It's Not as Tough as You Think: How to Smooth Out Life's Bumps


One of the country's leading psychiatrists and a preeminent authority on substance abuse today releases an important new book for a troubled nation. In It's Not As Tough As You Think: How To Smooth Out Life's Bumps, Rabbi Abraham J. Twerski, M.D. gives readers a fresh new way to look at and cope with everyday problems -- before they get out of hand. Written as a collection of more than 100 personal, easy-to-read anecdotes with the author's wise and witty comments, It's Not As Tough As You Think covers a broad ...

See more details below
$9.99 price

Pick Up In Store

Reserve and pick up in 60 minutes at your local store

Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (24) from $1.99   
  • New (2) from $6.05   
  • Used (22) from $1.99   
Sending request ...


One of the country's leading psychiatrists and a preeminent authority on substance abuse today releases an important new book for a troubled nation. In It's Not As Tough As You Think: How To Smooth Out Life's Bumps, Rabbi Abraham J. Twerski, M.D. gives readers a fresh new way to look at and cope with everyday problems -- before they get out of hand. Written as a collection of more than 100 personal, easy-to-read anecdotes with the author's wise and witty comments, It's Not As Tough As You Think covers a broad spectrum of life's little annoyances that affect people from all walks. Examples include dealing with criticism, how to "take distress out of stress" and topics like "positive parenting", which are especially relevant given today's headlines. "Parents are diligent in providing the optimum in healthcare and education for their children. That's great for their bodies and minds," states Dr. Twerski. "Unfortunately, the same diligence is not always directed toward an equally important third component: the spirit." After a limited release to a small test market, It's Not As Tough As You Think sold more than 12,000 copies in two short months.

About the Author:

Abraham J. Twerski, M.D. is a psychiatrist and an ordained rabbi. He is the founder of the gateway Rehabilitation Center in Pittsburgh, a leading center for addiction treatment. He is also Associate Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. Dr. Twerski is a prolific author, with 28 books to his credit, 4 of them written in collaboration with Charles Schulz, creator of the Peanuts comic strip.

[This book shows us that] life can be much easier if we cut its problems down to bite size. [The author, a] rabbi [and] a psychiatrist, shares with us some of the invaluable insights he has gained through his extensive experience.... There are many stresses in daily living, but we can take distress out of stress. We can modify our attitudes, use coping techniques, and reach out for help. Even big challenges can be dealt with effectively. [The author] shows how we can put a different spin on things, so that we can be more productive and happier. Here are just a few of the many ideas you'll find in this book: there's magic in a smile; stress can be beneficial; some mountains melt into molehills; lack of success is not equivalent to failure; you're more okay than not.... In this book, [the author] points out some of the things we can do. His simple, down-to-earth ideas are refreshing in a world of complexities. -Back cover.

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781578192595
  • Publisher: Mesorah Publications, Limited
  • Publication date: 2/28/1999
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 236
  • Sales rank: 687,723
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 6.50 (h) x 0.59 (d)

Read an Excerpt

Children: Going Away or Going Astray

Children sometimes stray from their parents' lifestyle, and they may even do things that are anathema to them. What should parents do? Should they act in a way that amounts to a rejection of the child because of his/her errant behavior? This may result in a total disruption of their relationship. On the other hand, if they do not object to the behavior, is this not tantamount to approving it? If the parents do not show strong signs of disapproval, is it not possible that siblings may follow suit?
Parents' love for their children is and should be unconditional. Parents should not deceive themselves into believing that they have control over their children. They may influence, but not control.
Parents should take a strong stand when they see their children's behavior as being self-destructive. If, for example, a child is using drugs, the parents must strongly object to it. Many youngsters are not frightened away from use of drugs by the risk of severe damage to their health and future, and they have a thousand ways of justifying their use. The attitude of parents should be, "We love you dearly, and precisely because we love you, we cannot condone your doing things that we know are harmful to you. When you were an infant, we took you to the doctor for immunization. You must have thought that we were being very cruel to you when we had the doctor stab you with a sharp needle. At that time you had no way of knowing that this would protect you from crippling diseases. Your situation now is no different. We will do what we understand is in your best interest, even though you may not agree with us."
Whether it is drugs, or any other self-destructive behavior, it is important that parents get expert advice on how to relate to their child. Expert advice; not from well-meaning relatives and friends, but from people who are credentialed in the management of young people's problems.
Comments such as "You'll be the death of me," or "If you aggravate your father he may have a heart attack," or "What will people say about us?" or "You are bringing shame on the family" -- these are all counterproductive. Such remarks indicate that the parents are not primarily concerned about what the youngster is doing to himself, but rather how he is affecting others. The primary concern should be for your youngster's welfare.
Parents should not take their child's behavior as an indication that he/she does not like them. There are powerful factors, especially peer pressure, that may affect a child's behavior in spite of his love for his parents. Also parents should not jump to the conclusion that they were at fault in raising the child. Children may develop problems in spite of parents' best efforts.
Reaction to children who have behavior problems should not be of the knee-jerk type, but must be well thought out and with proper counseling.

Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

Introduction 13
1. May You Have Many Worries 15
2. Behind At Half Time 17
3. Who Wants to Be Married to a Loser? 19
4. It All Depends on How You See It 21
5. Where Do the Check Marks Go? 23
6. If Only You Knew More, You Might Not Be so Frustrated 25
7. You Want to Be Heard, Don't You? 27
8. Avoid the Need for Regrets 31
9. Futile Actions Are Futile 33
10. It May Be Very Big 35
11. Take Things in Perspective 37
12. Judge Favorably and Act Accordingly 41
13. Stay Within Reality 43
14. Aged Wine Is Superior 45
15. Run for Your Life 47
16. Life Emulates Prayer 49
17. Losing Can Be Winning 51
18. There May Be Salvation in a Crisis 53
19. The Sage of the Salmon 55
20. Nowadays, It's Tougher 57
21. We Are Never Alone 59
22. There's Magic in a Smile 61
23. A Move In the Right Direction 63
24. Don't Get Paranoid 65
25. Truth Is Stranger Than Fiction 67
26. First Things (Big Things) First 69
27. Tolerating Suspense 71
28. The Narrow Bridge 73
29. A Sober Outlook 75
30. Well-Chosen Words 77
31. Don't Respond Prematurely, Even in Thought 79
32. Silence Speaks in a Loud Voice 81
33. Converting A Mistake into Something Meaningful 83
34. Keep Your Interests Fresh 85
35. Crying Is Not a Sin (and Certainly Not a Shame) 87
36. Expect the Best, Not the Worst 89
37. Ambition or Proving Yourself? 93
38. Maybe I Do Have an Erroneous Self-Concept 95
39. They Are Really Not Talking About You 97
40. Positive Parenting 99
41. Want to be Nudnik-Proof? 103
42. You Are Worth It 105
43. Don't Wait for the Other Person to Say He's Sorry 107
44. Hear No Evil, Speak No Evil 109
45. Growth Is Not Painless 111
46. Not Everything Emotional Is Psychological 113
47. Now, Isn't That Absurd? 117
48. Coping With Pain 119
49. There Is a Master Plan 123
50. Accentuate the Positives 125
51. You Can Expect Only What You Are 127
52. You Can't or You Won't 129
53. Escaping Reality 131
54. Don't Spread Misery 133
55. Some Mountains Melt Into Molehills 135
56. An Image Reflecting in the Water 137
57. I'm Not Perfect, You're Not Perfect 139
58. Tune in 141
59. The Joy in Gratitude 143
60. I've Got a Little List 145
61. Keeping it Simple 147
62. Our Roles May Change, But Not Our Value 149
63. Apologize? Not Always 151
64. Children: Going Away or Going Astray 153
65. Who Broke the Glass? 157
66. Beware of Geographic Cures 159
67. Lunchtime Is Not Worktime 163
68. A King Remains a King 165
69. Self-Sacrifice Is Not Necessarily Noble 167
70. A Laugh a Day Keeps Misery Away 169
71. Cut Your Losses 171
72. Forgiveness Is Within Reach 173
73. Stress Can Be Beneficial 175
74. An Unlimited Supply 177
75. Setback or Opportunity? 179
76. Making Wise Decisions 181
77. Enjoy Your Food 183
78. Criticism: Constructive or Destructive? 185
79. Lack of Success Is Not Equivalent to Failure 187
80. Brief Is Better 189
81. Do You Look How You Feel or Feel How You Look? 191
82. Overwhelming? That Depends 193
83. Be in Touch With Your Feelings 195
84. Alone or Lonely? 197
85. Don't Be Afraid to Accept Help 199
86. Keep Your Eye on the White Line 201
87. Have Mercy on Fools 203
88. Power Can Be Seductive 205
89. Learning to Pray 207
90. Keep an Open Mind 209
91. Dust to Dust -- So What! 211
92. Putting Humpty Dumpty Together 213
93. Don't Extrapolate 215
94. You Are More Okay Than Not 217
95. Wisdom or Prophecy: Which Would You Choose? 219
96. Some Fears Are Good for You 221
97. Watch Out for Distorted Perceptions 223
98. Book the President's Room 225
99. Is It Fear of Success or of Failure? 227
100. It's a Mistake to Compound a Mistake 229
101. You're Never Too Old to Learn 231
102. Let Your Appreciation Be Complete 233
Epilogue 235
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star


4 Star


3 Star


2 Star


1 Star


Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation


  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted March 23, 2009

    It's Not AS Tough As You Think by Abraham Twerski

    This is very useful, informative, and practical for coping with life. I enjoyed this book so much, that I gave several copies as gifts to my friends. I highly recommend this book.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)