Hi there, I'm Hope. I can usually be found writing navel grazing posts about love (or you know, the lack thereof), relationships and singledom over at Hope Dies Last. When I asked Princess to suggest topics for my guest post she sent me a whole bunch. And I loved them all but as the day approached for me to send her my post, all the subjects I chose felt wrong. This was too depressing, that one was too boring, that one required a complete back story to understand.
Instead, I decided to write about a subject that is close to Princess’ heart.
That was far too broad. It needed to be narrowed. As I drummed my fingers on my desk, I remembered a very brave confession Princess had made recently.
“I have not read any of the following: The Rules, He's Just not That Into You, anything by Dr. Phil, aka. the Devil, or, in fact, any self-help book ever. It is against my psychologist's pride”
This post is in support of that one sentiment.
My background is in psychology; I have a Bachelor of Arts in Social Psychology and a Master of Science in Applied Psychology. I would have pursued a PhD was it not for the fact that I could not make up my mind about an area of research. That, plus you need to have cajones to continue studying for that length of time.
And I really don’t.
But I am also perpetually single. And like most perpetually single women in their 20s, my book shelf contains a number of books.
Why Men Love Bitches and the follow up to that Why Men Marry Bitches
He’s Just Not That Into You
I keep them as far away as my serious books as possible. Books like:
The Psychology of Criminal Conduct
I keep them as far away as possible because my mind, trained to dissect every piece of research in order to find its weaknesses, wants to laugh at them. But my heart, my heart longs for simple answers, for tried and tested ways to find a man.
The thing is, though, that they haven’t been tried. And they haven’t been tested. Not in the psychological sense anyway. They haven’t been put through rigorous experiments. They don’t have control groups. They don’t account for individual differences. So how can they be generalized to the rest of the population?
Simple answer? They can’t.
These self-help books simply fill in a gap. They are almost like religions. There is no proof of God’s or Allah’s existence. Yet, millions and millions and millions of people believe. They believe because they need a simple answer that will comfort them.
And this is the same gap that titles of books like, “He’s Just Not That Into” fill.
Now they’re not all bad. In fact, overall, the message that they hold in their pages is something I can get on board with. In a nutshell, they all seem to be saying “Be who you are. Enjoy your life to its fullest. Be complete in yourself. Then? Love? It will come.”
It’s the details that I have a problem with. If he does not call within 4 days? He’s just not that into you. If he’s got a girlfriend? He’s just not that into you. Except we ALL know cases where he didn’t call within the allotted time and HE WAS INTO HER. We all know cases he did have a girlfriend. HE WAS INTO HER and it did work out.
It’s the comments that I get on my blog sometimes that irritate me. “Hope, you really need to read He’s Just Not That Into You. Because The Man Friend? HE’S JUST NOT THAT INTO YOU.”
I never reply to those comments. I don’t reply because I refuse to accept an argument that is based on an OVERHYPED book that has generalized human behavior into about 11 neat categories. Let’s not forget that the authors—Greg Berhendt and Liz Tuccillo—are American. I am not American. The men that I come into contact with are NOT American. There is such a thing as cultural differences, you know?
My point is that all those books should be taken with a very large grain (think mountain-size) of salt. People are different. Every situation is different. Sure, they have similarities and it’s probably NOT a good idea to expect a man with a girlfriend to be your soul mate, but what if he is?
Moreover, it’s like I once wrote on my own blog:
“Perhaps, I do not pick up on those apparently obvious ‘he’s just not that into you’ signals. Perhaps, I choose to ignore them because of hope. Perhaps, I choose to ignore them because I am stubborn and proud. Because, why the hell should he not be into me?”
So, my fellow Hijinkers, what do you think? Have you read these books? Do you like them? Dislike them? Have they helped you at all? Have I misunderstood them? Been too harsh? Lets talk about it.