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Too Nice for Your Own Good: How to Stop Making 9 Self-Sabotaging Mistakes Paperback – November 1, 2000

4.2 out of 5 stars 75 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From the Inside Flap

                        TOO NICE FOR YOUR OWN GOOD:

                How to Stop Making 9 Self-Sabotaging Mistakes

"I hope many people will read this book and benefit from its honesty, eloquence and wisdom."
Rabbi Harold S. Kushner, author of When Bad Things Happen to Good People and How Good do We Have to Be?"

"Highly readable, insightful, and compassionate...Duke Robinson extracts powerful, eminently practical lessons for everyday living from sound psychological principles."
Martin V. Covington, professor of psychology. University of California at Berkeley

"His eloquent message is addressed to all who are striving to live good lives...an upbeat and honest message."
The Library Journal

"Profound, provocative, and practical...A thoughtful and deeply felt gift to all of us who get caught between the goodness of our hearts and our own naivete."
Shirley Nice, The Corporate Coach

"Do-gooders: Here's why you burn out...In this book, Robinson shows how too much of a good thing can lead to emotional and physical exhaustion."
New Orleans Times-Picayune

"The wit and wisdom of Duke Robinson is about to become national knowledge. And he does more than simply analyze the mistakes we all make as nice persons. Attention to this very readable and practical book can make a good difference in the way we live."
Paul H. Gertmenian, CEO, Henry Gertmenian Co.

"The mistakes described in this book are like the common cold...Duke Robinson has done a masteful job defeating these emotional viruses...Reading this book and taking it seriously could save hundreds of hours in therapy, and it's a lot more fun."
Dr. Robert R. Ball, executive director, the State of California's Self-Esteem Task Force, and author of Walking on Water

"A 'how-to' book that breaks new ground...and shares unexpected new approaches that can open doors to more creative living."
Robert McAfee Brown, author, professor emeritus, Pacific School of Religion, Berkeley, CA

"Robinson's nine chapters turn the qualities of niceness inside out: 'trying to be perfect,' 'taking on too much,' 'not saying what you want,' ' suppressing anger,' 'reasoning with irrationality,' 'telling little lies,' 'giving advice,' 'rescuing others,' and 'protecting those in grief. Sound familiar? He says he can help you get over it without becoming an ogre."
The Dallas Morning Newspapers

"I wish this book had come along earlier in my career...These practical steps toward authenticity help us put our lives in order and feel good about it."
Darrell Floyd, retired human resources manager, Nissan Motor Corporation, USA

"An unsentimental blueprint for complete living as well as a provocation to the highest humanity in all of us."
Leroy Aarons, founder and board member, National Gay and Lesbian Journalists Association and author of Prayers for Bobby

"A superb book...transforming...In clear and simple language, Dr. Robinson shows how being 'nice' often means living by a tyranny of expectations."
Stanley F. Hogle, former executive director, Interface-Samaritan Counseling Centers

"Duke Robinson's book on 'mistakes made by nice people' is a big hit. He shows so clearly how niceness keeps us from growing and dealing honestly with one another."
Presbyterian Outlook

About the Author

In November 2000, Time Warner published this paperback version of Duke Robinson's award-winning book TOO NICE FOR YOUR OWN GOOD: How to Stop Making 9 Self-Sabotaging Mistakes. It has appeared in thirteen languages and as an early Kindle book. It continues to sell briskly just about everywhere.

His second non-fiction book, CREATE YOUR BEST LIFE: How to Live Fully Knowing One Day You Will Die, appeared in December 2011.

In September 2012, he published his first novel, SAVIOR: An Old Notion in a New Novel of Unthinkable Absurdity.

Robinson graduated in 1950 from suburban Philadelphia's Haverford High School. He holds a BA degree in philosophy (1954) from Wheaton College near Chicago, and a Masters of Divinity degree (1958), from Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary. He has lived since 1960, in the East Bay of Northern California.

For 28 years before retiring to writing, Robinson led Oakland's progressive Montclair Presbyterian Church. For several years during that ministry he also served part-time as an adjunct professor at San Francisco Theological Seminary, from which he holds an earned doctorate (1979). Prior to retiring in 1996, he was known widely as a speaker and appeared frequently on Northern California television.

Since 2000, he has lived in Rossmoor, an active adult community in Walnut Creek, CA, thirty miles east of San Francisco. Barbara, his beloved wife of 54 years died in 2008 (He writes of her dying, and of his almost dying in 2009, in this book, CREATE YOUR BEST LIFE). He has four mature children, nine wonderful grandchildren and two great-grandsons, both of whom are geniuses.  one three and one newly born.

In April 2014, he published A MIDDLE WAY: The Secular/Spiritual Road to Wholeness.

His fifth book, a memoir, STANDING ON MY HEAD ... WITH MY FLY OPEN, was published by Big Hat Press of Lafayette, CA, in November 2015. Robinson was 8 when he stood on his head.  He hit 80 in January 2013.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Grand Central Publishing; Reprint edition (November 1, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0446673862
  • ISBN-13: 978-0446673860
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.8 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.5 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (75 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #179,762 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I really only have three words for this awesome, life-healing book: OH. MY. GOD.
I never realized until recently how deeply my so-called niceness was hurting me, absolutely draining me. It's as if I've gone through my entire life (until now) thinking solely of others, in order not to be rejected, abandoned, dis-vaildated. I supress my anger, and do all the other mistakes that are mentioned in the book. Needless to say, my stress levels have been over the top, trying so damn hard not to step on someone else's toes! Well, no more. I am done with apologizing for existing on this earth, and Mr. Robinson is giving me the validation and the confidence I need to move forward in the healthiest of ways! I thank you, sir, from the bottom of my heart. You have facilitated a major change in my life, and I am beyond grateful to you. I highly recomend this book, and I do not believe that 5 stars are quite enough to rate it. Read it, and change your life's approach.
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Format: Paperback
Wow. OK let me start this out by saying that I really like being nice. I have found that it works to my benefit in many, many occasions. I also think it's better for interpersonal communications and something that we should all practice in order to get along better. I was afraid that by looking at this book I would lose that niceness. That did not happen. However, it did offer me the ability to get what I needed to get and still be considered nice. Just amazing!

With most "self-help" books you wind up having to do months and months of self-evaluation and changing tiny things incrementally and it wind up taking forever to actuate any change. This was not the case with "Too Nice for Your Own Good" by Duke Robinson.

The great thing about this book is that I needed it in a timely fashion and went straight to the third chapter and found an answer to my problem in the 40 minutes it took to read and digest that chapter. Previous to that I spent two nights being unable to sleep and completely upset over my inability to assert myself in a situation that I was in. So I was left with a "damned if you do, and damned if you don't" situation until I read the chapter that I needed. It was absolutely amazing...and here's why: it allowed me to re-form the way I would say something so that I could still be nice and yet accomplish what I needed to do. I frankly was blown away. I had been struggling with how to do what I needed to do without upsetting other people or feeling guilty at the same time and this book told me exactly how to do that.

I guess this review is flawed in that I have not read but two chapters (chapter 3 then the beginning chapter one). However, it absolutely accomplished what I needed it to do in chapter three.
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Comment 127 of 133 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Paperback
Here's what I wrote before when this was in hardback only:
This book opened my eyes to a lot of important insights into how my
"niceness" has undercut my integrity and effectiveness as a person. I'm impressed with
the substance and clarity with which it's written, and especially the fact
that I couldn't find any "psychobabble." I'm also impressed with the balance of
theoretical understanding and practical information. It's been of tremendous
help to me. I cannot recommend it too highly.
I was recently interviewing for a job and was called in for EIGHT interviews.
The stress was on! Duke helped me to see the big picture, to focus on what I
wanted and needed, and not be bogged down with needless baggage that some of
us "nice" people carry with us.
This book has helped me with personal relationships at home and with friends,
has refocused my attention to my communication methods so that I use clear
and succinct wording, and it has helped me see that nice guys can finish first.
Thanks, Duke. The book is great!
And now that it's been in paperback for a while, everyone should own a copy. Get it now before you are manipulated by your own actions.
3 Comments 42 of 46 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Paperback
How oft we create a wave to spell trouble with our own perfections being true and honest with good faith and intentions? We take on too much not saying what we want and that's exactly what the book reveals - the niceness mistakes that 'Damage' us! Unconsciously, we have planted strong messages in the back of our minds and with good intentions by our mentors, follow the moral code of conducts in life. Be good, be nice, be cool, share and care, don't be selfish, be reasonable, don't hurt others, help friends, say yes and so on. In real, trying to reach perfection and taking on too much lead us to exhaustion and sooner or later the ship of our life start sinking. The author gives an insight to the nine unconscious mistakes we often make daily and helps us correct them and pulls a person out of frustration and stress. In not saying what you want and taking on too much, it leads to suppressed anger. Robinson provides healthy tips to express anger to orchestrate a balanced life. Life itself is like riding a bike up and down roads that are bumpy, curvy, hilly while juggling bananas, balloons and bowling balls says Robinson and so this is when you have a fall, life needs balancing back to pedal and steer with too much/too little, too rational/too emotional, to fast/too slow, too cautious/too reckless, too strong/too weak, etc. and remain upright empowering to get what you need and deserve. Irony is, sometimes our niceness betrays us and this book is a key to understanding our mistakes and bring about a 'change' in us. Robinson makes us a nicer person making one realise the mistakes, why we make and how to give up. In doing so, Robinson guides in:

1. Liberating from the bondage of other's expectations
2. Saying no and saving work overloads
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