Who is qualified to give advice like this?

Use this forum to discuss the November Book of the month "If life stinks get your head outta your buts" by Mark L. Wdowiak
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HRichards
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Re: Who is qualified to give advice like this?

Post by HRichards »

I do feel like those who don't hold a degree or some training in psychology/counseling should be willing to have their advice taken with a grain of salt. I even take those with training with a grain of salt, so those with none really shouldn't be offended if people are open to taking or leaving their advice.
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Post by dreamthewilderness »

"Qualification" is a funny thing - in the business world, the typical marker for "qualification" is a certificate or license of some kind. Of course, one can never guarantee that such qualifications came by fairly, and of course there are no such markers for writing a self-help book except for maaaybe succeeding in getting the thing published. In short, it's questionable.

Personally, I feel suspicious about anyone trying to give advice. I believe that knowledge is better transferred via example rather than monologue...and anyone worth their stripes knows this too and will be spending more time being out in the world, and less time sitting on their soapbox preaching. I believe there are people who have important things to share with their writing, and that these things can ultimately improve the lives of others, but I don't believe those people are marketing their books as self-help.

I did not feel the author of If Life Stinks, Get Your Head Out of Your Buts to be exceptionally qualified...not that his intentions are purely greedy, but with the third mention of writing this book purely for the sake of his readers, I started feeling suspicious. Who's he trying to convince, his readers or himself?
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Post by McKadeemd »

I love this question. I feel as though anyone can write a book, and the content will do the rest of the work. If readers don't find the content to be helpful, then the book likely won't do well. But, I do think that readers need to be cautious and aware of the level of expertise the author has on the subject. Anyone can write about their thoughts and life experience, but should not claim to have any professional experience that they do not actually have. So, I guess what I am saying is that I feel as though anyone is qualified to give their life story and advice, as long as they are truthful about their level (or lack there-of) expertise, and readers need to take any advice with a grain of salt.
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Post by Gemma_15 »

I think anyone who is happy in their life can give advice. As long as it isn't unsolicited advice, then there really is no problem. This author in particular has a lot of good advice that people pay therapists thousands of dollars to receive. There are a million ways to reach success. People just have to find what works for them, and the more options that are available to help, the better. That being said, there isn't really anyway to say any one person is more "qualified" than another to write a self-help book. That is all in the eyes of the reader.
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Post by amandathebibliophile »

I think this is a really great question! I did not care for this book and I found the tone rather arrogant. But even if I did enjoy it, I still think it’s very interesting to think about what qualifies someone to basically tell other people how to become better people. The self-help genre is a tough nut to crack!
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Post by KCWolf »

Nobody's life is perfect. But, I think that some people have learned lessons from their past mistakes etc, and just want to pass on to others what they have learned.
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Post by Acwoolet »

I think that if you go through an experience that other people go through, it may beneficial for other people to read about it. What you did or didn’t do may help guide them. Or not, I guess it just depends on the event and the person.
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Post by Jdalba2018 »

I have discussed this topic before with friends.
You don't have to be perfect in order to give advice.
Sometimes you know how to do something but you do not do it, it doesn't mean you cannot teach someone how to do it correctly.
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Post by StelKel1592 »

One of the things I sometimes find fascinating about this topic--whether it's in looking at self-help books or just in day-to-day life, seeing people dispense advice--is that sometimes people's whose lives are a real train-wreck can actually give advice that is very useful to others. So I feel like one needs to take with a grain of salt the source, and just the evaluate the advice for what it's worth (or not!). Does it resonate with me? Am I persuaded? Is it something I can put into practice in my life, and can I see it doing benefit? That said, when there's outright hypocrisy, and/or when the "advice" comes with a whiff of judgement, it's a lot harder to ignore the source.
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Post by Jeyran Main »

People also feel entitled to give their opinion whether they have earned it or not. What matters most is how we respond and react towards the opinion that we receive. This does not necessarily have to apply for this book, but in life as well. The more we give into opinions that are not necessarily wise, the more we are affected by it.
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Post by Erika Thomas »

I think someone who has made changes in their own life and figured out a good system to get to a good place in life is someone who is qualified to write a book such as this. A person who is so excited by what they have figured out through experience, as well as trial and error, that they want to share it with other people is a good person to write a book such as this. I like to think of it as someone being an expert in any field.
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Post by Highly Favoured One »

Freedom of expression, that's what I can boil it down to. No-one really has monopoly of what does or does not make it to the list of 'advice' that other people can follow and succeed. If anyone feels they need to write a book, by all means, let them. The results will speak for themselves. Personally I find that books with a personal touch tend to be more relatable than lists of do's and dont's.
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Post by Ehartl »

Experience is the best teacher. Those who read books like this aren't necessarily looking for expert advice on certain situations, but insight into how the average person copes with such situations. I believe that learning from others' experiences helps manage our own.
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Post by Lunastella »

It's a question I ponder often with this kind of books. I guess we're all free to give advice as we wish but it conveys a lot of responsibility. Some people, whether because of their life experiences or their credentials are much more suited to write these books than others, in my opinion. There are too many self-help books out there written by people who aren't qualified or even realistic in their advice.I guess some authors have a sincere desire to help and others just want to make a quick buck out of people's desperation.
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Post by SpencerVo »

This is an insightful question. I think the wish to write a self-help book may come from different reasons. What I find interesting is that most of us are always eager to give others advice, either out of good will, desire to see improvement, or just wanting to show off. Therefore, I think anyone with an acceptable level of intellect and life experience can write a self-help book. The real question is whether we should take the advice and apply it ourselves.
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