I find it incongruous that in a book on communication skills, the tone is often talking-down-to, and imperative. I can understand how that might happeI find it incongruous that in a book on communication skills, the tone is often talking-down-to, and imperative. I can understand how that might happen initially, clearly the authors have worked with people in difficult situations and with various mindsets. It's something that could have been worked on during the editing process.
I also take issue with some points. For instance, the authors say that reflective listening with rephrasing is too prone to problems, and instead one should use questions using the same words as the speaker's statements. ie "I feel very sad," "What is causing the sadness?" They had actually just given an example of a mom whose vocal chords were briefly nonfunctional, and who silently comforted her upset son, who bounced back almost immediately. Sometimes people want to talk further, sometimes they don't need to. Sometimes they want to talk about what they just brought up specifically, other times they actually will feel the urge to talk about something else. Reflective listening with rephrasing is prone to problems, it's true (although I think sometimes they can be fertile, constructive little problems). But a reflective question is still leading in its own way, as well. So there's no perfect rule, and reaching for one leads to oversimplification. Still, in this attempt the authors are still making a good point. And so far each time I disagree with them I still find that what they're saying is insightful and of value, and something I'm glad to learn, even if they take it too far.
Finally, this is one of the very few books I've found on listening skills, and certainly the best so far. A rewrite would do it good, but it's easy to understand and insightful, so as long as one keeps a few grains of salt handy it's a good book for many people to read and learn from....more
I actually got this for ideas about business, not marital relationships. And also just for fun. As I expected, I found it a hilarious and entertainingI actually got this for ideas about business, not marital relationships. And also just for fun. As I expected, I found it a hilarious and entertaining read, even a little inspiring.
If you're seeking a partner, I actually think this is a great resource. You just have to take it with several grains of salt. It encompasses a lot of ideas on how to get out of your rut... and also the rut most people are in... so that you are meeting way more potential people, and making a better general impression on them. There are many good ideas, and many ideas that may be off the wall, but with a little tweaking can also become good ideas.
One flaw... her phrasing whenever she suggests things you could say is usually off. If people followed her phrasings verbatim they would often sound truly odd and scare people away.
Another flaw is in her online dating site advice. Some is fine, but there are details that are apparently incorrect based on the research posted about on the okcupid blog. All I can remember is her advice on pictures versus their advice (which is also much more detailed). If you go this route, make sure to do more research beyond just what the book tells you....more
Not exactly as the title describes, this book covers a range of types of marital problems, some extremely serious and some much less so. Very useful fNot exactly as the title describes, this book covers a range of types of marital problems, some extremely serious and some much less so. Very useful for moving beyond the 5 love languages to work with deeper problems, with a positive focus.
The Christianity in this book is not heavy handed and easy to skip, and the religiosity gives it that positive and faithful focus which those of other types of religious orientations will often appreciate....more
This is the perfect book for me to read right now. I think essentially, the author really gets the magical power of working with material surroundingsThis is the perfect book for me to read right now. I think essentially, the author really gets the magical power of working with material surroundings, not just in the result but also in the process. If you are interested in this subject and haven't already read it, you may also enjoy "Clear Your Clutter With Feng Shui"... which doesn't really use traditional Feng Shui, it is focused on the basic nature of the energetic influence of material surroundings.
Kondo has a fascinating perspective, because she has a powerful affinity for physical objects that in a way is very Japanese, and yet is taken to an idiosyncratic degree... that is very animistic and almost seems like a platonic version of 'object sexuality.' However unlike some people who are simply kooky and that is the end of it, she has taken this quirk far enough that it gives her a wonderfully insightful, perceptive way of relating to material things and also talking to other people about them, drawing out and emphasizing a perception that we probably all have to some degree. Sometimes I relate, sometimes I am impressed, and sometimes it seems weird but it makes the book more fun to read.
You have to take everything with a grain of salt and re-think some things.
For instance, she says "Don't buy organizing supplies." More accurately, don't depend on organizing supplies. Of course there are occasions now and then where organizing supplies are necessary, such as containers for the kitchen and bathroom, or to gather cleaning supplies.
She says, "Only keep things that spark joy." This is a great general rule, but exceptions have to go both ways. For instance when it comes to my clothes, my fancy clothes spark more joy than my most utilitarian clothes. But I have to have different standards for each, otherwise I have too much to choose from for the occasional events, and not enough (or anything!) to wear for housecleaning, gardening, and so on. Or conversely, let's say you have a passion--and this results in a passion for related material objects like books or unusual fabrics. But if you have too much of these good things, they begin to weigh you down--your collection as a whole no longer sparks joy. Yet whenever you take out an individual one, chances are it may still spark joy in you. So you have to have some concept of what size collection you want to aim for, and then raise your standard for the joy-sparking as necessary to get to that point.
One thing that is an excellent point, though, is the need to do this work all in one go. Although it can sound like she means just in one day, and in fact she says that she works with her clients for up to six months... This is something I've perceived too, but never really thought about. I've occasionally tried to put "declutter for 15 minutes" in a plan, but who can get enthusiasm up for that? although of course it is useful for piles of things "in transition" where their transition needs to be finished. Meanwhile, a serious bout of decluttering is very satisfying and even exciting, certainly clarifying and energizing....more
In some ways, when you've read one Fuhrman book you've read them all. This has a little bit more of a focus of gradually transitioning into eating inIn some ways, when you've read one Fuhrman book you've read them all. This has a little bit more of a focus of gradually transitioning into eating in this style, and how to eat in this style for the rest of your life. What I got out of it that was new could have been summarized in one page or less--primarily that we are trying to have 1/2+ lb raw veggies and 1/2+ lb raw veggies or fruits once per day respectively, generally before our regular meals. There's also detailed meal plans and recipes, but they're not to my taste--I get the impression that I wouldn't have liked the unhealthy version of these dishes either, there's a definite '50's made healthy' feeling to them, for me. Even then, it helps to see an example of how it can be done. As I was saying, even though there's not much new stuff, whenever I recommit to this general style of eating it helps as well to have a motivating refresher course in the basics as well....more