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

Overview

Are you sick of being told "Smile-look on the bright side"? Do you feel guilty when you admit you're having a bad day?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, you are a victim of the "don't worry, be happy" mentality that is pervading America. Dr. Held, convinced that having to smile through life's problems only adds insult to injury, is here to tell you that you have the right, the need, to kvetch! As she walks you through the five steps of creative kvetching, Dr. Held ...

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Overview

Are you sick of being told "Smile-look on the bright side"? Do you feel guilty when you admit you're having a bad day?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, you are a victim of the "don't worry, be happy" mentality that is pervading America. Dr. Held, convinced that having to smile through life's problems only adds insult to injury, is here to tell you that you have the right, the need, to kvetch! As she walks you through the five steps of creative kvetching, Dr. Held will show you that the right kind of complaining can help you to feel better and attract others to you instead of driving them away. So get ready to take off your smiley face and be liberated from the "tyranny of the positive attitude."

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Editorial Reviews

Frederick Crews
Help has arrived for the chronically cheerful. —author of The Pooh Perplex
Julie K. Norem
An insightful and funny voice of protest...both entertaining and psychologically sound—it might even cheer you up. —author of The Positive Power of Negative Thinking
Arnold A. Lazarus
...allowing you to be grumpy in the face of...social pressure to deny the insanity of our lives and times. —author of Marital Myths Revisited
Mary Lefkowitz
I love this book!. —author of Not Out of Africa
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780312283513
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press
  • Publication date: 9/4/2001
  • Edition description: First Edition
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 125
  • Product dimensions: 5.34 (w) x 8.52 (h) x 0.37 (d)

Meet the Author

A professor of psychology at Bowdoin College in Maine, Barbara Held, Ph.D. introduced the American Psychological Association to The (Overlooked) Virtues of Negativity in a well-received symposium.

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments ix
Preface xiii
Part I Keys to Kvetching
Chapter 1. Basic Kvetching 3
Chapter 2. Why We Need to Kvetch, or, My Philosophy of Life 15
Chapter 3. Obstacles to Creative Kvetching, or, The Tyranny of the Positive Attitude 35
Part II The 5-Step Guide to Creative Kvetching
Chapter 4. Step 1: Your Inalienable Right to Kvetch 53
Chapter 5. Step 2: You Can't Kvetch to All of the People All of the Time 64
Chapter 6. Step 3: Do Not Pretend You Aren't Kvetching When You Are 76
Chapter 7. Step 4: Do Not Be a Competitive Kvetcher 89
Chapter 8. Step 5: In Praise of Kvetching 99
Part III Good and Bad Role Models
Chapter 9. Famous Creative and Noncreative Kvetchers 115
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Sort by: Showing all of 5 Customer Reviews
  • 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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