How not to insult your friend by giving her a “self-help” book

So here is the thing about giving somebody the Finishing School book as a gift and being afraid they’ll think you think they have a problem. The implication being they need help.

Say you have a friend who has a really bad-sounding, nasal, very unpleasant voice and a few unpleasant vocal habits like a screeching laugh and a way of snorting when she wants to make a point, a snorting that is just very annoying and you have seen other people blanch and look away or put their forks down and pat their lips or just walk away and so you know your friend is being laughed at and ridiculed behind her back and you would like to help her so you buy her a self-help book called “Change That Annoying Nasal Voice!” or “Stop Your Honking.”

That’s a terrible thing to do. But Finishing School is not really a self-help book. It is a guide to starting a movement in which people come together to help each other. And behind it is not the assumption that you have a problem but the assumption that you are working on something great that deserves to be completed and with the help of the method and the group this thing can be completed.

What you are saying to another person when you give them this book as a gift is that you believe in their greatness and you want to see this thing they are working on come to fruition.

Also, giving this book as a gift shows that you have exquisite taste.