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Unworthy: How to Stop Hating Yourself Paperback – May 19, 2015
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“Anneli Rufus has an incredible insight into the human condition. She understands and applauds our desire to be normal as we navigate our complex fragility and ability to detest ourselves. Through observation and anecdote, she shows us that no matter what was said or done to us, self-loathing does not have to be our fate. Hers is a strong, sympathetic and encouraging voice.”
"This book should be required reading for anyone suffering from low self-esteem, and while it will likely cause readers to tear up repeatedly, the empathy and grounded advice is sure to help inspire healing."
"An essential title on the topic of low self-esteem."
"Whatever the state of your self-esteem, Unworthy is a worthwhile read--a marvelous blend of scientific research and personal stories."
—Monica Wesolowka, author of Holding Silvan
"Anneli Rufus illuminates a problem many have witnessed but few have publicly acknowledged: The world is full of good, honest, hardworking people who nevertheless hate themselves; it is also full of cruel and petty scoundrels with sky-high self-regard. Unlike most books on self-esteem (written from the lofty perches of confident experts), Unworthy tackles the problem of self-loathing from an insider's perspective. As Rufus unflinchingly tells her own story, elegantly weaving it with current research, she provides a light to guide fellow sufferers out of the dark."
—Sara Eckel, author of It's Not You: 27 (Wrong) Reasons You're Single
“I loved this book. Anneli Rufus has done the impossible: made it thoroughly enjoyable to read about the exquisite ways we make ourselves miserable. And we all do. With uncanny precision and wit, she has wiret-apped us in our most private self-loathing moments and written so expertly about them, that she is the only voice we can truly trust to convince us to leave those moments and spells behind and be the hero in our own lives. Whether you are estranged from yourself or on decent speaking terms, Anneli Rufus tells us exactly how to befriend and outsmart our demons and let the self-recrimination go. I found this book to be irresistible. Anneli Rufus has somehow seen us, warts and all, loves us anyway, and will teach us to do the same. You will feel better every time you pick up this book; I know I did! Anneli Rufus will be everyone's new best friend.”
—Tamar Chansky, Ph.D., author of Freeing Yourself From Anxiety
Praise for Party of One:
“A founding manifesto for an organization of self-contained people.... A clever and spirited defense.” —Kirkus Reviews
Praise for Stuck:
"The brilliant mind behind Party of One examines the striking social trend: people are stuck and they want to change, but..."—San Francisco Chronicle
"Astonishingly insightful book. This thought-provoking paperback of cultural criticism covers a lot of territory as Rufus probes the unhappiness of many American citizens who feel trapped, bored, and in a rut. She also takes a look at some of the self-imposed obstacles which keep us imprisoned: denial, fear, obsession, confusion, and delusion."
—Spirituality & Practice
About the Author
- Paperback : 288 pages
- ISBN-13 : 978-0399175138
- Item Weight : 8 ounces
- Product dimensions : 5.47 x 0.73 x 8.21 inches
- Publisher : TarcherPerigee; Reprint edition (May 19, 2015)
- Language: : English
- Best Sellers Rank: #60,614 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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Having read another work of Rufus', Party of One: The Loners' Manifesto , which was a life-changing book for me, I probably held my expectations too high for this book. In the end, I was a bit disappointed. I could resonate with the quoted experiences of self-haters but I hardly gained anything beyond that point. She offers suggestions to get out of the self-loathing mindset, but none of them appeared convincing to me. For example, we self-haters constantly regret our choices. And she did a good job pointing that out and connecting (or ascribing) it to self-hatred. But then her solution to avoid regrets is "We must just resist (regretting)" and "Resist looking back in regret as if your current and future life and the current and future lives of your dearest ones depended on it." ... wait, just that? This sounds like "How can I stop regretting my past choices?" -- "Just don't do it." I was hoping to see more of her "sales talk" to have me buy her arguments and reasoning but at this point, I'm walking out of the dealer.
It is great that her tricks are working for her and I am pretty sure that there are readers who would benefit from them just as much. But for deep-rooted and skeptical self-haters like myself, the book really didn't add anything, and I'll just keep hating myself until some other persuasive book with convincing and logical arguments against self-loathing behavior comes along.
So many times, I underlined familiar passages. Ms. Rufus has an excellent command of English and is adept at the turn of a phrase, but her description of living with this ponderous weight of self-hatred is familiar territory for
me. Key to this is the inability to mirror with our mother. A being unloved by its mother cannot love itself. Now, that is not to say your mother didn't actually love you, but could not show it, could not let you feel it and thus you did not know it (though intellectually you might). Self-hatred is a terrible affliction. For all the years spent waiting and now regretting; Seeing how my life passed me by, there is sorrow (how could there not be), but also a call to arms. Hating myself has destroyed my life to date. Will I let it destroy more? Do you give the Spellcasters continued power over you? This is, in my opinion, the number one issue of our times. Or maybe it just seems that way to me. The affliction infects every area of my life. Self-hatred or Negative Narcissism will kill you if you let it. Ms. Rufus helps us understand what it is and how it works, now, we have the upper hand. This book unmasks the devil for what it is, faulty programming and a lack of parental warmth and support that leaves vulnerable children vulnerable to an often unkind world. Raw and wounded, we see the world through the eyes of an abandoned child seeking a place to belong and not feeling - ever - that we are deserving or worth it. Thus, we punish our self non-stop and wander, waiting. One issue I found with it, was a bit of weigh bias. Feeling fat and ugly is now a national preoccupation in people of all sizes and a great contributor to self-hatred. Our culture, the media and the medical profession are to blame. Society in general plays a major role in convincing us of our worthlessness. Like she says, it won't be easy, but I have identified the enemy and it is me.
Some reviewers think this book is too negative or depressing- I think they are in denial about how serious self hate is, or they can't face it yet. But being honest about self hate is the first step in dealing with self hate - drag it kicking and screaming into the daylight. Take an honest look at it. This book does that.
This book isn't written in a clinical, self-help style, which might bother some people. But it's not written by a psychologist or self help guru. It's written by a self-hater for other self-haters. It's advice from someone who has personally made the journey from self hate to self acceptance.