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Why Am I Afraid to Tell You Who I Am? Insights into Personal Growth Paperback – December, 1995

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Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

This book by the author of Why Am I Afraid to Love? contains insights on self-awareness, personal growth and communication with others. Why do people continually hide their real selves from the people around them? Why are so many so insecure and afraid to open up? The answer, explains John Powell, is that maturity is reached by communicating and interacting with others. This book considers the consequences our real self faces if no one else ever finds out what we are like. In this enduring classic, the companion to Why Am I Afraid to Love?, John Powell explains how to be more emotionally open, and shows how people adopt roles and play psychological games to protect their inner selves. The courage to be our real selves can be developed, and then we can begin to grow. Now newly designed for a fresh audience, Why Am I Afraid to Tell You Who I Am? is as relevant as it has been for twenty years. With a proven track record, it continues to speak to the needs and aspirations of people today. It is best included in self help sections of general bookshops, but also has a religious appeal. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

John Powell, of the Society of Jesus, had a run-away success with his books Why Am I Afraid to Love? and Why Am I Afraid to Tell You Who I Am? in America in the late sixties. First published in the UK in 1975, they have remained popular ever since. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 153 pages
  • Publisher: Thomas More Pr; Reprint edition (December 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0883473232
  • ISBN-13: 978-0883473238
  • Product Dimensions: 0.5 x 5.2 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (76 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #47,957 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

32 of 33 people found the following review helpful By Michael Stephens on September 24, 2001
Format: Paperback
Any person who desires to understand himself in regard to personal growth and relationship with others must read this book. I have read and reread this book and use it to counsel others. Powell deals with the topic of human growth and development with acute precision and accuracy that informs a picture of the well-integrated, whole individual. He communicates this person in the honor of the image of God, not in a preachy tone but such as to reflect the dignity of humankind and his own vast understanding in religion and classical studies. He also touches at the nerve of why individuals mask themselves from others and the care and caution that we as counselors need to take in dealing with these people. His catalog of games and roles is so descriptive that even emotionally healthy persons can identify the weakend emotional tendencies that characterize their life. The principles in this book can be communicated to adolescent and adult alike. Simply indispensable.
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48 of 53 people found the following review helpful By Barry O'Connell on December 6, 1999
Format: Paperback
This book literally changed my life. Reading it has allowed me to understand some important parts of who I am - without being afraid anymore. Now, while there are things I keep private, there is nothing in, or about, my life that I would be embarrassed by people finding out. I recommend this book to all my friends, have loaned it to many, bought it for some and quote it to all. A must read again and again, which is made easy by its' concise and accessible format. Do yourself and your loved ones a favor and get this book; maybe even get them a copy - NOW !
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62 of 76 people found the following review helpful By Carmen Matthews on March 30, 2002
Format: Paperback
For many years, I wondered why some people abruptly shifted their eyes away from my eyes. I also wondered how it would be possible for me to acquire the charisma that I admire in many public people.
This book is the answer.
People who shift their eyes from my eyes fear that if I notice who they are, and if I don't like who they are, they won't be accepted, because, to them, that is all that they have. I learned that those people have a self-concept that is based upon anticipating what others will think of them.
And to become as charismatic as those I most admire, I've learned that by first accepting everything about myself, I am free to emulate them, without losing myself.
This little book has so much information for anyone who desires to be their best.
Read this book to become more than comfortable in your own skin.
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20 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Becki13 on May 29, 2002
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is one of those books that can change your life. It was given to me by a dear friend , and I turned to it when my life made no sense. It helped me make sense of my life then, and it still makes wonderful sense today; 20+ years later. I have "passed it on" to many people and will probably do so as long as it's in print. I hope that this one will stay in my library, but if not, I know it will serve a purpose for someone that I care about - A great book to help you help yourself.....
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Cheryl A. Allen on June 11, 2010
Format: Paperback
highly reccomended the author of this and other books is very thought provoking, with just the right amount of humor to help you see the light and guide you to take that fork in the road. I appreciated the book so much I am trying to find all his books to take camping with me...
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20 of 27 people found the following review helpful By marko irsic on February 7, 2000
Format: Paperback
It opened me the door to the world of understanding the interpersonal communication, understanding my own feelings, desires, needs,...I read a lot of John Powell's other Books (this was my first) and they all impressed me and helped me a lot by personal growth. I found in them a lot of answers or confirmations of my feelings or thoughts, I felt I am not alone,... They helped me to see a direction when having problems in my relationships,... So i consider it for a great honor, to be able to write a review first...summary in few words: "Thank you, John Powell!"
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10 of 13 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 13, 1998
Format: Paperback
You are lucky that this book still is in print. This book is one of the best things you can read if you are lost between reality and fantasy. This book will guide you through discover why you are the way you are and how you can be what you want to be. This book is one of the many keys that will teach you how to be yourself and no one else. Don't be afraid to buy it!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Fiona Pimentel on February 17, 2014
Format: Paperback
This is a very perceptive book, in which John Powell looks at healthy and unhealthy ways of relating. He starts off with an excerpt from an actual conversation in which someone told him, “I am afraid to tell you who I am, because if I tell you who I am, you may not like who I am, and it’s all that I have.” He says this reflects “the imprisoning fears and self-doubt which cripple most of us, and keep us from forward movement on the road to maturity, happiness and true love.”

Because of these fears and because of the risks of self revelation, people seek refuge in roles, masks and games, and these are examined in detail in this book. They are ways of relating without true communication. However, as Powell puts it “A relationship will be only as good as its communication.”

Powell says it is helpful to learn about the games people play, in order to have honest communication in true interpersonal relationships. He states that it is only when we are able to express ourselves and relate to others that we are “fully human.”

He talks of the importance of “Interiority,” in which people accept their emotions, impulses, thoughts and desires. “This kind of self-acceptance empowers people to live fully and confidently with all that goes on inside them.”

On the other side of the balance is “exteriority,” which involves an openness to meaningful contact with the world outside. “Fully human beings go out to others,… not by a kind of compulsive-obsessive neurosis, but actively and freely, and simply because they have chosen to do so.”

Powell talks about the five levels of communication, which range from Cliché conversation such as the small talk used at cocktail parties, to Peak Conversation which is based on absolute openness and honesty.
Read more ›
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