80 of 86 people found the following review helpful
on June 13, 2008
PM Forni has done it again! He has written another compact volume that is quite smart while also being quite simple, and which is exceedingly erudite while also being quite accessible. Most of all, The Civility Solution is eminently and immediately useful. Building on his prior best-selling success in Choosing Civility, Forni has created the perfect companion volume which answers the reciprocal question, "OK, now that we think we know how to be more civil, what do we do when people continue to be rude to us?" It may be simple, but it is not always easy, because common sense is seldom common practice. Even though I was able to use several of Forni's practical suggestions on the train home from NYC just yesterday, in its consideration of what rudeness is and how to respond to it, The Civility Solution underscores that the real solutions lie in ourselves and our own efforts to be good and decent and civil people. As a psychotherapist, I am able to suggest PM Forni's books as primers in how to become a better person and demonstrate one's preferred vision of oneself, one's character, and of one's future, at home, at work, and in the marketplace, as well as to learn ways to deal with others who behave less than admirably.
50 of 53 people found the following review helpful
on June 30, 2008
Dr. Forni has written clearly and cogently about an inspired topic. In the great cosmopolitan metropolis I call home, rudeness is an everyday fact of life. A goodly portion of my own work as a life coach concerns helping people to learn how to deal with it effectively.
Deal with rudeness badly or ineffectively and we suffer psychological and even physical stress. Deal with it well, as Forni puts it, with civility, and our self-respect, character, and relationships improve.
If this is true, then you have to wonder why the psycho-professions have not flooded the world with such manuals. Why is it that the topic has only drawn the attention of sociologists and etiquette experts? The skill is surely more important than getting in touch with your inner spirituality.
Rudeness aims at one's place in society. In a community like New York where the extraordinary mix of peoples and cultures makes any determination of status and standing ambiguous at best, rudeness is a way to see how we stand in relation to others on the social hierarchy. Rudeness tests who is up and who is down, who is in and who is out, who is putting on airs and who is up to the task.
Ups and downs are part of the way we talk about these issues. We want to stand up for ourselves when others are trying to put us down. And Dr. Forni correctly asserts, we want to do so without making fools of ourselves, without engaging in histrionic displays, without diminishing ourselves. We need to reply to rudeness without becoming aggressive, contentious, litigious,or argumentative.
When someone is rude, we do not want to slap him down; we want to offer him the opportunity to recognize his fault and to back down voluntarily.
Perhaps Dr. Forni is too optimistic that civility can diminish the sting of rudeness and restore relationship harmony. I have often been accused of the same thing myself. We know that civility may not be an appropriate response to every act of rudeness, it is surely the place to start. Before trying other ways to respond we need to exhaust the resource of civility.
25 of 25 people found the following review helpful
on August 30, 2009
Has very everyday situations for examples, even though some of them do not apply to me, I could "see" it happen. I especially liked the 2nd half of the book where he talks about personality types, very interesting, opened my eyes to myself and those around me, I don't take rudeness personally now. The other day I was driving and someone cut in front of me and gave me the bird (why? who knows), I barely noticed; later I was shocked at my reactions because it was so much not like me, normally I would blow up and in some cases would try to catch up to see the offender...I didn't care, I let him deal with his own problem of being rude. Another points that stroke our at me is where he says that usually no person in a clear healthy mind is rude, that there is a reason behind all rude behavior. It helped me to literally pretend that I am in a bubble and no one can see it and I am the only one who decides when to let it down and get "involved" with the rude person's underlying problem (this is one of the authors suggestions by the way). I am very glad I read this book. I tended to take everything personally, from slow checkout lane to a rude telemarketer, I was almost always in a bad mood because of this....I am so happy now because I do not care, I learned to know that none of those people know me and there is no way they can do anything specifically pointed towards me. I cannot say this book is a lifesaver, that would be too dramatic, but definitely made mine more pleasant. I recommend it to any one who tends to take rudeness as a personal act, and I think those who ARE rude should read it themselves. I have sympathy for such people now. The other day in a park there was a lady yelling and just being rude, instead of joining and supporting her bad mood, hence getting myself in one, I simply asked her if she was having a bad day, a miracle happened! Anyway, read it and you will be glad you did.
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on June 29, 2010
The book has a fairly well-rounded approach towards the topic.
Part 1 of the book has concepts that the author wants you to build on. Part 2 of the book has some real-life examples based on the concepts presented earlier.
The author starts with explaining and defining rudeness, and goes-on to set the stage for what we can do to prevent rudeness ourselves. He mentions strategies like being patient, empathetic, friendly, appreciative etc. He also has some tips based on the type of people you are dealing with - extroverts, people afraid to try new things, risk-takers etc. Once you have all the proactive approches to preventing rudeness, the author then explains "dealing with rudeness". He also talks about being assertive without being rude.
Part 2 of the book is devoted to real-life examples, and how to deal with them. Totalling over a 100 situations, they cover a wide variety of interactions with family, colleagues and email comminications. I liked most of the solutions presented by the author. Of course, each person will need to customize their choice of words to suit their own personality, but it provides a good starting point. However, I disagree with a couple of the solutions. For example, the author provides a nicely-worded solution to not letting someone cut in front of you in the line. But, in the example chosen, the requester would miss the train he is trying to catch if he stands at the back of the line. I think the more civil solution would be to let the person cut-in, based on the advice to be empathetic in Part 1.
Apart from the small distractor, the book provides many tools in increasing likeability and assertiveness at the same time. I strongly recommend the book.
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on February 8, 2009
This book gives you a whole new perspective about being polite and civilized. It will make you understand why some people are impolite and rude, as well as teach how to deal with rudeness in a day-life basis.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on May 10, 2011
Looking for a way to address the seemingly "uncivil" and rude behavior today, I found this little gem that is a follow-up to Choosing Civility: The Twenty-five Rules of Considerate Conduct also by Pier Massimo Forni. Gave me a great way to view societal behavior and recognize in myself those same traits. It also armed me with ways to approach these situations whether a rude co-worker or the bird-flipping soccer mom in the mini-van with the Jesus fish. Yes, it may seem that one person doing one civil thing a day won't change the world, but realizing that your one "nice thing" may trigger others to follow suit and then it just expands exponentially. Nice, practical advice even when you really want to be rude right back (even when someone probably deserve it). Good read.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on January 24, 2011
This is a great book, it gives ideas on how to handle delicate situations, that everyone may come across in there daily lives. Very helpful reminds you what's really important in your life, and to forget or walk away from all of the nonsense.
7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on September 18, 2008
I bought this book for our daughter who has a job that entails working with the general public. She has gotten so much out of it that she has passed it around the office for others to read.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on September 15, 2012
Although I didn't learn anything new from this book, it is well written and what it has to say needs to be spoken, written and widely distributed.
Either this book or something similar should be compulsory reading and, perhaps have practical sessions based on it in all classrooms. Civility must be taught young.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on December 27, 2011
Our America is just crying out for a book like that.
We Americans are rude. Have we always been this way? Or is it just our increased number of human interactions that make for more rudeness?
In any case, Forni takes on every possible case of rudeness and proposes what we are to do about it. His fundamental approach: confrontation, albeit gentle confrontation.
To be frank, his solutions seemed a little too confrontive to me. I find it almost impossible to imagine that someone who spits in public would completely change his behavior when approached by a stranger and gently scolded.
I found this book to be more helpful for me personally when he spoke about things we can do in our own lives to rein in our own rude behaviors. He suggests that we slow down, become empathetic, remain positive, respect others, disagree graciously, become familiar with those around us, watch small things in our lives, and ask rather than tell.