Leslie's Reviews > I Don't Have to Make Everything All Better: Six Practical Principles That Empower Others to Solve Their Own Problems While Enriching Your Relationships

I Don't Have to Make Everything All Better by Gary B. Lundberg
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Apr 03, 2011

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bookshelves: nonfiction, self-help
Read in April, 2011

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 people find their own solutions, which I think is particularly helpful for children and teenagers. I liked the chapter on using validation with your spouse, because I tend to brush aside some of my husband's concerns when they don't seem "worthy" of concern. It was a good reminder that I need to let him feel what he's feeling and try to walk in his shoes a little bit. I also really liked the theory that if you let someone go down as deep as they need to in their anger or sorrow or frustration--without telling them not to worry too much or trying to find a solution for them--they will usually come back up to ground level on their own.

I know I need to keep these principles in mind when it comes to my kids, too. When they're whiny or upset, I tend to brush their feelings aside and insist that they "calm down," "shake it off," "knock it off," that sort of thing. The book suggests that if I let them feel what they're feeling and demonstrate a little bit of TLC and understanding, they'll come out of it on their own, and our relationship will be all the better for it. If I can cage my temper long enough to offer some validation, I just might be able to make that work. I guess what I need now is a book to help me learn to control my temper...
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