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When Difficult Relatives Happen to Good People: Surviving Your Family and Keeping Your Sanity Paperback – April 14, 2005

ISBN-13: 978-1594862274 ISBN-10: 1594862273

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Rodale Books (April 14, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1594862273
  • ISBN-13: 978-1594862274
  • Product Dimensions: 8.7 x 5.6 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #871,083 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Felder, a psychologist and author of Making Peace with Your Parents, notes that people can learn to live with their annoying and difficult relatives, but not by trying to change them. Instead, by figuring out what triggers certain behavior patterns, people can be more accepting and also devise compromises. Using situations from his life as well as examples from his patients, Felder walks readers through the kinds of analysis and solutions they should seek. For example, one matriarch insists on serving Thanksgiving dinner late in the day, when some relatives have already drunk too much and the children are overtired. The woman insists this is the way the holiday has always been celebrated. Finally, her children ask her to try an "experiment" and for one year, start the dinner earlier. The evening turns out to be far more pleasant, and afterwards, relatives call, thanking her for such an enjoyable dinner. Another strategy favored by Felder is to find allies. A woman always has to listen to relatives talk about calories and dieting. She asks her grandfather to help her. He announces a moratorium on discussing food, and the family ends up having conversations about other matters. Felder's tips are practical as he offers specific suggestions on what to say, but what makes his approach so helpful is his assumption that there is no perfect resolution; instead, readers should aim for a middle ground. This is an excellent book for anyone looking for fewer arguments and less tension around family members.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

"This book will be a huge help for everyone, and especially for the sensitive people found in all extended families. They are the ones most aware of the value of closeness, most diligent in their efforts to bring harmony, and most miserable around their family's not-so-sensitive, intrusive members. Felder helps us see how to have that cherished dream of family togetherness and our personal boundaries, too." --Elaine Aron, Ph.D., author of The Highly Sensitive Person

"I love this book! Once again, Leonard Felder offers us deep awareness and profound help. When Difficult Relatives Happen to Good People is practical, clear, and compelling. There is much wisdom here to help you move out of being victimized by your relatives and into your personal power. I especially appreciate the union of psychology and spirituality."--Margaret Paul, Ph.D., author of Do I Have to Give Up Me to Be Loved by You?
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

3.6 out of 5 stars
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See all 11 customer reviews
I found this book very helpful and inspirational.
Megan Coffey
I liked that it gave advice on how to handle some of the situations, but it didn't give useful advice on most issues.
Amy L. Dumont
My personal opinion of the book is that I was a little disappointed.
Teresa A. Downs

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

59 of 60 people found the following review helpful By Laura P. Nagy on November 27, 2003
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I loved this book. I grew tired of books that provided alot of, exuse me, psycho babble which didn't help me deal w/relatives that drive me nuts or truly hurt me and I find impossible to be around.
Dr. Felder's book provided insight into what I can do that is practical, and I feel even more importantly, urged me to understand that changing my mean grandmother wasn't going to happen.. the only thing I could do was change how I let myself react.
GET THIS BOOK BEFORE XMAS DINNER.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Amy L. Dumont on March 19, 2007
Format: Hardcover
I liked that it gave advice on how to handle some of the situations, but it didn't give useful advice on most issues. It mainly tells you how to handle it in your head, but not how to communicate with these relatives when they are pushing your buttons.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Teresa A. Downs on March 9, 2007
Format: Paperback
My personal opinion of the book is that I was a little disappointed. I was looking for a revelation or a solution. I did get a few ideas and tactics for coping with those who continue to impose themselves on you. However, if those don't work you wind up compromising yourself.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Megan Coffey on May 12, 2007
Format: Paperback
I found this book very helpful and inspirational. Definitely a must read for people who are having problems with relatives and don't know how to handle an issue! You may even want to read it if there are currently no issues in your family! It's good to know what you could potentially deal with.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By LikeItOrNot on August 11, 2008
Format: Paperback
This one didn't do it for me because it didn't help much with my problems. It seemed as though the problems discussed here were oversimplified and stereotypical and this book is written for those people whose problems are with family members they don't care much about -like annoying in-laws. There was some helpful info, but most of the book was not applicable to me. Mostly, it gave common sense, basic advice and offered nothing extraordinary. For instance, the book somewhere mentioned - If family gatherings are stressful for you, consider making them shorter or with less people. (I think anyone could tell you that.)
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By T. Perkins on August 22, 2013
Format: Paperback
Although we might not run into all these people or situations, there is bound to be something here for everyone. I have always been interested in books like this and this one is one of the best I've picked up.
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