, and he gives them effective coping strategies for right now in addition to providing long-term counseling for them.

Hate Dr. Phil for his personality, his accent, or his style, but it’s hard to find much fault with what he actually does.

guizot just pulled the impossible and got most people, in the BBQ Pit community, to take up for a pop talk show host. There is nothing in that list that is baseless if it is read the right way. You know, you have to try to read things the right ways and not make fun of them before you can change. I have only seen Dr Phil and few times in glimpses but the stuff on that list is just common sense psychology. Maybe you should have bought the book and given it a careful read. I always say that people mold their experiences based up their world-view and that books like this can’t help you unless you acknowledge their power.

Besides the joke I posted earlier, (and thanks Sofaspud, et al. for the compliments) There is something else I want to say.

I find this hilarious. It’s such a non sequitur. It never ceases to crack me up how some posters can turn anything into geopolitics. The OP manages to squeeze the wars in Iraq and Sudan into a post criticizing an 8 year old self-help book by Dr. Phil. That’s just funny. What else was going through guizot’s mind when he was digging through the bargain bin?

Chicken Soup for the Soul
Nobody’s getting any soup till we get socialized medicine!

The Seven People You Meet in Heaven
You’re also going to meet a lot of AIDS victims from Africa!

Hey God, It’s Me, Margaret
Doesn’t Margaret know that the prisoners in Guantanamo are trying to pray, too?!

I have one and only one for Dr. Phil:

  1. Life isn’t in Black and White and you need to understand that.

Life may, however, be The Sims.


How is this rant workin’ out for ya?

“You either get it or you don’t.” Man, that is some seriously deep shit. As in up to your eyeballs.

What a tool.

I haven’t read any of his books, but I ceased to mock Dr. Phil one day when I happened to flick past him on TV. He was doing an episode on weight loss, and one of his guests was up on stage whining about how it wasn’t easy to lose weight. And Dr. Phil responded that of course it wasn’t easy. No one said it was going to be easy. People don’t make TV shows about how to help people do trivial stuff they could have just done on their own. You have to want it and you have to work for it.

There’s very little recognition in the weight loss industry that weight loss isn’t easy–that it is work and it is unpleasant. I think that contributes a lot to the high rates of failure of weight loss plans. I respect Dr Phil for being one of the few voices out there saying ‘Well, duh, if it was easy, you’d be thin.’