Verdict: In WHEN IT’S NEVER ABOUT YOU, Dr. Ilene Strauss Cohen provides a factual, case-based argument for making the transition to self-confidence and self-reliance.
Based on her personal experiences and those of her clients, Dr. Strauss Cohen walks readers through scenarios that will be familiar to people-pleasers. She infuses the book with quotes and facts from authorities who have contributed to behavioral sciences.
Interestingly, there is proof that it is not selfish to choose self-improvement over selflessness. In fact, as the author illustrates, we are able to be of more value to the people in our lives when we fully realize our own potential and help others to do the same. Letting go of a need to be the sole problem-solver in family situations and other relationships is a challenge to overcome, but Strauss Cohen explains in detail reasons and methods for doing so.
WHEN IT’S NEVER ABOUT YOU includes exercises and activities to help readers understand how to make the transition from being a people-pleaser to becoming a person with a sense of self and self-control. This does not diminish the desire to help others or to maintain positive relationships. It actually enhances those areas by reducing the anxiety and stress related to the need of always having to be correct. One of the most helpful takeaways is the theory that anxiety is a symptom, not a disease. Millions of dollars are spent on medications to control anxiety. Sometimes, a pharmaceutical answer is appropriate, but for many the benefits of overcoming anxiety by gaining a better understanding of what we need to do for ourselves could be significant.
Dr. Strauss Cohen challenges us to “get comfortable with being uncomfortable” and by learning to handle outside stressors with self-love and developing a better awareness of the person causing the stress. She points out that we cannot change our family history or the characteristics of generations past that have contributed to our own behavior. We can, however, change ourselves and that is her focus. It is also reassuring to know that our inner critic—that voice that often nags us about how wrong we are—is not really our voice. The inner critic is created out of fear and anxiety which we can learn to control, thus allowing our true intuition to develop.
While WHEN IT’S NEVER ABOUT YOU was written with people-pleasers in mind, it offers advice to others, as well. There is a section that explains appropriate anger response and another that provides insight into how positive behaviors can change neural pathways. Overall, there is much to learn from Dr. Ilene’s debut book.
~Karen Collins for IndieReader