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Compassion and Self Hate: An Alternative to Despair Paperback – April 28, 1998


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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Theodore Isaac Rubin, M.D., has served as president of the American Institute of Psychoanalysis and is the author of thirty books, including The Angry Book, Lisa and David, Jordi, The Winner's Notebook, and Lisa and David Today. His books have been translated all over the world. He lives and practices psychiatry in New York City.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Touchstone; 1st Touchstone Ed edition (April 28, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0684841991
  • ISBN-13: 978-0684841991
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.8 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (43 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #253,402 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

28 of 28 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 4, 1997
Format: Paperback
It was like magic that so much of what Dr. Rubin writes in Compassion and Self-Hate hit home with me. I can only say he set me free--from my past, myself and my life as it was. The book enabled me to embrace what life could be, but further influenced how I dealt with the children in my life so they would not be the afraid, nonfunctioning person I had been.
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82 of 94 people found the following review helpful By J. Sandberg on October 18, 2004
Format: Paperback
You might find the first 167 pages a worthwhile read in the proper state of mind: 1) You haven't really thought that you hate yourself (you'll find that you do); or 2) You've been reading so many self-help books filled with tests and procedures that you forgot what you're reading them for (because you're trying to accept yourself).

The three stars are for Dr. Rubin's compassionate essays on our creative means for self-inflicted suffering, which run through page 129. I found fascinating his conclusion that we routinely punish ourselves for not measuring up, or as he suggests, for falling from "privileged positions." His blending of anecdote, diagnosis, and remedy makes for a warm, even invigorating, read.

He clumps all mental illness into a single diagnosis, concluding that everything is based on a privileged position -- an illusion of grandeur. Whether this is true or not, the simplicity of his message helps me remember that I'm coming to grips with my human, flawed self and that I'm not trying to become a 'normal' person.

Unfortunately, his generalization leaves room for only a generalized strategy: Admit, recognize, block, analyze, and finally realize. It takes him roughly forty pages to offer a cursory explanation. If he spent the rest of the book detailing a practical technique for applying his strategy for different kinds of self-hate, this book would have become a five-star classic. He didn't.

Instead, he presented a 40-page diatribe entitled "Compassionate Psychophilosopy" that is wrought with hyperbole, demands, and inconsistencies, all written as a first person reflection of the perfectly compassionate self. It is the antitheses of the previous chapters; offering impossibilities of self-reliance that no person could ever attain.
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30 of 33 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 14, 1999
Format: Paperback
Compassion and Self Hate allowed me to consciously admit and put into perspective many self hating aspects of my life which have kept me from being consistantly confident, assertive, and having the life and professional experiences for which I yearn.
I discoved the book "Compassion and Self Hate" at a time when I really needed it. After having accepted a job that I was afraid to apply for, because it pushed me beyond my comfort zone, I was feeling pretty unhappy one evening on the subway ride home from work. A women next to me was reading the book on the train. As I read a couple paragraphs of her book, it immediately related to how I was mentally beating myself up at that moment. I apolozied for having read over her shoulder and asked for the name and author of the book.
The book has helped me to separate my fear of failure (because I usually think that most people are smarter than myself), from my need to analyze how I contributed to the job and the job contributes to my self growth. After deciding that the job is just my current challenge for which there was not failure, and a stepping stone to my next challenge, I stop try to find reasons why I should quit or be fired.
I am now taking classes in web development, thinking about graduate school, and working to fulfill a dream of taking a trip to Africa to meet family members on my father's side.
While it may be comforting or discomforting to know that most/many people experience some form of self hating tendancies, it is more comforting to know that there is a book (also available in paperback) that I and my sisters and brothers can read to help us deal with unspoken inner pain and self doubt.
I have searched for the book on Amazon.com in hope that it is still in print, and it is, so that I can return this library copy for which I have been checking out for the last eight months. I plan to buy a paperback copy for myself and everyone in my immediate family.
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28 of 31 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 14, 1999
Format: Paperback
Compassion and Self Hate allowed me to consciously admit and put into perspective many counter productive thoughts which have affected by confidence, self image, and social, academic, and professional goals.
I discoved the book "Compassion and Self Hate" at a time when it was truly needed. After working four months in a marketing job(for which I was afraid to apply for because it pushed me beyond my comfort zone), I was feeling pretty unhappy one evening on the subway ride home from work.
A women next to me was reading Dr. Rubin's book. As I read a couple paragraphs of her book, it immediately related to how I was mentally beating myself up at that moment. I apologized for having read over her shoulder, asked the women for the name and author of the book, and checked the book out at my neighborhood library.
The book is helping me to separate my fear of failure (because I sometimes think that I am smart or talented enough), from my need to analyze what I contribute to the job and the job contributes to my self growth. After deciding that the job is just a challenge for which there is no failure, and a gateway to my next challenge, I hope that I can now stop trying to find reasons why I should quit, be fired, or run.
As my next goal and challenge, I am now taking classes in web development, thinking about graduate school, and working to fulfill a dream of taking a trip to Africa.
While it may be comforting or discomforting to read that many people experience some form of self hating tendancies, it is more comforting to know that there is a book (now available in paperback) that I and my siblings can read to help us deal with unspoken inner pain and self doubt.
Because I believe that children inherit and suffer from the pains of their parents, I plan to buy a paperback copy for myself, five brothers and sisters, four nieces and nephews, two in-laws, one mother and step father, and a Partridge in a Pear Treeeee!
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