Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Self Help Stranger

While at the library the other day returning a movie, and glancing over the Large Print New Release section, a man came up to me and asked if I knew where the "self-help" section was.  I pointed in the direction of the other room, to which his response was "You should go look there." He turned and walked away.  My jaw probably hit my feet I was so floored, but I also found it strangely, funny.
I am a self professed, self-help-aholic.  I have read memoirs of people who have struggled with eating disorders, mental illness, and homelessness.  I've blown through numerous books on spirituality and religion.  I spent 30 days reading a "guaranteed to help you quit smoking in 30 days" book.  My most recent choice is about the connection we have between money and food.  I go to therapy and groups, almost daily, to work through issues as they come at me, not after they have all built up.  I meditate, do self hypnosis, and practice using DBT skills, so I have a life worth living.  I sing to myself, to my friends, and to an entire congregation every Sunday, because I know it makes me happy.  I am the epitome of "self help."
This gentleman decided,  based on nothing more than my physical appearance, that I needed to spend less time in the large print section, and more time in self help.  In the moment, I judged him, as quickly as he had judged me, calling him an asshole under my breath.  It was short lived though, because he walked away so quickly and, because I realized how ironically hilarious it was.  There I was, browsing books in the largest font possible, (yet another form of self help!) and he suggests I go to one of my favorite sections of the library.  Too bad he didn't stick around longer, it would have been a great moment to show off my interpersonal effectiveness skills, or even suggest he read Dale Carnegie's "How to Make Friends and Influence People."

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