Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Why Good People Do Bad Things” as Want to Read:
Why Good People Do Bad Things
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating

Why Good People Do Bad Things

3.89 of 5 stars 3.89  ·  rating details  ·  226 ratings  ·  28 reviews
Discover a Life Filled with Passion, Meaning, and Purpose

New York Times bestselling author Debbie Ford leads us into the heart of the duality that unknowingly operates within each one of us. Providing the tools to end self-sabotage, Ford ultimately knocks down the façade of the false self and shows us how to heal the split between light and dark and live the authentic life
ebook, 256 pages
Published March 17th 2009 by HarperCollins e-books (first published January 1st 2008)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Why Good People Do Bad Things, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Why Good People Do Bad Things

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 467)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
Kim Olver
This is a book that generated mixed feelings in me. I definitely appreciate Ms. Ford's attention to the subject of self-sabotage but I don't agree with her assessment of our shadow sides. (Perhaps I am more in denial than I think.)

Ms. Ford does an eloquent job writing about the multiple ways we sabotage ourselves in our best attempts to do good and be good. I particularly enjoyed the chapter entitled, "The Masks." In it, she chronicles the various masks our wounded ego wears to show the world wh
So far... this is sounding like a bunch of pseudo-psychological pablum.

Starts off raising my hackles with statements like: "this is why I am the perfect person to help you" and other 'behold, the hundreds of thousands I have healed' type stuff, accompanied by a bunch of obscure pop-culture references that are now out of date and which I wouldn't know anyway because I, unlike her intended audience, do not keep tabs on the doings of celebrities.

I am waiting for her to acknowledge that her "embraci
American Business Institute
A critical read for a complete understanding of the human condition.

Ford illustrates that the root causes by which sabotage our relationships, our finances, our families, and our careers are rooted in our unknown and unconscious programing.

This programming results in an unhealthy belief concerning our dark sides. The pain and shame we feel "drives us to use food, alcohol, sex, drugs, excitement, collecting, gossiping and philandering as ways to distract ourselves from seeing that which we deem u
For me, the writing was muddled, and the author kept saying the same things over and over and over. Everything helpful (and there were a few helpful, thought-provoking things) could have been said in a clearer and much more concise way.
Alan Annand
Oct 14, 2012 Alan Annand rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: astrologers, psychologists, counselors
As a consulting astrologer with an active practice, I have a vested interest in knowing what (aside from Mars and other angry planets) makes people tick from a psychological perspective. And because I also try to be of use in a coaching role, I tend to read quite a lot of "self-help" books to understand why so many people ignore good advice and just do what they want anyway. This book was quite useful in many respects. Its major thesis is that we all have a Shadow Self. For the most part, we run ...more
Steve Boyko
I picked this up at the library on a whim. I think the premise is good and she makes some good points. However, the book suffers from what 90% of self-help books suffer from - length. She takes a long time to get to each point, and spends way too many words to hammer home each point. This book could be 40 pages long and would be a great read, but as it is, the temptation to skim is overwhelming.
Donia Hunter
I didn't find the style of writing engaging nor clear. The book seems to lack depth or personality. It would refer to people that the reader apparently should know as it would site a well known person's failings but it didn't say what those failings were. All in all, I appreciate the attempt to shed light on this subject but the illumination just didn't happen for me.
Nov 14, 2008 Darin rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone struggling with getting out of their own way.
Shelves: required-reading
Critical for a complete understanding of the human condition.

Ford illustrates that the root causes by which sabotage our relationships, our finances, our families, and our careers are rooted in our unknown and unconscious programing.

This programming results in an unhealthy belief concerning our dark sides. The pain and shame we feel "drives us to use food, alcohol, sex, drugs, excitement, collecting, gossiping and philandering as ways to distract ourselves from seeing that which we deem unaccep
Zachary Yeung
it's quite a shocker to be confronted with a detailed description of the type of persona I used to put on just to hide my true self. not that I'm saying I don't wear a mask these days, but like what Ford intelligently illustrated in the book, life is about taking from where we failed/ were failed and starting to flourish.

what the book seems to contain beneath the words is a wisdom far greater than a simple psychoanalytical writing, a wisdom that embraces what life always is.

love never fails, for
Insightful book that very cleverly and clearly explains issues of the psyche that are relevant to all. And does so even better than the psychological community.
You need to be 'ready' to read this book. Be prepared to truly be open and honest with yourself and to explore your inner world with no prejudices. This book is making me realize who I really am and how I have been fooling the world around me, out of fear, shame and wanting to fit in. I was dumped by my girlfriend after a 6-month rocky relationship, so I was ready to learn from it. I dont want to keep repeating the same unsuccessful patterns I've been following for most of my life.
Anita Jacob
Sometimes I feel too much of explanations can confuse or get a reader lost. The concept of the book and what Debbie Ford shares is great. She introduces you to your wounded ego and explains why we end up doing things that destroy our lives...she also touches on how to heal ourselves. However, I felt that each section dragged on and on...with a lot of repetition, so much so that when I finished one section of the chapter I felt a little giddy, as if I'd been on a merry go round.
The book is really interesting especially if you are into psychology. It really looks at past emotional experiences as an affect on current behavior. The comparison is like a volcano or a beach ball being held under water. Also, I don't think the book is as intimidating as the title. Bad things are necessarily killing people, they can be as simple as actions outside of who you are as a person.

Great book for people who want to learn more about themselves and understand why others do what they do. She talks about different types of people, masks we wear, how what we like/hate tells us about ourselves, etc. Good for taking ownership/responsibility for one's life, choices, actions, and emotions - so we can find our true selves and be as effective as we can be.
Anna French
Interesting concept, and somewhat true I'm sure. But attributing all our negative behavior to shame-bodies seems a bit of an oversimplification. I read through some of the different personality types (both predator and prey) and could see characteristics of at least a few in myself, if not to the degree described. I was left thinking, "so what does that mean for me?"
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mar 24, 2012 Cheryl marked it as not-for-me  ·  review of another edition
Sorry, I've no regrets. I was kinda hoping, from the title, that I'd learn why good people can do bad things to other people - that is, for example, how can I be friends with someone who has lied to me, or whatever. But according to the reviews it seems like the title should be 'Why Anyone Can Make Bad Choices' or something like that. Pfft.
Debbie Welsh
Another great piece of work by Debbie Ford. I love her understanding of the human condition and I trust in her work because she has been there. We cannot teach or take anyone where we have never been ourselves. You don't know what you don't know. Thanks for another contribution of great work.
Great introduction to shadow work, for a pathway of solid self improvement. This goes beyond personality types for identification and healing of hidden truths that hinder progress and keep us trapped in cycles of thought.
Raechelle Thomas
I could not even get half way through this book...just didn't stroke me right. I'm sure it may be interesting or helpful to some people...but It just didn't strike a good chord with me.
I found this book said alot of the same things I read in A New Earth, by Eckhart Tolle. It is almost as if those two compared notes.
Reading about the "masks" that people wear in their public and private persona was pretty fascinating.
It's good but not grabbing me as much as Secret of the Shadow did.
Elizabeth Ferry
Straight-forward writing made this book easier to digest. Hard subject.
E. Williams
Interesting book, I feel there are things in it we could learn from.
I love shadow work and Debbie Ford is amazing with it.
Lesley Pendleton
If there's nothing in this for you, you're in denial.
Gregg marked it as to-read
Feb 01, 2015
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 15 16 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Authenticity 1 5 Sep 24, 2009 04:30PM  
  • The Shadow Effect: Illuminating the Hidden Power of Your True Self
  • You Can Heal Your Life Companion Book
  • Key to the Science of Theology
  • Wabi Sabi Love: The Ancient Art of Finding Perfect Love in Imperfect Relationships
  • More Language of Letting Go: 366 New Daily Meditations
  • The Dance of Fear: Rising Above Anxiety, Fear, and Shame to Be Your Best and Bravest Self
  • Why Weight? A Workbook for Ending Compulsive Eating
  • The Silent Passage: Menopause
  • 100 Simple Secrets Of Great Relationship
  • Fat, Broke & Lonely No More: Your Personal Solution to Overeating, Overspending, and Looking for Love in All the Wrong Places
  • The Gift of Change: Spiritual Guidance for Living Your Best Life
  • Diary of a Psychic
  • A Heart as Wide as the World: Stories on the Path of Lovingkindness
  • How to Break Your Addiction to a Person
  • Repacking Your Bags: Lighten Your Load for the Rest of Your Life
  • Speak Peace in a World of Conflict: What You Say Next Will Change Your World
  • Kosher Sex: A Recipe for Passion and Intimacy
  • One Person/Multiple Careers: A New Model for Work/Life Success
Debbie Ford was an American author of self-help books. Her first book, "The Dark Side Of The Light Chasers", spawned eight more books in the genre and dealt with confronting one's "dark side" rather than ignoring it. Ford also hosted television and radio shows related to her books.

She passed away due to complications from cancer in 2013.
More about Debbie Ford...
The Dark Side of the Light Chasers: Reclaiming Your Power, Creativity, Brilliance and Dreams The Right Questions: Ten Essential Questions To Guide You To An Extraordinary Life The Best Year of Your Life: Dream It, Plan It, Live It Spiritual Divorce: Divorce as a Catalyst for an Extraordinary Life The Secret of the Shadow: The Power of Owning Your Story

Share This Book