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These 10 Self-help Myths Will Destroy Your Life

Uploaded 5/31/2022, approx. 16 minute read

Abandon all hope, you who enter my channel. And why should you abandon hope?

Because hope is toxic, hope is pernicious, hope is opium for the masses, and it is administered to you by the con artists known as self-help gurus, self-styled experts with and without academic degrees. They all sell you hope. Hope is a drug, it's an opioid.

And so today I'm going to continue the series of videos that I've made on debunking myths, the many myths in pop psychology, armchair psychology. And these myths are not only wrong, but they're dangerous. These myths can destroy your life.

I'm kidding you're not.

Now there are links to two other videos that I've made debunking myths. Go down to the description of this video and you will find the links. It's a series, so you may wish to watch the other two.

So here it goes.

I'm going to describe a myth and then I'm going to tell you the facts. The facts which emanate and come out of studies, studies over decades involving tens of thousands of people all over the world in different cultures and different societies.

Beware of these myths. Be careful of coaches, experts, gurus, victims, professional and otherwise. These people are out to get your money and absolutely nothing else. They couldn't care less about you. Most of them hold you in contempt. I know because I correspond with all these people. We belong to the same group.

And so listen well and fend off for yourself. Trust no one. Trust no one. And yes, including me, go verify everything I'm saying. Check.

There is a portal called scholar.google.com. Go there, read the literature, do your own research.

Okay. What are the myths of the con artists of the self-help industry, which is about 99% of the self-help industry, especially online? What are these myths?

Myth number one, you can learn from your mistakes.

Here's the fact. You're very likely to repeat your behaviors throughout your lifespan. This is known as repetition compulsion. We tend to repeat specific behaviors and patterns of conduct throughout our lifespan.

No amount of learning, no amount of trauma and pain and hurt and damage seems to modify this particular repetition of our compulsions.

And so the fact is that we can, of course, learn from experience and we can avoid certain things, tangential, fringe, not very important things.

But when it comes to the core behaviors and main topics and issues of our existence, we tend to be creatures of habit and we tend to repeat time and again everything we've done in the past, including and usually especially our mistakes.

Ask any victim of abuse and you will find that she has had a string of abusive partners.

Why is that?

If learning from experience is possible, why do people repeat their mistakes? Why is there recidivism? Why do alcoholics continue to drink after 10 rehabs?

Because behavior patterns are addictive. They provide a comfort zone. We feel safe when we repeat behavior that we are well acquainted with.

Okay, this is not a lecture in psychology. This is just to give you the gist of what we know.

Next myth, change is possible.

Transformational change, basic change, foundational and fundamental change is possible throughout life. It's never too late.

This is the greatest nonsense of the self-help industry. It's the main pillar on which this con-artistry rests.

Because of course it's too late. It's too late for many things throughout life. Missed opportunities, we rarely get second chances, extremely rarely.

We miss on love, we miss on work, we miss on money-making opportunities, we miss on places and we miss on experiences and we miss.

Life is about missing out. Fear of missing out is well justified. Life is about losses. Losses drive us forward. Change is possible to some extent.

Some behaviors can be modified, some moods can be regulated, but this is on the periphery.

A decor, meaningful transformation is nearly impossible after the brain is fully formed at age 25.

Your character, your temperament, your personality and most basic big behavioral patterns, they are set for life after age 25. There is nothing you can do about it.

Of course, the whole industry is telling you otherwise because they want your money. Therapists want your money. So they're telling you bullshit and they're telling you nonsense. They're scamming you. They're telling you, of course we can change you. Here, buy this DVD. Pay for this session. Talk to me. Listen to me. Pay me, pay me, pay me.

The self-help industry, psychotherapy included, is based on a lie. And the lie is that it can help. It can help you change.

You need to accept that you are largely immutable, unchangeable and work from there. You need to accept yourself as you are because that's who you are for life.

And then based on that, you need to construct a realistic strategy of how to cope with life based on extreme self-awareness of your skills and talents.

On the one hand, your advantages and your shortcomings and your disadvantages and your frailties and vulnerabilities. On the other hand, because none of this is going away. Not even with the magic wand of a self-help book or a self-help DVD or a self-help therapy session. It's all self-interested con artistry. There's no other word for it. It's borders on the criminal. There's no other branch of medicine with so much crime taking place in plain view.


The next myth is, your partner's past doesn't matter. Only her present behavior should be relevant to you. It's impolitic and impolite to inquire about her history or his history. You should pay attention to what he's doing right now with you. You shouldn't care much about what he had done with others.

This is one of the most dangerous pieces of advice doled out by dating coaches, online self-styled experts with relevant and irrelevant academic degrees, but zero knowledge. It's a disaster. It's a disastrous piece. It's a disastrous piece of advice, disastrous tip.

Because the fact is, your partner's past is your future. Past behaviors and misconduct are surefire predictors, absolute predictors of future behaviors and misconduct. Misconduct in the past will occur, will happen again in the future.

Now, it may happen after six months or it may happen after six years or it may happen after 16 years, but it's going to happen again. Everything that had happened in the past will happen again. Every behavior will repeat itself, every wrong choice, every bad decision, every misconduct, every form of abuse, including substance abuse. Everything will happen again. Study your partner's past to the minutest details, subject her to a third-degree interrogation, ask around, talk to her friends, colleagues, family, co-workers, classmates, prowl her social media, learn everything there is to learn about your intimate partner before it hits you in the face big time and destroys your life.


Next, trauma is an objective experience. We are told there's a whole industry of trauma experts and trauma healers and trauma analysts and trauma expert witnesses and trauma this and trauma that because trauma is supposed to be like, I don't know, cancer or tuberculosis. A clinical entity which is real, objective, out there.

Trauma happens to you exactly like a virus happens to you. That's utter, unmitigated, counterfactual nonsense.

Trauma is a subjective thing. It's endogenous, psychogenic. In other words, trauma is not about what's happening to you. It's about how you react to what's happening to you.

It's a fact, it's a fact, that 10 people can be exposed to the same experienceand only one or two of them are traumatized. The others don't give it a second thought.

Trauma is a reactive pattern and it reflects underlying factors such as your personality, life history, vulnerabilities, brain abnormalities or structure, even genetics.

Trauma is uniquely subjective. It's unique to you. It's idiosyncratic. It has little to do with reality.

Reality serves only as a trigger.


Now some of you have heard of brain neuroplasticity and brain neuroplasticity is a real thing. The brain rewires itself in reaction to stimuli. The more regular and frequent the stimuli, the more the wiring is hardwired.

So the brain does alter itself. It's in flux but this pertains only to highly specific experiences and to certain habitual behaviors, to habituation.

So the brain can of course rewire itself but never in a fundamental way. The brain reacts to trauma in a highly rigid manner.

Now we can undo and reverse the effects of the trauma via manipulation of the brain, neuroscientific or neurological manipulation of the brain. That much is true.

Body-centered techniques are very helpful with trauma.

However, the initial reaction, the trauma formation is largely coming from the insight. It's largely endogenous.

We can even be traumatized without any external trigger. For example, we can be traumatized or re-traumatized by a memory. We can be traumatized or re-traumatized by a thought or an overwhelming emotion. Something erroneously called emotional flashback. Another stupid myth online.

Emotional flashback, there's a lot of nonsense going on. So trauma is subjective, not objective.


The next myth is love and time cure all. They are the big panacea. They are the medication we will be waiting for. All you need is love. Time is the great healer.

Well, the fact is that in many, probably most cases, love and time result ineluctably in losses, heartbreak and hurt. Most affairs of the heart, most relationships, most loves and definitely time itself result and lead us inexorably a panoply of losses, a diminishment, a constriction of life itself. We hurt repeatedly time and again, especially by love. Love and time are risks, not opportunities, not promises, but risks.

So why should we take them? Why not, for example, avoid love? And why avoid time by, for example, committing suicide?

Well, because they do come up with their own awards. Love enriches us. It's about us, not about the other person.

Love enriches us. Time opens vistas of opportunities for growth and personal development.

We are here to evolve. The very process of evolution is rewarding and it's wonderful.

And so these are two engines, time and its losses, love and its pains. These are the twin engines of becoming. And it is all about becoming. Love and time provide us with meaning, but they're not painless. They're not hurtless. They're definitely not solutions. They are not medication. They are not two processes, twin processes of healing.

It's not about healing. It's about getting wounded. It's about getting hurt. It's about being vulnerable. It's about opening up also to pain and hurt and loss.


The next myth is sex empowers. You engage in sex. You feel gratified, satisfied, empowered, stronger, self-confident. Your self-esteem is boosted.

And all in all, the birds are chirping, the sun is shining, and you are on top of the world. The fact is only in the minority of cases and in the majority of cases during limerence, the limerence phase, the infatuation phase.

But throughout life, only in a minority of cases is this the case. Mostly, sex leads to regret, shame, anger, self-loathing, and we disgust and dissonance. Shocking as it may sound to you, this is what studies show.

For example, in casual sex, something like two-thirds to four-fifths of women have negative emotions after the encounter and well over 50% of men, shockingly. That's casual sex.

In committed relationships, anywhere between one-fifth to two-thirds of couples are sexless. They are sex averse. They are avoiding sex because it had become an unpleasant experience.

Actually, the frequency and incidence of sex, sexual experiences, and the number of sex partners had declined by one-third. In the past 40 years, people are dating 60% less. Even dating apps lead to less and less sex. Sex is out of fashion because it's not a pleasant experience. It had never been a pleasant experience, actually, psychologically speaking. It may have been a pleasant experience in terms of physiological release, but psychologically, it's never been a pleasant experience.

If we review the literature on sex and literature which deals with sex, like fiction, you see that most sexual experiences, except in romantic literature, are described in very negative terms. Sex draws us into a conflict, a potential conflict zone. It renders us vulnerable. We seek intimacy. We seek acceptance. And we are very often disappointed. Partners are typically selfish, autoerotic. The sexual experience is a lottery. It's a casino. It's a roulette. It's a numbers game. The more sex you have, the more likely you are to come across good sex.

But on the way there, the bulk of your experiences is likely to be bad. Bad sex is much more common than good sex.

This negative experience of sex is true even among men and even in committed relationships. Although, in intimate long-term relationships, sex is better than in casual encounters in one might stand. Still, overall, sex is definitely not an empowering experience. It is an engine of negative affectivity.

Most people experience some kind of negative emotion after the sex, including, in many, many cases, disappointment and regret.


Next myth, having multiple choices empowers us. We are much more empowered today because we have so many choices. We have Netflix and HBO Max and Disney+. We have numerous types of smartphones. We have all human creativity at our disposal, a click away.

And so we must feel much more empowered.

Actually, studies show pretty conclusively, and any marketing and salesperson will confirm this.

Studies show that choice, especially an overabundance of choice, creates anxiety. Choice creates anxiety. The more choice we have, the bigger the number of alternatives, the higher the anxiety.

Consequently, an overflow of choice, too much choice, usually results in withdrawal and avoidance.

When faced with too many choices, people walk away. They isolate themselves. They atomize. They retreat into a cocoon.

People hate choice. People want to be spoon-fed out of a limited menu of options. People like a limited number of options.

I repeat this, and they very much like to be told what to do. That is what gave rise to dictatorships throughout human history, and the equivalent of dictatorships, like religions. People want to be told what to do by a higher authority, and they want to confront limited choice. That's why, for example, in most political systems in the world, there are only two political parties, although there are hundreds and thousands of shades of opinion, because two political parties is a palatable menu. It has two options. It's easier for people.

Had there been a situation with 200 political parties, people's participation in politics would have declined precipitously. Similarly, when people are faced with too many choices, when it comes to smartphones, or any other type of device, or gadget, or whatever, they usually gravitate to the leading brand, even when and if the leading brand is inferior.

Remember the Windows operating system, and the iPhone, the first three iterations of the iPhone, where you couldn't copy paste? That's the case.

People hate choice because it disempowers them. When they are confronted with choice, people feel helpless. They feel impotent. They feel stupid and ignorant. They feel disoriented and dislocated. People detest choice. It doesn't empower.


The last myth I want to dwell on is seriously, seriously bad, and seriously, seriously wrong.

And that is the myth that parents and their children should be besties. They should be friends. That's wrong. Parents should never be the friends of their offspring.

Good parenting requires setting boundaries, establishing a hierarchy, discipline firm, just, but clear, and consistently enforced discipline. And these are the exact opposite of a friendship. In a friendship, you don't have a hierarchy. You don't have friend number one, an underling friend number two, a subordinate friend. You don't have this.

Yet in a family, the parents should be the bosses. In a friendship, you don't have discipline. You can set boundaries, of course, and you can and you can and should enforce boundaries, but there's no disciplining action. In a family, the parents should discipline the children.

Yes, something should be forbidden. And yes, children should be punished.

This never happens in a friendship.

So a parent who is a friend to his child, parents who befriend their children, they are doing their children a disservice. They're bad parents. Their parenting is wrong completely. Parents should never be friends with their children.

In extreme cases, parents become so friendly with their children that they end up parentifying the children. They end up treating their children as stand in intimate partners, substitute intimate partners. This is not only parentifying, this is ambient insist, emotional insist. This is seriously wrong.

Parents, parents should be separate and distinct from their children. They should place very strong and firm boundaries, which the children should never, ever cross.

These are all myths. And believe me, it's a very, very partial list. These are all myths that the self-help industry of self-interested, self-enriching coaches, therapists, most of them unqualified, most of them have no idea what they're talking about. They pull these things out of a part of their anatomy, which will remain unmentioned. And they wreak havoc, cause serious damage to millions of people around the world. It's shocking that this industry is not regulated. Everything else is regulated, your food, your medication, medical treatments, medical devices, but people can just go around, on pretend to be experts, pretend to be authorities, spread misinformation, instruct you badly, advise you horribly, destroy your life. And there's no recourse. If someone says, if someone spreads misinformation about the COVID-19 vaccines, it's going to pay a price one way or another. It's the very least it's going to be blocked on YouTube, banned on YouTube or on Twitter.

But if someone spreads misinformation about parenting, about change, about what you should do with your life, there's no recourse. There's no police. You can go nowhere, approach no one. There's no licensing. There's no nothing. It's caveat emptor. You should do your own due diligence.

But people are not equipped to do due diligence, especially if the so-called self-imputed authority is an academic degree. People don't realize that not every psychologist knows everything in psychology. Not every psychologist is an expert on racism. Very, very, very few are, and none of them is on YouTube. Not every psychologist is an expert on, for example, parenting. Few are.

So due diligence is an onerous process that should be carried out by professional committees. The industry should at the very least self-regulate, and that it doesn't go to show how corrupting money can be.


I'll recap the myths of the corn artists in the self-help industry, which is essentially all the self-help industry.

Myth. You can learn from your mistakes. Myth. Change is possible at any age. It's never too late. Myth. Your partner's past doesn't matter. Only her present behavior matters. Myth. Trauma is an objective experience. Myth. Love and time cure everything. Myth. Sex is an empowering experience. Myth. Having multiple choices makes you stronger, empowers you. Myth. Parents and their children should be besties, should be friends. These are all wrong. These are all counter-manded and contradicted by everything we know in psychology.

And yet, these are the dominant pieces of tips and advice given online by self-help gurus and self-styled coaches.

It's a lamentable situation. Lamentable condition.

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