Best-selling author, nationally syndicated columnist makes appearance at UALR
Harlan Cohen, a New York Times best-selling author made an appearance at UALR Monday, April 21 at 7 p.m. in the Student Services Center auditorium.
Cohen is perhaps best-known for his book, “The Naked Roommate: And 107 Other Issues You Might Run Into in College.” Not only is he a best-selling author, but Cohen also has a nationally syndicated advice column. He has appeared on various television shows and performed at more than 400 college campus around the country to help young people with their problems.
Cohen’s career began when he was in college, where he had a passion for helping people solve their problems.
“I started my column when I was in college. I started to write about my problems and I would answer myself and I really helped myself,” he said.
“So, I realized I was really helpful to myself. So, maybe I can be helpful to other people. Then, real letters started coming in.”
“I reached out to resources and I reached out to people to help me answer questions and I realized I love helping people.”
Cohen said that he was a journalism major and really enjoyed reporting. Now, he gets the best of both worlds— reporting and helping people.
“I love reporting and instead of current events, my issues are emotional events and the things that really matter in life: Dating, relationships, sex, no sex, drinking, drugs, life in the classroom, life outside the classroom. The things we talk about, that’s what I report on— things that matter.”
Cohen’s books, advice column and performances help people overcome fear of rejection.
“We suck at rejection. We’re so afraid to take risks because we’re so afraid someone won’t like us or give us what we want. I think [today’s] college students are more afraid and less equipped to handle rejection than any generation before them.”
The reason for this, Cohen says, is technology.
“Technology has made it possible to avoid saying what you think and doing what you feel. Technology has become a buffer that helps us circumvent rejection.”
However, Cohen incorporates technology— and specifically texting— into his live show in order to accommodate some of preexisting fear.
“I let people text me during the show. So I let people avoid being seen and heard… they don’t have to fear what anyone thinks.”
Cohen answers the questions and helps people figure out how to use technology as an advantage.
“If you can’t handle rejection, you’re not able to take risks. Technology is going to help you get rejected faster and become more risk-averse. If you come to my show and you participate in my event I’m going to help you to use technology and something even better— your mouth!
At his April 21 show at UALR, Cohen promised three things.
“I can help you to get lucky, and this isn’t about sex, it’s about kissing someone during daylight hours while sober.”
“I will help people in relationships make their relationships better.”
“I will help them upgrade and find someone better.”
The problems of young people don’t change very much throughout the years. The problems that their brothers and sisters had, or their parents and grandparents had are all similar, which is why Cohen can combine many years of research into his performance.
“The show is based on 15 years of research— I am a true relationship expert and offer the No. 1 best-selling book in college life. The show is hilarious, interactive, unpredictable and people will leave transformed. You will never look at dating, relationships, love, lust or sex the same way again.
Cohen said he is offering a free e-book on his website that people can download in order to get familiar with his style and get a jump start on helping yourself. You can download the e-book for free by providing your name and email address at the top of his website: http://www.helpmeharlan.com/