Top critical review
280 people found this helpful
Save Your Money
on March 26, 2011
Honestly, I bought this book expecting something completely different. I like to read reviews before I purchase anything, especially books, and I felt confident buying this one. I honestly cannot believe that people think this is one of the best books or by any means, life-changing. I enjoy reading self-help books and I've read quite a few, and this is honestly one of the worst one's that I've read. I am not insulting Leil Lowndes with this review- I think her writing style makes it an easy read and she adds humor here and there. This particular book is 250 pages and it took me about 2 days to read, from start to finish. The problem with this book is the content. "85 Shybusters that work"... Uh no, not so much. Most of these are very common-sense ways to stop being shy (e.g. smile and listen to others). I will outline the book in this review and if you feel like you need to know more, you can buy it, but consider looking through amazon for other books on the topic as well.
- "Should I tell people I'm Shy?" - I'll save you reading 5 pgs... NO, don't tell people you're shy. Period.
- "How to battle the Blushing, Sweating, and other Shy Signs" - This section was the one I was looking forward most to reading about, and I was utterly disappointed at the content. Basically, Lowndes gives no actual imput on how to battle these shy signs. Rather, she says to "jokingly warn" people about these signs and to laugh about it. Ugh. Well I could have thought of that- Oh wait, I did; And it doesn't make me feel any better when giving a presentation and I look like a lobster.
- "Avoid Toxic People" - I don't think this deserves a chapter but it is an important concept. Basically, don't try to be friends with cocky, obnoxious people, who you know don't really want to be friends with you- It will only make you feel worse in the end.
- Smile and Make a Good first impression - I like this idea and it is something I have often been doing anyway, to some extent. People generally remember their first impressions of you, so try to make it a non-shy one. Say hello enthusiastically and smile. People will remember and not automatically think "shy" when they think of you.
- "Demented Duck Exercise" - This is just another spin on the whole "sing & dance in your room while no-one is watching" to make yourself feel more comfortable going out into the world- Except this is something I would really not do.
- "Gradual Exposure Therapy" - I think this is an important topic that is covered in this book. Basically, the more you expose yourself to situations to help yourself be less shy, the more comfortable you are with similar situations, and gradually you will become less shy. This is the single MOST important part of defeating shyness. This is a very active process and it takes time. This is an actual psychological term; It is not uniquely available in this book. Basically, if you want to know more about this, google it and find more resources about it. It is important to overcoming shyness- and you do this all the time without really knowing there is a term for it. It is essentially you living your life, and every time you take a step to fighting shyness (whether it be talking to someone new or giving a speech) you are going through this "therapy," and briefly exposing yourself to not being shy.
- Work on making eye contact. - Simple enough. Practice makes perfect. So practice often on people you know as well as strangers.
- Call people by name. - This is good advice that is very common in self-help books. People like hearing their own name. So try to say people's names and practice saying it correctly. Just don't overdo it.
- "Sound dazzled over the dumbest things" - I don't know how I feel about this. I suppose it is good advice for very shy people looking to draw attention away from themselves. This way, you sound dazzled- and the other person continues just talking about this dumb thing.
- "Interview with Companies you don't want" - If you have the spare time, practice interviews can help you with the anxiety of an interview with the company you want. And yes, many companies tend to ask the same questions, so look on the web for some of these popular questions and develop your answers ahead of time to prevent hesitation and anxiety during these interviews.
- Find People you Share interests with - This involves thinking about what you enjoy and finding organizations/clubs of people who enjoy the same things.
- Arrive at a party early - This is good advice if you don't know anyone there and you want to meet a few people before all the pressure of a large crowd appears. I couldn't help but notice that this would also apply to other situations- such as school- I know I am often early to my classes (in college) and I make small talk with people before the class begins and I think it helps to make some friends or acquaintances from your classes as well.
- Take acting classes - I havn't actually done this, nor do I plan to, but I can see how this can drastically help people come out of their shell and be more outgoing. If you act a certain way long enough, you become that way. This especially applies to being outgoing and speaking loud.
Alright. There are some other points that other people may have found more useful in their battle against shyness that I havn't mentioned. But overall, I outlined the ones that I thought were important or unimportant. Also I found that this book has a lot of repetition of ideas; this may have been intentional but I am not sure. One of the things I liked was that Lowdnes mentions not to use alcohol as a crutch as many shy people do. The reality is that shy people are more prone to substance abuse than the more confident people and it is really a shame. I know from experience that alcohol does make me feel much more confident and certainly not SHY... But it will NOT make your shyness go away long-term and it is more important to face your shyness head-on and make a real change in your mindset.
Also, before you buy, know that this book is targeted towards very shy people. Shy to the point of needing advice on how to ask for directions, order food for yourself, or make a phone call. If you are this shy, the main advice you will get here is to push yourself to do everything you are afraid to do, while trying not to seem shy... It gets easier over time.
I don't review every book that I read, but I wanted to review this one because I feel like it is not deserving of the many 5 star reviews that it has. If you often buy books that are rated 5 stars, you probably know a 5 star book and you may be disappointed, just as I was. Good Luck.