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The Real You: Become the Person You Were Meant to Be Hardcover – July, 2002

3.9 out of 5 stars 12 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

With these two books, the publisher enters the self-help arena, and the results are disappointing. The usually sound Leman (Bringing Up Kids Without Tearing Them Down) misfires here. In the book's first half, he stresses the importance of individual birth order and personality type (sanguine, melancholic, phlegmatic, and choleric) in defining one's true self. He then contradicts those arguments for predisposition by claiming, "You are the way you are because of the choices you have made in response to your surrounding environment." Leman would like readers "to rethink everything [they've] been doing," but he doesn't explain why. Vaguely Christian in tone, the book lacks anything practical and is filled with fluffy anecdotes about celebrities, e.g., Charlton Heston is presented as a typical first born. Not recommended. Best-selling Christian author Harley's work is similarly superficial. The titular metaphor characterizes people in relationships. Freeloaders are "only willing to give and receive care if it comes almost effortlessly." " 'Renters' are willing to improve their ability to care as long as it is in their best interest to do so." "Buyers [are] committed to providing exclusive and permanent care in a romantic relationship." This scheme takes the author (His Needs, Her Needs) only so far; while clever enough for a little while, the book ultimately dehumanizes and oversimplifies complex human relationships. Pass.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From the Back Cover

Know yourself-then reinvent a better you! Dr. Kevin Leman has fantastic news for those ready to create positive changes in their lives. Whatever flaws you think you have can be reworked and changed-for good. Unlock the secrets of your birth order, your childhood memories, your "love language," and your natural personality bent. The Real You is an informative and fascinating guide through these four personality indicators that have shaped you into the person you are today. Once you really understand yourself-your strengths, weaknesses, predispositions, the forces of nature, and your family background-there will be no holding you back, promises Dr. Leman. You can build on who you already are to become your personal best in your relationships, in your career, and at home. Dr. Kevin Leman is an internationally known psychologist, humorist, radio and TV personality, and best-selling author of The New Birth Order Book, Making Children Mind without Losing Yours, The Birth Order Connection, Sex Begins in the Kitchen, and Adolescence Isn't Terminal-It Just Feels Like It. He is founder and co-host of realFAMILIES and president of Couples of Promise. He and his wife, Sande, live in Tucson, Arizona. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Revell (July 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0800718186
  • ISBN-13: 978-0800718183
  • Product Dimensions: 8.8 x 5.8 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,009,526 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
I don't usually read self-knowledge/self-help books, and even more rarely finish them. The genre tends to suffer from poor writing, overuse of jargon, academic axe-grinding, and the smug tendency of the authors to try and jam you into their pet, pigeon-holed theories. (I wonder how many of those authors are first-borns, and if that's part of the problem for this last-born son?) I found "The Real You" to be mercifully free of all the flaws listed above, as well as a highly illuminating and pleasurable read. In fact, I not only finished "The Real You", I read it twice! (And so did two of the people I subsequently gave it to!) Dr. Leman presents four different methods of looking into your personality, and manages to do so without being either superficial or unwieldy. His acknowledged specialty is birth order, but the other sections are excellent too; the birth order part is also remarkably handy for starting party conversations that aren't banal. More importantly, this book may enable you to have some of the conversations you've never gotten around to with your loved ones. In summary, if you were to read only one self-knowledge book in a decade, I'd recommend "The Real You."
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By A Customer on May 5, 2004
Format: Hardcover
The book provides a good basis for thinking about who you are and what you are looking for in life. Starting with personality theory, the author talks about the core personality traits of the 4 main personalities choleric, sanguine, melancholy, phlegmatic. Then moving to birth order, he talks about how we are influenced by our family, specifically the ways we learn to get attention. Then discussing childhood memories, he makes the point that our earliest memories are the story of who we are that has the most meaning to us - memories that we've subconsciouslly selected, perhaps even editted, that represent us and how we relate to the world. Lastly, Leman discusses love languages - how to understand what makes you feel loved, and how to let the people you love know you love them, in a way that means the most to them. So once you understand yourself, and know the kind of person to look for in a mate, you can keep the person you find!
This is a pretty good book. There are gaps, details that get missed, and some of the subjects he talks about really just give you enough information to get the gist of it, without too much detail. There are lots of examples to explain more what he means, but I found myself with a lot of questions. Yet, I would still recommend the book, and rated it 4 stars, because it covers the ideas it does present in a clear, understandable, readable way. The different parts of the book blend together well, and I found myself with a much stronger idea of who I am after reading this book and thinking about what it had to say.
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Format: Paperback
I found this book in the mark down bin at the local books store and am so glad I brought it home. Dr. Leman touches on how birth order, early childhood memories and even your parents' style of parenting affects the development of your personality. This book provides lots of insight on things I never even thought about before. Also, his writing style is a pleasure to read, as he uses personal anecdotes to illustrate his points.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I think I've liked everything Dr. Leman has written and this is no exception. It's an overview of the studies of personality types, birth order, childhood memories and love languages. It will help you to better understand yourself and others in your life.
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Format: Paperback
If you are already familiar with the basic four personality types, birth order, the affect of childhood memories and love languages then this book will BORE you. However, if you are not familiar with these areas, this is a nice, INTRODUCTORY book, hence two stars instead of one. If you like reading books with lots of stories then this would be a good book for you because his points are supported by lots of stories. Personally for me, I didn't get out of it what I was looking for.
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Format: Paperback
I bought this book from a second hand store and after having read it, I am planning on giving it back to them. It was kind of entertaining but a fairly surface look at the issues covered. The author is a sanguine who values sense of humour and fun, while I am a melancholic who values depth and seriousness more. Also, he seemed impatient with people who have different struggles than he does. As a psychologist, he would do well to have more compassion. The information about birth order was the most new for me and so I found it interesting even though my family doesn't fit into that framework very well.
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