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Why Can't You Shut Up?: How We Ruin Relationships--How Not To Hardcover – March 7, 2006
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From Publishers Weekly
Everyone quarrels, says clinical psychologist Wolf, but there are ways to prevent arguments from deteriorating into behavior that destroys a relationship. Although grownups are mature, says Wolf, they still retain a "baby self" that wants immediate gratification without stress. It is when someone's baby self, rather than rational self, emerges during a verbal conflict that trouble begins. Using numerous and often humorous sample conversations, the author demonstrates how to circumvent this. When Celia and Lewis disagreed because she had promised they would attend a dinner party and he wanted to spend time with his father, their discussion grew angrier because both used insulting language rather than accepting that they would have to negotiate. Just drop it, says Wolf, disengage and simply leave an argument if you and your partner cannot stick to the basic subject. Wolf (Mom, Jason's Breathing on Me) also includes sensible advice on how to avoid other baby self pitfalls. such as bringing up past grievances, assigning blame and indulging a need to control.
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Praise for Dr. Anthony E. Wolf
“Why Can’t You Shut Up?”: How We Ruin Relationships–How Not To
“You’ll laugh at the ‘baby’ in you while learning how to grow up and get your needs met. A must read!”
–Dr. Jane Greer, author of How Could You Do This to Me and Learning to Trust After Betrayal
Get Out of My Life, but First Could You Drive Me and Cheryl to the Mall?: A Parent’s Guide to the New Teenager
“Funny, sound, and compassionate, [this book] will truly help you talk to your kids and not get mad all the time.”
–The Boston Globe
It’s Not Fair, Jeremy Spencer’s Parents Let Him Stay Up All Night!: A Guide to the Tougher Parts of Parenting
“Dr. Wolf’s anecdotes ring so true that you are sure to hear your own voice–not to mention the voices of your children–in these pages.”
–Pamela Abrams, editor in chief, Child
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Top Customer Reviews
I find that what the book lacks is tools to avoid the fighting situations from starting altogether, and tools to strengthen relationships and communication. The concept of "the most important thing about a fight is that it ends" is liberating and practical, but I would rather use the concept of how to prevent a fight from starting.
As someone who has experienced toxicity in relationships, this book was VERY helpful, both to understand what part I had in making my relationship toxic and to understand why I reacted to the other person's contributions in a way that seemed so out-of-character for me.
Dr. Wolf explained in a better way than I'd ever heard why we react strongly to the people closest to us. His characterization of our consciousness as two selves - "Adult self" and "Baby self" - resonated strongly with me, and it helped me both to understand and to reign in the parts of me that were destroying my relationships.
It seems easy when you read it, but to practice what he 'preaches' it is hard.
But I will surely recommend this book. I even bought two, so I can give one away as a present.
I totally love the straight-forward way Dr. Wolf makes it easy to be a grown up.