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

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

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by Barbara S. Held
     
 

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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

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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

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781879418691
Publisher:
Audenreed Press
Publication date:
06/01/1999
Pages:
160

What People are saying about this

Frederick Crews
Help has arrived for the chronically cheerful. Buy and read Barbara's book; even if you only like some of it, you will learn how to complain about the other parts.
— (Frederick Crews, author of The Pooh Perplex)
Bernie Siegel
I thoroughly agree with the principle of creative kvetching.... Submissive suffering is self-destructive. I personally, when asked how I am feeling, answer, "Depressed, out of antidepressants and my doctor is away so I can't renew my prescription." Three quarters of the people answer, "I know how you feel." If they had kvetched they'd feel better.
— (Bernie Siegel, MD, author of Love, Medicine & Miracles & Prescriptions For Living)

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