46 of 48 people found the following review helpful
Nuanced look at different coping strategies,
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This review is from: The Positive Power Of Negative Thinking (Paperback)
While billed as a "contrarian" view, Norem's book is really a more nuanced look at what constitutes pessimism, optimism and the difference between them and hope. Consequently, she identifies highly functional people who are none the less pessimistic. These individuals deal with their preexisting anxiety by using the strategy of "defensive pessimism." Norem discusses in detail the advantages and disadvantages of this strategy, but shows how those people predisposed to handling their anxiety via defensive pessimism can be harmed by being optimistic. Norem spends a good deal of time making the important distinction between the defensive pessimist and other forms of pessimism that are truly debilitating.
"The Positive Power of Negative Thinking" is not a 12-step program. Instead, it is a highly accessible discussion of personality types and strategies for dealing with the anxiety that modern society brings.