Sunday, January 31, 2010

How to Fix Your Psychological Problems in 20 Minutes

Here Be Dragons: The Psychological Problem, Cause & Cure Here Be Dragons: The Psychological Problem, Cause & Cure by Manuel J. Smith

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Total Read Time: 2 Minutes

Do you get defensive often and wish you didn't?

Are you afraid of being criticized?

Are you scared to death of people thinking less than perfect about you?

Do you hate it when you make a mistake?

Would you rather die than make a fool out of yourself in front of people?

Are you suffering from the loss of your loved ones? A painful breakup? A divorce?

This book will teach you how to effectively solve all these problems and more using a scientifically proven technique called Orienting Reflex Methodology. Basically it puts you through a very uncomfortable barrage of personal negatives about you (or what's called "flooding") and you're given a very simple task of calmly agreeing to their truth or probability. For example:

Someone else: You're so stupid that you'll never succeed in your life.
Me: You might be right, I think that myself, too.
Someone else: I bet you have a problem in bed, too.
Me: How did you know? I have so many problems in bed!
Someone else: No one's gonna read your crappy reviews!
Me: I wouldn't read it myself, either.

The reason behind this somewhat idiotic procedure is simple and yet mind-blowing. Listen carefully: when we get emotional, defensive, nervous, or anxious about anything, we resort to the defensive reflex that activates our sympathetic nervous system. When we process information or focus on a task, we resort to the orienting reflex that activates our parasympathetic nervous system. The crucial fact is that these reflexes are mutually antagonistic, meaning that when we start to, for example, process information, we can effectively reduce our emotional response.

And by practice and flooding, we can reliably desensitize ourselves to any personal negatives that have been bothering the hell out of you for your entire life in as short as TWENTY minutes.

This helps you to become a psychological adult, someone who can 1) rise above any conflict, 2) cope with pretty much any personal negatives without being painfully affected or influenced by them, and 3) be your own judge of what you do and what reality is.

Having sung the praise of this excellent book, however, I must point out a few flaws. The author speaks in a mix of jargon and layman's terms in first three chapters, making them pretty tough to get through. He is clearly not an expert at punctuation, glaringly evinced by his consistent failure to properly place hyphens where they are necessary. Finally, I thought the last chapter on beliefs and critical thinking to be completely useless, uninformative, and utterly boring. That may have to do with my background as a philosophy major.

I recommend reading Chapter 4 and the subsequent chapters that are relevant to your problems, and going back to the first 3 chapters to fill in the theoretical gaps that may surface in reading those invaluable chapters.

EVERYONE should read it.
Highly recommended.

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New Zealand Visitor said...

I don't think I've read a self-help book since Dale Carnegie's in the 1980s, but have just ordered this one on the strength of your review. Looks promising. Will post feedback later!

Taks said...

Hey! I rarely check my blog these days, but thanks for reading. Did the book prove helpful?