Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “I Don't Have to Make Everything All Better” as Want to Read:
I Don't Have to Make Everything All Better
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating

I Don't Have to Make Everything All Better

4.09 of 5 stars 4.09  ·  rating details  ·  489 ratings  ·  115 reviews
In their weekly radio show and in their popular workshops, Gary and Joy Lundberg have already helped thousands of people and their families to communicate more effectively. Now, the Lundbergs address an all too common dilemma that arises when others expect you to solve their problems for them, showing readers how they can shed the no-win role of "fixer" and empower people ...more
Paperback, 336 pages
Published May 1st 2000 by Penguin Books (first published August 1995)
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 I Don't Have to Make Everything All Better, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about I Don't Have to Make Everything All Better

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,435)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
After reading some well-written and some not-so-well-written books about human psychology and interpersonal communication, this book was a breath of fresh air. Rather than trying to appeal to the audience with buzz words and 360-degree paradigm shifts, this book made sense on a practical level for all sorts of situations. The first part of the book is essentially about codependency without ever using that word.

To summarize briefly, the book teaches how to respond to other people's problems in a
I don't read a lot of self-help books, but this one was calling out to me. And believe it or not, I think about the things it taught me all the time.

Mostly it is about being a good listener. . . and that most of the time when people are coming to you with a problem, they don't want your help or advice, they want validation. Meaning you don't have to fix their problems, you just have to let them know that, yes, what they are going through really is tough and that you care about them. Brilliant a
This book has been so helpful and has application in many areas of life. For me, it has given me tools to be a more present and caring mother and wife. And I am confident that my new understanding will impact my interactions with all people for the better.
This book teaches the principle of Validation. Validation allows you to walk emotionally with others without attempting to change their thinking. It's also realizing that we cannot make someone choose a path that we see as best. The words "sho
Did not actually read this book, but I found the title irresistible and discovered a handy summary in the back. Woohoo!


Validation is "the ability to walk emotionally with another person without trying to change his or her thinking or direction."

"4 Rules of Validation:
Listen (by giving your full attention)
Listen (to the feelings being expressed)
Listen (to the needs being expressed)
Understand (by putting yourself in the other person's shoes as best you can)"

"The universal need of every human
Jul 09, 2008 Grandma rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: parents, family members, friends
Recommended to Grandma by: Cindy Brown
I am learning how to respond to husband, friends, family
when they ask for advice that you don't do a put-down but instead a validation. It is okay to start out using the words: how, what, when, where, do and is, but do not use why.
Then you ask them if they can think of an idea that would solve the problem. It even works on children.
This book is a life-changer. I read it in bits and pieces and have tried to digest it and make it a part of who I am and how I respond to people. It has already changed the way I treat my children. I have a really long way to go...Something is better than nothing, I guess.
This book was a little hard to get into at first. Roughly the first twenty or so pages were rather slow and boring. After that it started to get better (much more innovative, thought provoking ideas). I really liked the basic ideas that were included here: that everyone wants to feel loved, that their feelings are important and they just want to be heard. That makes a difference with how I talk to others now (letting them talk, letting me listen more, ask better questions and validate their feel ...more
This was a very informative book that I think had some really great advice for dealing with people in general.

The premise of the book is to help you move from being the "fixer" or "saver" of everyone's problems. Though I certainly don't feel myself as a "fixer" or "saver" there were some instances that I found myself trapped in. It was great to finally get some word lines to get myself out.

According to the author, it's human nature to want to try to fix everything, but in actuality, most people
I think the first half of this book (the discussion of the six principles) could have been condensed into one reference chapter. I almost didn't even finish the book because I was annoyed at the unnecessary stuff at the beginning, but my friend had told me how much she loved the second half, so I forged on. This book is all about validation--learning how to listen to people without jumping in with a judgment or a lecture or a solution to their problems. It aims at teaching the art of helping peo ...more
Good how-to book about the power of validation & good listening. I feel like if I mastered this skill, that Natalie would think I suddenly became the pinnacle of all husbands since the beginning of time.

The best part of the book centers introspectively around why we react in certain ways to things people say. People wouldn't bring up problems unless they recognized my above-average problem solving skills and wanted my exceptional advice, right? Apparently women all over the world are bangin
Niki Vervaeke
Goed, to the point, duidelijke boodschap en herkenbare cases
aanrader voor mensen die bezig zijn met coaching of gespreksvoering, kan zelfs interessant zijn ikv leiderschap
IT's the love and logic book for adults and other relationships. I need to read again.

-no advice, make people figure it out on their own
-teaching moments come later, not in times when the emotions are high
-ask questions to help them come to own solution.
This is a fantastic book. I can't recommend it enough for "fixers" like me, who really do just want to make it all better. Practical advice that works to help heal relationships and to keep hurt feelings and misunderstandings at bay. I have begun to incorporate the principles espoused in this book and I can tell you they work beautifully. I believe reading this has saved my relationships with my daughters. I can't put it more strongly than that. Most times people want validation of their feeling ...more
I spent several months reading this book, picking it up every now and then to read a chapter and the moving on to something else. It's really a quick read (if only I would have focused) and it's very useful information for anyone, especially those who struggle with relationship boundaries or needy/demanding/troubled family or friends. I plan to keep this in my personal library and refer back to it every now and then. It has already made a difference in the way I communicate and approach problems ...more
I LOVED this book!!! I. needed to read this book.. I was already familiar with this trap of trying to always fix people. The principles in this book are soo easy to apply and will improve any relationship. There are chapters on application from young children, teens, adult children, spouses, in laws and coworkers. I am constantly more aware now of my responses and reactions to others as a result. The interesting promise is that as you apply these principles in your own interactions with others t ...more
Highly redundant and exclusively based on anecdotal evidence this book was underwhelming at best. I would recommend several other books that cover the same topic of validation better in one chapter than this book did in 14.
Kevin Hanks
Great book. The advice they give for interpersonal relationships really resonated with me. My favorite thing about the book is that they teach one simple principle (validating another person's feelings), then they repeat the same advice over and over again. It was a very effective way to teach! The repetition came in the form of examples, with specific conversations and how it would sound: This is what validation sounds like when speaking to a colleague, this is what it sounds like with a child, ...more
I wish I were perfect and didn't have to be reminded that validation is such an important element of any relationship but I am not and I do. This book appealed to me when I saw it in Goodwill's book section but I didn't buy it. Afterwards, I kept thinking about it and decided to go back and see if it was still there. After an initial search, I became frantic because I couldn't find it among all the non-categorized books loading the shelves. I thought someone had bought it or moved it around and ...more
WOW! This is seriously one of the best books I have ever read! As I started reading this book, I kept thinking that this is exactly what I need to be applying in my own life with my spouse and children especially. Everything was quite profound and powerful. I am so excited to start applying the principles learned immediately. This is a book that EVERYONE needs to read. We are all trying to solve everyone's problems, but what we really need to do is step back and listen and validate. What an eye ...more
Kelsey Yates
I successfully used the techniques in this book this evening. I would pair this is Boundaries by Cloud. However, as Boundaries is written specifically for evangelical christians, this book is not so targeted. This book is freeing in that it explains that I have neither the responsibility nor the capability of fixing someone else's problem. To be fair, not even a highly trained doctor can make your broken leg all better. If there is a death in your friend's family, you cannot make it all better. ...more
This book has really great advice that applies to parenting, marriage, and literally all other kinds of relationships. It did a really great job of showing how you can help people with their problems without those problems becoming yours by empowering them. It shows the great importance of validation and how much impact it can have on your communication and relationships. The book is very reader friendly with a nice layout, and lots of specific and helpful examples. I would recommend this book t ...more
Everyone should read this book! I met the Lundbergs at an education weekend at Southern Virginia a couple years ago. They are a cute, cheesy couple, but make very serious points in this book. It's mainly about communication, and how little things can make big differences (good or bad) when talking and listening to others. The advice for married couples assumes the "dad comes home from work and mom has meals ready for him" relationship, but the principles of communication are the same no matter a ...more
This book taught me how to effectively communicate with my husband. It teaches how to choose the proper moment for a discussion, how to validate, and much more. I truly believe everyone could benefit from reading this book. It is universally applicable to all types of relationships. A real eye-opener.

As a sidenote, I bought this book back in 1999, after Joy Saunders Lundberg spoke at our ward Enrichment night. She taught many of the principles from this book at that meeting. It was very enlighte
I learned a lot from this book. It has helped me have better parenting skills, when it comes to childrens problems. I don't feel like I have to fix them. Sometimes just listening with out giving any in put is more helpful than anything. Children can figure things out when given a chance to talk it out. It also helped me adopt a "I don’t have to make it better attitude”. Which has helped when children are having a grumpy moment, or just have bad attitude.

This is one book that I will be picking u
What an amazing insightful book. I always try to make everything better and now I know I am just wasting my time and breath! There is so much in this book to apply to my life it is a bit overwelming! I highly recommend it for esp. the family members in my life that are just like me and try to make everything better instead of just listening without unwanted advise giving. This is so hard! Great book! I am going to need to re-read a large part of it again because the things in the book do not com ...more
My counselor gave me this book... great read! At first I thought it was a book about negating responsibility and let chaos just happen... didn't really want to read it. But as I read it, I learned that it is about validating the other person's feelings and thought processes, and allowing them to come up with their answers (age appropriate of course) and letting them learn from their mistakes... and their successes. It's a great read, I give it 2-thumbs up. I bought a copy through Amazon for less ...more
Such great advice concerning effective validation and healthy boundaries. Will probably read again when I become a mother.
Since I was on the self-help kick, I read this book as well while on vacation. Honestly, I would recommend this book to anyone and everyone. It's about the importance of simply validating others' feelings and not trying to always "make it all better" by giving solutions or telling them to look on the bright side. I appreciated its simple advice of listening, listening, listening, and understanding, and through a lot of practice, I hope one day to succeed in doing so.
I loved this book! I casually picked up while waiting for my daughter to get a massage. When the massage was over, I asked if I could borrow the book. After reading it, I had to buy it! It really helped me learn how to validate people without getting caught into the web of "fixing."
I love that it touches on all types of relationships throughout life. I felt this book seriously freed me from unnecessary emotional guilt.
I would definitely recommend this book!!
I'm not much of a "self-help" book reader, but this was recommended to my wife and I when we were first engaged to married. I would say it is a must read for anyone who has a relationship they want to strengthen, whether personal or professional. Two main ideas of the book describe the enabling power of validation and letting others solve their own problems. It will revolutionize your relationships.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 47 48 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • How to Hug a Porcupine: Dealing With Toxic & Difficult to Love Personalities
  • Bonds That Make Us Free: Healing Our Relationships, Coming to Ourselves
  • Christlike Parenting: Taking the Pain Out of Parenting
  • Raising Up a Family to the Lord
  • A Joyful Mother of Children: The Magic and Mayhem of Motherhood
  • If Life Were Easy, It Wouldn't Be Hard: And Other Reassuring Truths
  • First Comes Love
  • Strangling Your Husband Is Not an Option: A Practical Guide to Dramatically Improving Your Marriage
  • You're Wearing That?: Understanding Mothers and Daughters in Conversation
  • The Five Languages of Apology: How to Experience Healing in All Your Relationships
  • The Anatomy of Peace: Resolving the Heart of Conflict
  • He Did Deliver Me From Bondage
  • Lighten Up
  • Don't Sweat the Small Stuff with Your Family: Simple Ways to Keep Daily Responsibilities and Household Chaos from Taking Over Your Life
  • Passionate Marriage: Keeping Love and Intimacy Alive in Committed Relationships
  • At a Journal Workshop
  • Why Marriages Succeed or Fail: And How You Can Make Yours Last
  • The Lost Art of Listening: How Learning to Listen Can Improve Relationships
Meeting Amazing Grace: Wisdom for All Families and In-Laws Married for Better, Not Worse: The Fourteen Secrets to a Happy Marriage Love that Lasts: Fourteen Secrets to a More Joyful, Passionate, and Fulfilling Marriage Building Forever: Making Your Marriage More Fulfilling, One Day at a Time On Higher Ground

Share This Book