A couple months ago, I was obsessed with self-help lectures. Every time I brought up the topic of self-help into a conversation, I felt like I should be embarrassed that I brought it up. I often times get weird looks or silent nods about it, “oh yeah…uh...cool.” The only time I’ve had a long conversation about it has been with close friends. Anyway, I didn’t get into the self-help thing because I needed answers or because I felt stuck in life. I got into it because it seemed to be a source of inspiration for some of my favorite designers. Since I was in need of a little inspiration that did NOT consist of looking at the work of other designers, I thought I would investigate.
Since I am a better listener than reader, I signed up for the LearnOutLoud’s Personal Growth Podcast, that offers a small taste of every famous self-help book out there. I listened to all of them so far, and I have to say that they are either super good, really weird and creepy, or just entertaining. As hard as it is to listen to Tony Robbins, it was entertaining listening to him explain how to “Awaken the Giant Within.” For the most part, I enjoyed listening to each one, but I thought they were a little cheesy and moved on.
The other day, I revisited those podcasts, as I will do every now and then. Most recently, I listened to He Said–She Said by Deborah Tannen. I ended up having Darin download the entire book for me and then listened to the whole thing the next day! I think it was too much in one day, since it became all I could talk about for the next few days. She talks about the language patterns of men and women and pointed out how even though we assume our reactions and conversations with each other happen involuntarily, they are not, and the reactions between men and women (most of them anyway) are pretty constant in all different ages, time periods, and regions of the world.
Now this has become the-podcast-that-I-try-talking-to-people-about-but-they-are-not-into-it, haha. I’ll tell you what though, it makes my day so much more fascinating to study the way people talk in different situations. It makes so much sense! Its like finding the key to life (NOT the Secret, for goodnessake). I liked her book because it just states the facts, no judgments. She gives examples of conversations, but never says if either person reacted correctly or incorrectly, but it’s just a pure translation of the conversation and then an analysis of why those particular words were said. I love the idea that reactions and feelings are not involuntary, and its somewhat comforting/weird to know that men and women have been having the same conversations for generations! It means that a person has control over his/her feelings and that is so much more reassuring to me! This way of thinking makes it easier not to judge or hold grudges, and I like that. Blah blah blah. ☺
So I guess, in a way I was inspired by the self-help stuff. It hasn’t shown up in my work yet, perhaps it will once I start producing some hahaha. It has helped me to start writing about my own identity and point of view though. I guess once that is out on paper, the work will be easier to get down on paper.