Dr. Phil gives you ten "laws" of life

[/Dr. Phil voice]

It ain’t about you!!!

[Dr. Phil voice]

guizot, you might lead a happier life if you scaled back on the cynicism just a tad. Hey, I know, the Pit is a playground for cynicism, and I understand how much fun it can be.

But as much as I despise Dr. Phil, there’s not a single thing in that list I can disagree with. Let’s take one at random.

grabs one of them dice that chicks dig so much

#4: “You cannot change what you do not acknowledge.” Your cynical response suggests to me that you didn’t put a whole lot of thought into it.

Ever known anyone that kept doing stupid shit over and over again? Think hard. Think deep. I’m sure you can think of at least one person. Look at yourself. Hell, look at me. Look at everyone on this board. Look at every person you’ve ever met. We’ve all repeated mistakes.

Acknowledge it, fix it, and move on. Makes perfect sense to me.

175 people who read self-help books.

Not a demographic i generally look to for advice. :slight_smile:

Yeah, absolutely. Because people who are actually interested in trying to improve themselves are such a bunch of clueless assholes, doncha know.

The people who are actually trying aren’t reading books about it. They’re trying.

This is like the people who say “You’ve seen a shrink? You must be crazy! I’d never see a shrink!”

Alrighty then. One of us has been to the doctor and got better. One of us hasn’t. Guess which one you are?

Well, they might not be clueless assholes for trying to improve themselves, but some of them are apparently just clueless enough that they don’t recognize a joke even when you put the fucking smiley in to help them.

Maybe you were too busy adding “Great sense of humor” to your dating profile to notice it.

Every joke has a target. Who or what was yours? The people who read self-help books were the only ones who were actually in attendence at the event, so it’s hard to tell. Given my obvious impairments in this area, can I prevail upon you to parse your joke for me?

Yeah, I had a boyfriend like that. “I don’t need therapy/books/counseling/drugs/behavior mod! I’m doing it on my own, ok? I’m trying! Now let me get back to my 14th hour of WoW and my 12th Guinness, alright?”

Wait, wait, I can see it coming: “What was his problem? He sounds fine to me!” arf. Yeah, funny to talk about, not to live with.


I wish to only address

The best advice I ever got from my dad was “To not decide is to decide.” Sometimes life gives you the chance to be in the driver’s seat, when that happens, drive. If you let time decide for you through inaction, it seldom goes your way.

Example. a bill comes in you can’t pay. Inaction, ignore it. Result, power gets turned off. Action, call them and explain you cannot pay but recognize your responsibility for the debt. Result, a payment plan and the power stays on.

Dr. Phil is a hack, but even a blind squirrel finds an acorn now and again.

I think that’s the shortest post that ever made me laugh.

#11: Never, never parse your own joke; cf. #1.

This one is actually very true and a lot of people don’t understand it. Granted, a book will probably not help them undertstand it…

That is the best one of all. Stop blaming him/her for whatever it is he or she is doing to you, they only do it cuz you let 'em, fool.

My happiness quotient is pretty high (but I agree that cynicism can be too negative); I’m concerned with a larger issue: people who “need” some guy to tell them how to live in such overgeneralized terms.

#4: “You cannot change what you do not acknowledge.” Your cynical response suggests to me that you didn’t put a whole lot of thought into it.”

I HAVE thought about it. It’s OBVIOUS. I don’t need Dr. Phil to tell me this. It’s condescending. If you want to change something, you’ve already acknowledged it. It’s mumbojumbo.

As for Iraq, the point is that people don’t always do “what works.” People often do what doesn’t work. It was just one well know example. (I suppose he might have said, “People should do what works,” but then, again, that would be obvious.) Anybody like Dr. Phil who makes a career out of telling people the “secret” for happiness in such broad terms clearly doesn’t consider a lot of people on this planet. I don’t disagree with everything he says–just that he seems to think that these platitudes make him wiser than everyone else.

Wars do work, in the short run, for presidents that launch them. Bush 41 had an appoval rating of 91% after Gulf War I. Bush 43 was at 71% after the opening phase of the current war.

Of course, drawn-out and stalemated wars don’t “work”, even in a political sense, and people eventually turn on the government responsible. But few politicians can look past the intoxicating temporary bounce–especially since human nature is to over-estimate one’s self and underestimate the enemy and to assume that war won’t become drawn-out and stalemated. In this sense, as banal as it sounds, “people do what works” provides some insight into how we got into this mess. See also post#9.

a: What exactly is the nature of your concern? That such people exist? That they will get the help they need? That they think they need it at all? That Dr. Phil is not the guy who will provide it?

b: You said you “looked” at the book. I assume this means you either looked at the back cover or the table of contents or both. Either will provide a general summary of the content of the book, they are not intended to convey the entirety of what lies within accurately and completely, that would obviate the need for a book. If Dr. Phil were expecting people to simply understand it all without explanation, he would have put the ten points on a poster and left it at that. For you to then bitch that it’s “overgeneralized”, based on your reading of “the poster”, so to speak, makes it a failure of your comprehension, not his communication.

That is only if the thing you are seeking to change is the thing that actually needs to be changed, vs. the consequences of the thing that really needs changing. I want to change my body, but if I don’t acknowledge what I am doing that makes my body the way it is, it will never change.

Consider this example: Sebastian is an alcoholicwhich has destroyed all his relationships and kept him hopping from job to job. But Sebastian sits around all day feeling sorry for himself because in his mind, no one loves him and his bosses are all assholes (and of course, that’s probably why he drinks!) He really wishes that he had a great partner and a terrific job, he really wishes that would change. But Sebastian is not acknowledging that Sebastian has a problem that Sebastian needs to address, so it’s unlikely that Sebastian will see much change in his life until he does.

And that little summation describes, to some degree, at some point in life, almost everyone who ever lived. The vast majority of humanity does not come out of the chute with the innate understanding that they need to take responsibility for themselves, they come out with the innate desire to blame pretty much anything or anyone except themselves. Hang out with a few little kids for an afternoon, you’ll see what I mean.

Again, reading the poster leaves you feeling frustrated because you do not understand what the man is saying. Allow me to quote him direct from his own summation of the ten laws in this book:

You are making the mistake many people make around this issue by assuming that “working” is defined as “the thing you think you want”, without recognizing that we are, in fact, driven to do things by weird, stupid, unhealthy, bizarre motives. If we had NO motive, we wouldn’t do it. Think of Sebastian: obviously being an alcoholic isn’t “working” for him in that it’s destroying everything else about his life. But it’s working quite well at allowing him to check out, blame everyone else, give in to his self-destructive impulses and a dozen other things besides. It’s also working at ruining his life, which as we know is a very good excuse for being an alcoholic! Kind of a neat little circle that is VERY effective!

As for Iraq, it’s working just fine. You don’t think so because to you (and me) “working” means something very different from what “working” means to the people controlling the situation. (And having said that, and knowing that these principles DO extend to companies, nations, etc, it must be acknowledged that it’s harder to change big actions involving multiple people. Not impossible, of course, but certainly harder and it definitely takes more time.)

He’s actually taken one basic idea and stretched it into 10, because people resist the idea he’s offering, it’s easier to get them to swallow it in pieces. The one basic idea is summed up in number 2, and if you can learn to internalize this and apply it across virtually every area of your life, you WILL, I repeat, you WILL become a MUCH MUCH happier person, I absolutely guarantee it.

You know, from what you’ve had to say, I think you could actually learn quite a bit from this book, it’s a shame you didn’t pick it up for the buck.

If I were Dr. Phil, I would sit down with Stoid and thank her very graciously for her support.

I would then get down on my knees and beg her to never again present herself to others as one of my reader “success stories.”