I like to listen to books on audio and podcasts while I workout and do mundane chores. It helps pass the time and I generally gain some knowledge or it gets the gears turning in my head and thus inspires a blog. Here lately, I’ve noticed many of the podcasts I’m listening to have a self-help quotient to them. I don’t think they are aiming to do that, I think it just happens organically. Now that I think of it, I’ve noticed a bump in the self-help phenomenon everywhere – Facebook posts, Youtube channels, even just text conversations with friends about the latest self-help book. It’s worse than New Year’s resolutions. It seems everyone is on a kick to make themselves into a better version of themselves.
I have nothing against bettering oneself. One must do a certain amount of bettering oneself just to sustain – like eating right and getting enough sleep and exercise. But, as of late, it seems like nothing is good enough. It almost seems like we are encouraged to find something wrong and fix it. This isn’t just our looks – that has been going on for generations. I see it more and more with personality traits and behavior. There seems to be a desire to slap a label on everything and everybody and then once the problem is labeled it must be addressed.
For example, if someone had demanding parents which turned that person into a super overachiever that person is them somehow flawed. When did being a Type A perfectionist become flawed and how is that a problem? Let’s say a person happens to be the last born in the family and a natural entertainer. Why is it now a bad thing to be a natural born entertainer or a pleaser or a fixer? One podcast I listen to is a husband and wife team. The husband in this duo has a medical condition – ADHD. I love listening to him because I also have ADHD. It’s like I’m listening to myself only with a deep voice. The duo recently had some family therapist on the show telling the man how despite years of learning coping mechanisms so that he can better function in the “normal non ADHD world” he is still broken and he needs to change. It was taking every ounce of self-control I had not to start yelling out loud back to the podcast. Why does he need to change? I understand how hard it is to keep one’s shit together with ADHD. I understand how life with a perfectionist can be hard to live with. I get that being around the entertainer can be exhausting for those who just want to chill. But, having those traits do not make a person broken or in need of change. If a person is happy with themselves and a functioning member of society why do they need to change in order to make others happy? Where would our world be without the innovators, the free thinkers, and the overachievers? In today’s spirit of inclusion, why can’t we embrace that some people have certain strengths and weaknesses that others don’t possess? I can’t help but wonder if this is the modern version of the search for the meaning of life or is this our way of evolving? Are we so interested in making everyone the same that if you aren’t the same you must be broken?
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