Self Help Gurus Who Target ‘A.C.E.S’ Survivors Who Aren’t Thriving in Their Marketing Plan

Self Help Gurus Who Target ‘A.C.E.S’ Survivors Who Aren’t Thriving in Their Marketing Plan

Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) are stressful events occurring in childhood including

  • domestic violence
  • parental abandonment through separation or divorce
  • a parent with a mental health condition
  • being the victim of abuse (physical, sexual and/or emotional)
  • being the victim of neglect (physical and emotional)
  • a member of the household being in prison
  • growing up in a household in which there are adults experiencing alcohol and drug use problems.


So we know there is this group of people who aren’t thriving in modern society…. And we think we can provide some insight into why that is and give them simple rules to follow….. Do this! Don’t do that!

Usually as a replacement for doing the actual work needed, like going to therapy? Like talking to your friends? Like staying sober so you can at least react when there is a threat in your world? Like learning when you are actually threatened.

So they build a ‘para-social’ relationship with you…. “I was just like you” and this is

  • why I care
  • why I did the work
  • and these are how you can do it without all that effort.

Except there are no short cuts in life!! Sorry dude, but you have to know that’s true, right?

Then they tell you things that make sense. Like you’re depressed and anxious and that’s normal for what you went thru. (which it is!) When you were a kid, you learned the hard way that people and the world aren’t to be trusted.

And they tell you that their method is a quick fix Just follow their rules and you can heal yourself….
That just isn’t true. It took your entire life to date to learn unhealthy ways of being. The people around you don’t want you to change. They like the ‘you’ they can manipulate. So anything you do will change you and there will be pushback. And it will seem easier to go back to what you were before.

Instead of seeing that and finding new support systems, they give you a scapegoat to be angry with. “It’s their fault! Blame them!” That kind of thinking keeps you in an unhealthy state of being though. Considering what types of stress you faced as a child are pretty common in today’s society, it’s very likely the people around you faced those stresses too. So they also didn’t learn healthy ways of being. You can’t fix them. You started exploring self help to fix you. Not to blame them. Anger solves nothing. In fact, it makes things worse. So if someone says they’re trying to help you, but they give you triggers to increase your anger? Run, don’t walk. That person is NOT your friend. Let alone someone who is trying to help you.

Self help gurus are looking to hook you. To buy their merch, to attend their seminars, to buy their books. They may have begun from a place of caring, but now they are a capitalist system, an industry. It’s their business to keep you as their customer.

It’s a grift!
You are their mark and if you don’t see that, you’re their dupe. But you don’t have to be.

Life is hard, the world is unsafe. Slugging it out ‘for the man’ who just wants a robot worker bee sucks. How you make your life have value is finding people who love and support you. By finding passions that excite you, to keep you motivated so you can get thru the slog each day.

Much as you might want to be the next big thing, nobody owes you that. (Sorry?) You’re not going to have a movie star romance, with a killer sex life, always obedient kids, and a rock star career. And even if you had all that and a billion dollars? It doesn’t guarantee you happiness. There are people who have had all that and killed themselves. I’m sure you can think of a few ‘stars’ who did just that, right? They should have been happy, but they weren’t. It isn’t things that make you happy.

It’s reaching a place in your life where you look in the mirror and see a person you like. That you are at peace with. That’s what makes your life worthwhile.

No matter how sensible their list is, no self help guru can give you that. And it’s not an overnight journey to get to.

So yeah, make your bed, clean your room, put makeup on, brush your hair, if that makes you feel better while you do the self work. But don’t ever think that’s what good mental health looks like. It doesn’t. It’s actually quite ableist to think that’s what it takes! Your guru is dissing you! FYI.

Being sad and worried when people show you they can’t be trusted, is actually adaptive. It’s ok to lean into it and feel the feelings. It’s better than letting it build and/or getting angry at someone who has no better idea of how to live their lives than you do.

So give both of you some grace. And go about your day.

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