This thought-provoking book goes far beyond the tired clichés of typical self-help books. America, and many other nations, is so out of balance that we are too often confused by who is "the victim" and who is "the perpetrator." Those who are too "nice" get exploited, and those who are too "mean" get what they want at others' expense.
From their ecological-systemic perspective, psychologists John and Linda Friel explain the role of evolution, genetics, and biology; personal, marital, and family dynamics, and cultural and political forces in creating a society that is riddled with entitlement, narcissism, incivility, fake self-esteem, and a disturbing lack of basic knowledge. In their latest book, The Power and Grace Between Nasty or Nice: Replacing Entitlement, Narcissism, and Incivility with Knowledge, Caring, and Genuine Self-Esteem they show how and why these must be replaced by caring, humility, genuine self-esteem, and real knowledge.
Power without graciousness results in bullying and nastiness. Graciousness without power results in being a doormat. When we temper power with graciousness, we elevate ourselves beyond our purely brutish selves and become competent, grateful, humble, effective, and truly powerful---attributes that are sorely lacking in a fast-shrinking world where anxiety and over-reaction often reign supreme. Using cutting-edge neuroscience and down-to-earth examples, the Friels show how you can move into the power zone between victim and perpetrator, and how even one very small change held firmly for six to twelve months can cause more system-wide change than anything else you can do, whether it’s in your home, your office or in your community. You’ll discover:
Non-citizens now launch half of all Silicon Valley start-up companies.
The U.S. divorce rate is very high in southern states—Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Kentucky, Oklahoma, and Texas—that do not support gay marriage, and lowest in northeastern states like Massachusetts, New Jersey, and New York, which do support gay marriage.
The term "American Exceptionalism" was coined by Soviet Communist Party leader Joseph Stalin.
There is a genetic link between how much we contribute to charities, whether we are liberal or conservative, how many risks we take, how much pleasure we get from volunteering at a soup kitchen, and how tolerant we are of others’ differences. Thomas Jefferson wrote: "If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, in a state of civilization, it expects what never was and never will be"
Why conflict can be a life-enhancing part of human relationships and why avoiding conflict can be just as destructive as constantly pushing for it.
Why the opposite of dysfunctional is dysfunctional. One who is hyper-independent is just as dependent and needy as one who is clingy and helpless.
Why cutting off all contact with relatives—even in quite abusive situations—will keep you almost as hooked in to them as if you simply stayed home and lived with them.
Why not always getting along with a family member is normal; and why not speaking to them for years is not normal, and is destructive to all members of that family.
Why the ability to allow disappointment to enrich your life is one of the keys to happiness.
And, why any system in nature—the solar system, the nervous system, a system of work-mates in a work-group in a high-tech corporation—will never change until there is a disturbance in the system. This provocative and profound book will show you how to navigate those changes by bringing your best self forward.
About the authors: John C. Friel, Ph.D., and Linda D. Olund Friel, M.A., are internationally recognized authors and skilled clinicians. They are psychologists in private practice in St. Paul, MN. John also has an office in Reno, NV. They are New York Times bestselling authors, selling over 500,000 books, are the founders of the ClearLife® Clinic Program, and have appeared on The Oprah Winfrey Show, ABC News 20/20, in USA Today, Parents, and Cosmopolitan.