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Stop Smiling, Start Kvetching: A 5-Step Guide to Creative Complaining

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 10, 2002

    Feeling better about feeling bad

    What a relief to find a book that doesn't presume that I have to feel good all the time. It's easy to find self help books with the premise that you can feel good all the time. Those books have always frustrated me because I simply can't live up to those standards. Stop Smiling, Start Kvetching is a humorous but effective lesson about life... What a relief to learn that it is okay to acknowledge to yourself and others that life isn't always grand and to learn how to express this without driving others away.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 3, 2001

    Help for Both Complainers and NonComplainers

    This wonderful little book is great for two groups of people: those who don't express or vent their pain when they need to, and those who complain too much and drive me nuts. Dr. Held gives the first group (the noncomplainers) permission and support to complain or vent to release their pain. She also gives rules for how to complain without driving people away. These rules are particularly helpful to the second group (the people who complain too much). The humor helps both groups relax and take in the unusual but serious and very helpful message. I'm giving this book to friends in both groups.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 13, 2001

    Both humorous and helpful

    When you open this book, the first thing you notice is the many cartoons that pointedly and humorously illustrate the serious psychology that is at the heart of this wonderful book. Proving that one can think deeply about psychology and philosophy of life without forgetting to laugh, Barbara Held mounts a provocative and informative rebuttal to the popular American cultural emphasis on optimistic smiley faces. I think many people, like myself, were raised in families that repressed the right to complain by insisting that everybody had to be happy and cooperative all of the time. So some instructions on how to kvetch as a creative complainer, and some psychological justifications for kvetching, are most welcome (and long overdue for some of us). Altogether, an interesting and helpful book that is fun to read and liberating to heed ! And Barbara Held includes discussion of another of my favorite concepts, Julie Norem's 'Defensive Pessimism' which makes an excellent companion to 'Kvetching.'

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 13, 2000

    Complaining made Legit

    This book is funny and helpful. I recommend it to anyone who has a hard time complaining when they need to, either because they haven't master Step 1 of SSSK, namely, 'Our Inalienable Right to Kvetch,' or because ther're afraid of driving people away if they do complain.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 15, 2000

    I wish I was Jewish!

    Barbara Held is the greatest author of the 21st Century. Her intelligence is only matched by her wit. Her use of humor to describe her steps to creative kvetching has helped this diehard Protestant drop the need to 'put on a happy face' and start to feel better. This 'self-help' book has provided me with the necessary tools to cope with my multiple sclerosis.

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