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Worst Enemy, Best Teacher : How to Survive and Thrive with Opponents, Competitors, and the People Who Drive You Crazy Paperback – November 14, 2005

4.6 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From the Inside Flap

"Deidre Combs is exactly right here - exactly. This book is a great learning experience." - Gerry Spence, author of the bestselling book How to Argue and Win Every Time

"This book helps us see that our enemy - our most difficult person or situation - is actually our best source for strengthening, softening, opening, and deepening to possibilities we had not considered. Once again, Deidre Combs provides a practical guide with specific tools, practices, and skills for transforming challenging situations into greater mutuality." - Angeles Arrien, PhD, cultural anthropologist and author of The Four-Fold Way and the Second Half of Life

"I wish I had read this book before dealing with so many difficult personalities and opponents around the world. Combs skillfully synthesizes the latest research, age-old folk wisdom, and practical counsel to deal with conflict in today's fast-paced world." - Jerry White, cofounder and executive director of Landmine Survivors Network

"Living and traveling in war zones shows you the worst but also the most beautiful aspects of humanity. Worst Enemy, Best Teacher is the essence of this lesson." - Zainab Salbi, founder of Women for Women and author of Between Two Worlds: Escape from Tyranny: Growing Up in the Shadow of Saddam "Deidre Combs has presented another delightfully creative and insightful view of the intricacies of human interaction. In Worst Enemy, Best Teacher, she has expanded on her vision of finding strength, understanding, and calm by embracing our worst fears and greatest adversaries - a thought-provoking and inspiring read." - Jennifer Lowe, alpinist and painter, and Conrad Anker, alpinist and coauthor of The Lost Explorer: Finding Mallory on Mount Everest

"Written with remarkable insight and candor, Worst Enemy, Best Teacher offers us the courage and the tools to confront some of life's most daunting challenges. Combs deals frankly and optimistically with the issues that send most of us running for cover, convincingly making the argument that it is precisely those people who drive us crazy, our most intractable opponents, who will be our best teachers if we are prepared to engage them. I finished this book inspired and ready to take up the battle with optimism and a heart open to change." - Marcus Stevens, author of The Curve of the World and Useful Girl

"For years I have heard (and taught) that our greatest challenges are our greatest teachers. Finally, Worst Enemy, Best Teacher is the book that gives one the skills to make that happen. With specific stories and tools, Dr. Combs provides the reader with a unique resource for turning the worst that can come our way into possibly the best." - David Baum, PhD, D.Min., author of Lightning in a Bottle: Proven Lessons for Leading Change and The Randori Principles: The Path of Effortless Leadership

"Deidre Combs offers readers specific, easy-to-use strategies for becoming effective leaders in the face of conflict and confrontation. She challenges us to recognize opponents and transform our relationships with them, allowing us to move toward a greater sense of wholeness, equilibrium, and peace." - Nancy Nelson, PhD, professor of adolescent psychology, Edgewood College, Madison, WI

"With diverse references, inspiring real-life examples, and practical, easy-to-employ exercises, Deidre Combs's powerful book Worst Enemy, Best Teacher offers a wealth of important resources for living in our pluralistic world. With compassion and insight, Combs invites her readers to see interpersonal conflicts as opportunities holding great gifts of wisdom and understanding - a philosophy that will bring healing not only to individual lives but to our world as well." - Maggie Oman Shannon, author of The Way We Pray and One God, Shared Hope

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: New World Library; First edition & printing edition (November 14, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1577314824
  • ISBN-13: 978-1577314820
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.6 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.1 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,656,156 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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By A. Mahon on November 14, 2005
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
In this book you will find concrete exercises and devises that will help you figure out what is is about certain people that drives you crazy, and what that means about who you are and how you function. In going through these exercises, your whole perspective changes toward yourself and toward the difficult person in your life. You can start to see the value that conflict with a difficult person can bring. Difficult people can be wonderful mirrors into your life, exposing blind spots that you might not normally see.

My most difficult person/best teacher, is someone in my immediate family, and this book has helped me to identify why he pushes my buttons, and how I can work with that knowledge to help me stay present and really learn something from the conflict. It has been very helpful in many of my most difficult relationships.

I highly recommend this book to anyone with difficult people in their life (which I'm guessing is everyone!)
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By M. Hall on November 14, 2005
Format: Paperback
Deidre Combs keeps up in her determination to have us all learning from our enemies rather than discounting them and avoiding them. Say good-bye to being "right" and hello to the new more empowered you. You want to be like those people you admire - the ones who never seem to get upset and never get discouraged, despite serious opposition...then read this book!. It makes a powerful case with story, example, diagram, chart, illustration, quotation and science, in less than 200 pages! Your enemies are waiting to be transformed into your teachers.
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Format: Paperback
Oprah Winfrey is quoted as saying: "Challenges are gifts that force us to search for a new center of gravity. Don't fight them. Just find a different way to stand." In "Worst Enemy, Best Teacher" Combs takes a similar tack, demonstrating that with proper perspective, our enemies are actually an excellent means of self discovery and improvement. With this book, Combs helps us discover and develop that perspective. The book is full of great quotes, exercises, illustrations, and resources for further learning.
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Format: Paperback
Combs provides a unique view on four types of opponents that can drive us crazy. In this easy-to-read instruction manual, I was able to identify which type my son's baseball coach was (who I could have easily throttled during Little League season), and what approaches I could have used during our head-butting. With this information I could finally let the conflict go.

I loved the timeless tales that begin each chapter. With them I can weave Combs' approach in as I talk to my own kids about dealing with difficult people.

This is my favorite Christmas gift to all those people in my life complaining about their own "worst enemies."
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