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Why Good People Do Bad Things: How to Stop Being Your Own Worst Enemy

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  • Posted May 21, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Unmasking Our Shadow Personas

    I wondered when I saw the title of Debbie Ford's new book, "Why Good People Do Bad Things," how deeply it delves into the depths of abnormal psychology. I was intrigued to discover that even though the 'bad things' described here consist mostly of non-violent crimes such as theft and deceit, Ford explains that most all bad behaviors are caused by people's secret feelings of shame.

    A whistle-blower in the best sense of the term, Ford shines most brightly when sharing her burning passion to encourage people to drop their masks, admit their shadow qualities, and live true to their genuine spiritual selves. Ford knows the pain of having been unfairly labeled a tattle-tale, yet she also appreciates the heroic nature of her unique type of calling to bring light to previously dark subjects. Ford describes shadow personality types so readers may recognize many masks we wear to present ourselves in the world as something other than how we truly feel inside.

    Ford describes the masks we use to hide our shame in order to help us realize the damage we do when we pretend to be something we are not. She provides numerous examples of how such self-delusion inevitably collapses inward upon itself in the form of crumbling relationships, business dealings, and health. Readers can recognize themselves and others as wearing masks such as: seductress, charmer, bully, martyr, too cool, good girl, savior, intellect, entitled supporter, and more. Ford asserts that once we realize our artificial fronts are obvious to others and usually do more harm than good, we will feel inspired to do the hard work necessary to become more open, honest, vulnerable, and more true to our actual spiritual nature.

    Although much of the foundation for "Why Good People Do Bad Things" could be attributed to the work of pioneering psychologists such as Maslow and Erikson, summaries of previous psychological theories are not presented. Ford acknowledges that deep spiritual work can take time, and that people often mature at their own natural pace, so this book will hopefully motivate readers to see themselves and others more clearly, and begin to initiate positive changes. Since trust / distrust issues are not covered in this book, it is best suited to readers who already feel fairly safe in the world, and are ready to spiritually and emotionally evolve.

    "Why Good People Do Bad Things" is highly recommended for people seeking inspiration to walk a spiritual path, let go of ego defenses, and directly face their deepest fears. Debbie Ford's description of masks gives us a swift motivational kick in the pants to see shadow qualities we otherwise might not recognize in ourselves and others, as she exhorts us to see the value in dropping our masks, so we might better embody our intrinsic spiritual qualities of generosity, openness and compassion.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 15, 2008

    Recommended

    I found the entire book interesting and thought-provoking. If you feel as though you repeatedly run into a wall and want to move on, read the chapter on denial. It is powerful and may help you make changes you have been unable to make thus far. Good luck!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 11, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    I Could Have Written This Book

    This book is a must read when it comes to understanding your behavior and why you do a lot of the things that you do. It also helps to understand others. I had so many ah-ha moments reading this book, it wasn't even funny. I am now working to forgive myself for a lot of those things.

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  • Posted December 29, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Great Practical Insight and Guidance

    Debbie Ford's book helps to acknowledge how projections play out in our lives. I recall hating it when I heard other people say you are projecting - I actually did not understand or recognize the depth of such comments. The idea that what we see in others is within ourselves made me cringe, how could I be like them?

    In reality its not that simple. Debbie helps to understand the concept of accepting the negative aspects of yourself, rather than ignoring them or denying them by focusing only on the positive. Its about embracing all of yourself with love and compassion, which enables you to no longer feel a charge from anothers behavior or worse find yourself reacting outward. Instead you experience detached awareness without the emotional response, avoiding the drama or shadow dance.

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    Posted March 13, 2009

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