I am an anxious person.
With the combo of my personal life hitting some hard bumps last month and the routine “happy stress” of the holiday season upon us, I thought I’d take a moment to discuss the current self-help Lord and Savior that the internet has bestowed upon us unworthy influencer followers.
She fucking sucks, Becky.
If you run in the same internet circles I do, or if you have asked me about this in some capacity, then you know my disdain for Rachel Hollis runs pretty deep. Buzzfeed did a much better job than I’m wanting to do at this moment explaining why she is so problematic, but the Kiwi version cliffnotes are as follows.
- She’s privileged AF and completely out of touch with any situation outside her bubble.
- She comes across as extremely insincere about the words she is saying; it’s as though she doesn’t believe her own advice. Which makes sense because…
- Her advice is horrible if you actually think about it long enough.
That last point is what makes my eye twitch the most. And, I know there is a giant argument to be made that the self-help genre is just a giant fluff industry designed to spoon feed you little bites of instagrammable quotes that make you feel good without actually “helping” you at all, but even with that in consideration… her advice is horrible. Like, “make your problems worse” horrible. Quitting Diet Coke cold turkey does not translate in to goal setting. Marrying a guy who used you for a booty call is probably not the most solid foundation on which to build a relationship. Having the means to buy expensive designer purses is not a good way to measure success or happiness.
This entire book reads like a brag of how great of a life she has while ignoring the privileges that she has that have let her get there. She is condescending to anyone who actually has struggles in their life while simultaneously blaming all her struggles on other people.
OMG… I just really don’t like her.
Since I’ve been so vocal about my disdain for her, and get asked rather frequently, I’m going to suggest an alternative to Hollis’s advice with a book that actually has been useful for me.
Already this book is superior because A. it was cowritten by an actual (Harvard Educated!) Psychiatrist and B. it has Fuck in the title.
I love this book. I bought it on an whim while I was looking for a GRE prep book and read it cover to cover within 24 hours. Don’t let the profanity in the title fool you; it’s practical, it’s logical, and it embraces the fact that sometimes life just fucking sucks even when you do the right things.
There’s still enough instagrammable quotes to make you happy if you’re in to that (and sometimes I am). But instead of being spun of cotton candy and lies, it’s made of substance. We’re talking about:
- The things you feel like you should be able to control, but you just can’t (hint: it’s usually other people).
- The things you actually can control in those situations.
- The things you can do to regain that control.
Literally every single section has lists in that exact order. LISTS! THAT YOU CAN FOLLOW! *mind blown*
No bullshit. No being called “sweet friend”. No weird biblical stuff in the bedroom.
The biggest difference between these two is who you put in charge of being the hero in your story. Girl Wash Your Face, and pretty much all of Rachel’s advice in my opinion, is passive empowerment. Yes, you’re amazing and beautiful and wonderful… but God or positive thinking will fix everything.
Fuck Feelings doesn’t give you the asspats you want, but it does break down the why and how your brain works to make you feel the way you feel (again, spoiler: you can’t control other people). And then it tells you ways to approach the problem – not necessarily solve it – which puts the power back in your hands. And you know what they say… if you want something done right…
Life is hard. The world is hard. Nobody has answers and the people who claim to are full of shit. I know when I’m grasping at straws the last thing I want to hear is some Pollyanna platitudes about how you just have to try harder and look inward for joy. Give me a break. I want someone to acknowledge that sometimes things are crap, but here are ways to manage your expectations so that future crap won’t hit you in the face.
Also, saying fuck helps too.