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

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Overview

If you are tired of being told:

"Cheer up -- things could be worse"

"Smile -- look on the bright side"

"Stop complaining--it's not that bad"

If you have ever said to yourself:

"What's to stop things from getting worse?"

"The bright side isn't that bright"

"Why should I stop complaining -- it is pretty bad"

Then you need to assert your inalienable right to kvetch (complain) --...

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Overview

If you are tired of being told:

"Cheer up -- things could be worse"

"Smile -- look on the bright side"

"Stop complaining--it's not that bad"

If you have ever said to yourself:

"What's to stop things from getting worse?"

"The bright side isn't that bright"

"Why should I stop complaining -- it is pretty bad"

Then you need to assert your inalienable right to kvetch (complain) -- and this book will show you how.

Self-help books abound. And virtually every one of them pushes us to look on the bright side -- to be ever more optimistic, cheerful, positive, happy. If this "don't worry be happy" approach to life worked, would we need so many of these self-help books? Aren't there times when you feel miserable about something and just want to complain about it?

Stop Smiling, Start Kvetching: A 5-Step Guide to Creative Complaining is the first self-help book to challenge the assumption of other self-help books. As the author puts it, "It's bad enough to face the harsh reality that life is hard. But then to be told by therapists, authors of self-help books, and countless others that we have to act -- or worse yet be -- happy about that fact is to add insult to injury. You not only feel bad, you feel guilty that you can't feel good." The author calls this "The Tyranny of the Positive Attitude."

Of course, the trick is in knowing how to kvetch (complain) properly, so that we attract others with our kvetching, rather than repel them. This the author calls "Creative Kvetching."

Stop Smiling, Start Kvetching is also one of the first self-help books to combine real self-help with real humor. The self-help is embodied in the five easy steps to creative complaining:

  • Step 1. Your Inalienable Right to Kvetch
  • Step 2. You Can't Kvetch to All of the People All of the Time
  • Step 3. Do Not Pretend You Aren't Kvetching When You Are
  • Step 4. Do Not Be a Competitive Kvetcher
  • Step 5. In Praise of Kvetching

The humor is embodied in the eight cartoons that illustrate the book (six from The New Yorker), the many real-life humorous anecdotes that bring its advice to life, and the use of well known celebrities to illustrate the concepts of creative and noncreative kvetching.

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Editorial Reviews

Alan Caruba
The author contends that other self-help books with their message that you have to act happy and be happy all the time are often just a guilt trip that ignores the fact that we often encounter things worth complaining about. She does so with refreshing humor and I think this book will prove helpful to those too timid to complain when they should.
Bookviews
Michael J. Carson
In Stop Smiling, Start Kvetching, Barbara Held's genuine humor with a practical and unique approach to self-help is based on the premise that having to act happy (or worse, actually be happy) when the harsh realities of life descend upon us is to add insult to injury. Rather, the trick to true happiness under trying circumstances is to know how to complain (kvetch) properly, so that we attract others, including their assistance and resources, rather than repel them...Stop Smiling, Start Kvetching is the ideal antidote to all those other saccharine and submissive self-help books.
Midwest Book Review
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781879418691
  • Publisher: Audenreed Press
  • Publication date: 6/1/1999
  • Pages: 160

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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • 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.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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