Why Smart Women Make Bad DecisionsAnnie McCubbin
A laugh out loud, narrative-driven self-help book. Think Bridget Jones gets a critical makeover. In the #MeToo era, there is a strong expectation that women should increase their agency in the world. The self-help industry continues to promise empowerment and the recipe for self-acceptance, while delivering precious little of either. This book changes that.
In Why Smart Women Make Bad Decisions, our protagonist Kat is learning that the philosophy of 'Believe-in-yourself-and Magic-will-happen' will not deliver her a better life. Her story, which recounts her hapless attempts to navigate scenarios disturbingly familiar to many readers, is presented with a companion account of the cognitive quirks that drive her faulty thinking and behaviour.
This is neuroscience explained through the lens of a modern comedy; the buggy brain stripped bare in a laugh out loud takedown of magical thinking and the goofy, delusional self-actualisation movement.
Kat discovers that the simplistic advice to honour your intuition is not all it's cracked up to be. Despite practising Gratitude and Acceptance, she is still failing to lose the 2.35 kilos that preoccupy her. Despite her Positive Thinking, her performance review leaves her limp with despair, and despite her assiduous application to making affirmations, her philandering Hipster Boyfriend leaves her (taking with him the remote control).
In the companion explanation to each chapter, readers will discover what drives people to behave in blindly optimistic and self-destructive ways. If only they could apply the critical thinking that our narrator suggests, smart women would indeed stop making bad decisions.
It becomes clear to Kat, and in turn the reader, that positive thinking, meditation and magical thinking will not turn her life around. Instead, women should apply the narrator's advice and change the inherent cognitive flaws that run, and often ruin, their lives.