Top positive review
80 people found this helpful
A personal, honest review of an excellent read
on March 27, 2013
I loved this book, found it to be extremely helpful to me, and still refer to it at times. I came here to copy the URL to send to a friend so she could buy it, and am puzzled by the two bad reviews and comments. The extraordinary number of 'helpful' votes they got has served to put those two at the top of the list, and that's too bad. I wonder how many people have not given this book a second thought because of it.
As with any book, the writing style either appeals or doesn't. I love his writing for the depth of feeling conveyed, and the clarity often stuns. Lines are in boldface for a reason, and I personally didn't find them annoying or superfluous. There is repetition of ideas: this is a psychologist with (I think) outstanding communication skills, who rephrases important concepts to connect with as many readers as possible. What seems crystal clear to one may seem murky to another unless explained in a way that resonates with him. It also serves to reinforce the concept. Are reviews not to be trusted because they didn't include examples of EI Theory from the book? Mine probably won't either. I'm not a good book or movie reviewer, and don't usually review them for that reason.
I will say this: I've been going through some very intense times the last six years, with accompanying depression. I've read a lot of psychology books trying to get through it. And none of them helped me as much as this simple book. I think most of us know while we can't control much of what life throws our way, we can control how we react to it. But HOW? I'm a stoic: be strong, suck it up, stuff it down, don't whine, don't lay it on people. Be p-o-s-i-t-i-v-e. Meanwhile the noise in my head never let up when this last crisis began. The worries, the fears and regrets, the mental self-flagellation. EI Theory is about using logic to control the emotional ways in which we ALL react to just about everything, even if we don't show it outwardly. I think it is one of the simplest concepts I've ever read, and can literally change people's lives in the way they interact with each other. It can change people's lives in the way they view themselves, their past, their present, their future. It can alter the decisions they make going forward, both little and big. It isn't easy to implement, believe me: however many years you've been on this earth is how many years of thought patterns you'll be working against. It awakened me to the fact that I, an intelligent and rational person, very often have irrational reactions to things. And so do you, whether you realize it or not. This book taught me to ask myself WHY I'm having a particular reaction to someone or something, even a memory, how I CHOSE to have that reaction, and how it's possible to change my reaction to it. And he gives concrete steps with which to accomplish this.
We continually pin our emotional states to outside influences: he made me mad, she embarrassed me, they make me feel inferior, that made me feel like Sucker of the Year. WHY DOES SHE DO THAT WHEN SHE KNOWS I DON'T LIKE IT?? Like we all don't have one of those in our lives whom we blame for making us crazy sometimes. We accept this lack of responsibility for our emotions because we've always been told it's normal. "We're only human, after all-- most people would feel that way given those circumstances." That doesn't mean it has to be that way. Read this book. I took a chance because it sounded interesting. If you don't want to buy it, get it from the library. If nothing else it will change the way you see things, and make you aware of your reactions. Whether or not you do anything with it is up to you. As the good doctor says, frequently, "It will take a force of will." The hits keep coming but I'm much calmer inside, and peacefulness cannot be overrated.
After reading Go Suck a Lemon I was so interested in EI Theory that I read others of his, along with numerous articles on his blog. His book on handling criticism is as good as this one. Because it expands on some basic concepts, I suppose some readers might find it repetitious. When I'm on a quest for insight, I will deal with some repetition in order to glean even one profound statement. Very often it's the exact one I was seeking.