Top critical review
15 people found this helpful
Some useful information, but too broad in overall scope
on January 20, 2009
I'm a psychologist myself, and I was interested in fellow psychologist and author Gregory Korgeski's take on how to improve social intelligence, or how one relates to others. This book is from "The Complete Idiot's Guide to..." series, which means that it is filled with things like self-quizzes, text boxes with definitions and "SI Tips," and can't miss "Caution!" graphics which contain additional important information. Personally, I don't like this style, as I feel it overly dumbs down the material, but others may appreciate the book's easy-to-read format.
The book is broken down into four main parts. In Parts 1 and 2, Korgeski offers some basic yet generally helpful information about understanding oneself and one's own social functioning. Most importantly, he explains the differences between being introverted versus being shy and/or socially anxious. In Part 3, Korgeski turns to the topic of Personal Relationships and Social Intelligence. I thought the first chapter in this section, on friendships, provided the most beneficial information of the entire book, as it focused on concrete strategies for connecting with others, starting friendships, and then deepening these relationships.
At this point, however, I think the book starts to try to do a bit too much by becoming too broad in its scope. Korgeski goes on from friendships to talking about romantic relationships, which makes sense, but he continues with a chapter on sex and then moves on to other types of relationships (eg, marriage and children). Furthermore, the self-quizes cease to be sheerly informative and instead begin to have an obviously appropriate correct or "SI" answer. The final section of this book, Part 4, centers around work relationships. Although there is some useful information here as well, it is hard for me to believe that the same person who needs help with making friends also needs advice on being a better manager at work; it seemed like this part belonged in another book.
If you are looking for a very simple guide to help you learn more about your own social functioning as well as to provide you with some basic strategies for how to change, you may find this book to be useful. However, be prepared to discover that much of the subject matter may not apply to your situation or may even be too elementary.