I'd like to share with you some books that have really helped me grow. Though be warned, if you're the type of person who lends books to friends, you'd be well served to get two copies, because these are hard ones to recover!
Healing the Shame That Binds You
In an emotionally revealing way, Bradshaw shows us how toxic shame is the core problem in our compulsions, co-dependencies, addictions, and the drive to superachieve, resulting in the breakdown in the family system and our inability to go forward with our lives.
Let's Face It, Men Are $$#%\$: What...
All the other books I've seen out there discuss relationships and men as if they would actually be participating in the change/growth process and reading and listening to self-help advice right along side you. This book deals with the reality: that most men who need a lesson in sensitivity, caring, integrity, and commitment will not touch the kinds of books and advice that would require them to BECOME sensitive, caring, and commitment savvy etc. They point out what we already know, that books like Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus and the like, are only bought by and large by women. Of course this means that none of the men you wished would change ever will, because they won't be buying these books or using their well-intentioned advice.
This book, however, is different. While most of the other books as mentioned above require the men to participate, this one points out the very real fact that it only takes one person to put a twist in the relationship, and that person is you. This doesn't mean they're saying that you can change a person, rather that if YOU change, things around you change.
For example, if you act a certain way every time he does something, (like cry for example or give an ultimatum or consistently ask him to change a behavior), he gets used to it and hence, acts in HIS same old way (like rebelling for the sake of rebelling or hanging up the phone when you cry etc. etc. or going out with his buddies even more because you say you don't like it). Therefore, if you change the way you behave 180%, he's shocked and caught off guard, he doesn't have any choice but to change his way of reacting.
For example, if you want him to quit smoking, encouraging him and giving him articles to read only makes him smoke more sort of rebelliously. But if you suddenly 180% turn around and encourage him to smoke, buying him cigarettes and giving him ashtrays etc., he will be freaked out and won't have a reason to rebel anymore, he'll be forced to look at his own behavior and how he feels about it, rather than continue it just to displease you.
What impressed me most was the totally workable, user friendly ideas in the book. It doesn't go on and on theorizing about relationships and feelings etc. etc., but actually blends the who and the why with the WHAT TO DO. I have used these steps with amazing success. All I can say is the techniques in this book are ones you've never heard of before. I laughed a ton when I read this book and you probably will too. I laughed even more when I watched the techniques working before my very eyes. It will increase your self-esteem without your even realizing it, a nice side effect. If you are frustrated, buy this book. It will open your eyes.
The Seven Principles for Making Marriage...
According to most relationship books, the key to a solid marriage is communication, communication, communication. Phooey, says John Gottman, Ph.D., author of the much-lauded Why Marriages Succeed or Fail. There's much more to a solid, "emotionally intelligent" marriage than sharing every feeling and thought, he points out--though most couples therapists ineffectively (and expensively) harp on these concepts.
Gottman, the director of the Gottman Institute, has found through studying hundreds of couples in his "love lab" that it only takes five minutes for him to predict--with 91 percent accuracy--which couples will eventually divorce. He shares the four not-so-obvious signs of a troubled relationship that he looks for, using sometimes amusing passages from his sessions with married couples. (One standout is Rory, the pediatrician who didn't know the name of the family dog because he spent so much time at work.)
Gottman debunks many myths about divorce (primary among them that affairs are at the root of most splits). He also reveals surprising facts about couples who stay together. They do engage in screaming matches. And they certainly don't resolve every problem. "Take Allan and Betty," he writes. "When Allan gets annoyed at Betty, he turns on ESPN. When Betty is upset with him, she heads for the mall. Then they regroup and go on as if nothing's happened. Never in forty-five years of marriage have they sat down to have a 'dialogue' about their relationship." While this may sound like a couple in trouble, Gottman found that they pass the love-lab tests and say honestly that "they are both very satisfied with their relationship and they love each other deeply."
Through a series of in-depth quizzes, checklists, and exercises, similar to the ones he uses in his workshops, Gottman provides the framework for coping with differences and strengthening your marriage. His profiles of troubled couples rescued from the brink of divorce (including that of Rory, the out-of-touch doctor) and those of still-happy couples who reinvigorate their relationships are equally enlightening.
Parenting With Love and Logic : Teaching...
EFFECTIVE PARENTING-WITHOUT THE POWER STRUGGLES.
As parents, you have only a few years to prepare your children for a world that requires responsibility and maturity for survival. That thought alone can send shivers down your parental spine!
So what do you do? Hover over your kids so they never make mistakes? Drill them so they'll remember the important principles when you're on their own? Tear your hair out, wondering if teaching them responsibility is anything but a battle of wills?
According to Jim Fay, one of America's top educational consultants, and Dr. Foster Cline, a trend-setting child and adult psychiatrist, parents who try to ensure their children's success often raise unsuccessful kids. Responsibility is like anything else-it has to be learned through practice.
If you want to raise kids who are self-confident, motivated, and ready for the real world, take advantage of the win-win approach to parenting. Your kids will win because they'll learn responsibility and the logic of life by solving their own problems. And you'll win because you'll establish healthy control-without resorting to anger, threats, nagging, or exhausting power struggles.
Parenting with Love and Logic puts the fun back into parenting!
"Parents consistently tell us they wish they had known about love and logic earlier. This common sense approach gives parents a tangible hope that they can still influence their kids."-Dave Funk, staff development coordinator, New Berlin Public Schools, Wisconsin
"I have been a principal for four years now and have used these methods with great success. Thank you for all the creative ideas."-Steven B. Vande Ven, principal, Sherrelwood Elementary School, Denver, Colorado
"I'm continually amazed at how well these principles work, not only with children, but with parents and other adults. It's great to get away from punishment and anger and into love and logic."-Sharon Alexander, principal, Disnard Elementary School, Claremont, New Hampshire
The Road Less Traveled: A New Psychology...
Whether I found this book, or it found me, is hardly relevant these days. What I do know is that it was timely, life-altering, and poignant in its depiction of life, love, spirituality, and psychology as we know it.
Oftentimes, one comes across a reading that takes itself too seriously, tries in vain towards guru posturing, or comes apart in cotton candy rhetoric. The Road Less Traveled offered a most healthy balance of esoteric spirituality and somewhat "in your face" science and information regarding humanity, its choices and options for a better self/world.
No one coming away from this piece will doubt that there is always hope, and a glory and grace undefined in taking the road less traveled in our interactions with self and others.
The Road Less Traveled and Beyond:...
The potential danger in this book's title is the assumption that Peck is rehashing the same material he wrote in The Road Less Traveled. Thankfully, this isn't so. Although he touches upon the same themes that appear in most everything he writes--narcissism vs. self-love and good vs. evil--Peck is clearly speaking to the crucial dilemmas of the 1990s, such as overly simplistic thinking, institutionalized racism and sexism, as well as the media's despairing vision. Now that Peck has reached the maturity of 60, his narrative is less know-it-all than in the days of yore. Yet, ironically, his decades of research, writing, and human service give him more authority than ever.
A reader wrote:
I enjoyed this book! I am very interested in change- why some are willing to and some resist it. Peck's views on change were insightful. I totally agree with him concerning the issue of simplistic thinking, too. I have struggled with organized religion-couldn't take the confines of it and truly knew that I could think for myself and didn't need a doctrine of an organization to guide me- I can connect directly to God. His views on the Stages of Spiritual Growth helped me. Although I had read about this topic in other books-his "way of putting it" finally helped me sort it all out. I did find he refered to his other books too frequently and it was distracting. I finally just skimmed (fast forwarded) to the parts more interesting to me. I would reccommend this book to those further along the "road less traveled".
People of the Lie: The Hope for Healing...
Peck's work is truly ground-breaking. His courage in identifying evil as (1) a diagnosable clinical reality and (2) a self-perpetuating spiritual affliction for human beings is illuminating and profound. While he writes from a clearly Christian perspective, this is by no means a religious book. His prediction that the narcissistically evil would use self-help therapy readings (including his own) to further harm others and become even more unhealty has been noted by subsequent authors, notably Vaknin and Alford. This is likely a book you'll be tempted to re-read periodically.
Several case studies are included, as well as several professional failures on the author's part to address the dysfuntions of the clinically evil. Their baffling behavior is brilliantly recounted in this book, as well as a concise overview of why the evil think and behave as they do. He makes a strong case for the position that narcissism is as much a spiritual disease as it is a character disorder.
For those who have been harmed by the narcisscist, however, this book is an excellent reality-check- especially if they continue to live or interact with those who suffer from NPD or who simply possess narcisscistic traits in conjunction with various other disorders. While Peck's observation that such character-flawed people remain unresponsive to treatment (or improvement) is unfortunately accurate, this is still a hopeful book for the spouses, ex-spouses,children, employees, and other victims of the narcisscist.
Rebuilding: When Your Relationship Ends...
This book is a self-help manual for those trying to recover from a divorce, or going through the process of divorce. "Rebuilding" is the feelings that surface during this trying and stressful period of your life are identified. It is comforting to read that we are not alone in our pain and confusion and that given the circumstances, the turmoil you are experiencing is quite normal.
As each emotion is explored, the reasons for them are also examined. An example from another who has suffered the same misery is given, then the best part--what we can do with and about those upsetting, hurtful and sometimes hateful feelings that want to pull us under and drown us. The chapter continues to describe the emotional cycles the "dumpers" (the one ending the relationship) and the "Dumpee" (the one being rejected) go through. Fisher and Alberti acknowledge not everyone is going to react the same, but no one escapes the pain.
No matter how we are affected, though, we must remember guilt and rejection are tied to feelings of self-worth and self-love. Build up these two areas, and we will be less devastated by life's inevitable rejections. The end of each chapter has a "How Are You Doing?" section. A list of questions will help us think our way through our dilemmas and offer ideas with which we can rebuild our lives.
I like this book because it forces us to do something besides sitting around feeling sorry for ourselves. There are ways to work through relationships that end, and we have the power and the tools to do it. We don't have to feel helpless. I like this book because it acknowledges we are not alone with our feelings. There is light at the end of the tunnel. We can go on to live a normal, happy life. It gives us hope.
Click here for an excerpt of Rebuilding
This author deserves abundant praises for his research, expertise and writing ability. His books are an opportunity for both male and female readers to learn and understand more about themselves and their personal relationships. He adds a slight touch of humour to his unique writing style, and from the very first page, the reader cannot help but feel, "this is a person I can trust." Based on the world-wide success of books, obviously a multitude of other readers around the globe agree. His books are not "sexist" as some believe; they are an actual account based on fact from a psychological perspective.
For anyone who complains about the length of the book, a shorter version would not do the book justice. Each page is a key component to the overall picture, and if you fail to see it's purpose, you are missing out on a valuable part of the overall analyis.
I highly recommend "Mars and Venus on a Date" to anyone who is dating, regardless of age. Gray has a terrific presentation style and the principles of the book are not limited to any particular age group. Even if you are not currently dating, read the book anyway; it contains some insightful and priceless observations.
Since 1983 I have bought a number of copies of this book for friends, family and other people whom I felt could benefit from Anna's Wisdom. Strange you say? What can you say about a child who is a philosopher, a pragmatist, an artist, a mathematician all before the age of eight? With Laugher and Joy with the "simplicity" (because it is deceivingly simple)of a child, you learn about life on Anna's Terms. Bring a hanky, cuddle your child, and be open to the wisdom that this child has to bring. Fynn, the author feels that "Anna's message stands on it's own." I know this because I wrote to him back in 1983 and this was his response through Bellatine Books. His book is important, his love for Anna is found there. Enjoy!