Most helpful critical review
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Being positive is fine as long as it is not an avoidance of reality. It is largely our failures that define us
on April 16, 2011
Strobel's main premise is hard to argue with, of course we all like to receive compliments, they make us feel better and the resulting positive self-esteem is a valuable trait. Furthermore, people that give out compliments are far more pleasurable to be around, the emotional sunshine that they emit brightens the world around them.
However, the problem is that if it is overdone, when compliments are all that is received, the recipient simply will not receive the criticism necessary for growth and learning. It is a common theme among very successful people that they learned far more from their failures than they ever did from their successes. In fact, they credit their experiences with failure as being the primary reason why they were successful. Receiving compliments for everything that you do, particularly the small failures, generates a false perspective that generally leads to greater failures in the future. These larger failures are then very difficult to recover from.
Therefore, in reading this book and thinking through Strobel's advice, my regular mental chant was, "Compliments are a good thing as long as it is not overdone or artificial." For example, on page 35 there is an ad for a `Cool Compliment Tool', a scale that will give you a compliment whenever you step on the scale. The sample comments listed are "You're perfect", "You're hot" and "You're gorgeous." It is hard to see how devices like this can really lead to positive self-esteem, for the person receiving the comment knows it is programmed rather than real.