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4.2 out of 5 stars10
4.2 out of 5 stars
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on 20 August 2010
If you are one of the humans having difficulty with another person with communication- from your beloved to your co-workers, this is the book for you. It will go through enough senarios to allow you to deal with the many variables thrown up in converstation by not only the "other" but perhaps more importantly- how YOU deal with each and every exchange. If you tend to react rather than listen, or simply cannot figure out a way to calmly say things with another person- this will help in leaps and bounds. The ONLY way I could have written this account was by applying the book, and as a result of it my long term, and previously long distance relationship, with the person I regard as my soul mate has been resurrected, and not only that, we have a closer, better understanding of each other, and are right back to being "in- love". Brilliant- Thank you- Dr. Burns. I am extremely happy as a result.

Yes, 5 stars, and more if the choice allowed.
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on 20 March 2013
I really recommend this book it'll help you with all of your relationships. One of the chapters talks about how important it is to acknowledge the other person's point of view. This so often isn't done and leads to arguments. You need to at least find the grain of truth in what they are saying and agree with it so you can show that you have something in common and are able to listen before even trying to put your point across. Otherwise it's just two people saying different things.
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on 7 January 2010
If this book has been subtitled `Know your own faults, and life will improve', and if it had stuck with the first eleven chapters, it would have been an excellent read.

Unfortunately, the actual subtitle is `The secret to making troubled relationships work'. To fulfil this promise, the subsequent eighteen chapters are filled with formulae and `five secrets' and tricks of behaviour that you're supposed to rehearse and role-play.

I'm not at all sure that these latter chapters will do much for troubled relationships. For one thing, the book seems to assume that the pain in the relationship will manifest itself verbally. That is, your partner will open his/her mouth at some point and say "You're putting my husband down", or "You never listen to me" or "Nothing turns you on!" or some other set of words that will usefully expose the heart of the problem. Perhaps this is a cultural thing, and perhaps people in the US are more likely to get into robust dialogues than us reticent Brits, but it seems to me that troubled relationships tend to get wedged in spaces where all communication carefully avoids the hot spots, or where the problem is acted out, or where sarcasm takes the place of honest complaint. And many people are completely unable to recognise their own emotions, never mind articulate those emotions in a useful way. In other words, there is no useful dialogue.

However, if that first dialogue ignition doesn't happen, then the rest of this book is just so much paper. There IS a chapter near the end that suggests that if the `five secrets' aren't working for you, it's down to YOUR failure to implement them properly. The possibility that there is nothing to implement them ON, does not seem to occur.

Even assuming that your partner in relationship angst does manage to come out with a helpful "You're a jerk" remark - which means that you can at least get your teeth into the problem - there's a further assumption that the partner's complaint against you holds a grain of truth (at least as far as they're concerned), and that acknowledging that truth will make the complainer feel relieved and `heard', and all will be rosy. While this may well be valid in many situations, there are an awful lot of other relationship dynamics - gaslighting comes to mind - where the 'grain of truth' is a weapon rather than a plea, and where acknowledging it is neither a wise nor effective strategy.

In all, this book comes across as being written by someone who spends an awful lot of time theorising, and not much time gathering information about real people in real relationships.

Read it for the first eleven chapters.
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on 6 October 2012
This is a quite helpful book if you want to get your head around communication and relationship problems. I was amazed how easily I could spot my own mistakes and could start adjusting them.
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on 14 November 2013
Trying to get through this book as it come highly recommened! Not easy as i usually read novels about relantionships, but they all end up good and with no problems!! So far there has been some very interesting points which I am trying to follow and work at so I will keep reading!
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on 2 March 2014
Fantastic book which gave me the tools I needed to transform my relationships with others without needing them to do anything differently!
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on 12 April 2015
Excellent book about enhanscing any relationship. Particularly good at challenging about whether you want to make a difference or not will determine your possible success.
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on 12 November 2012
not happy with this book in kindle form as cannot see important contents needed to be able to participate in the exercises that the author insists you need to do in order get the full benefit of this book.
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on 19 September 2014
very useful to my practice
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on 25 March 2015
When we experience conflict with someone we have a tendency to think "it's all his/her fault" and that they are being unreasonable. This book helps us to get past that feeling and to really empathise with where your critic is coming from. This can take practise. There are case studies to work through of lots of different relationship situatioms where you can put the communication techniques into action, and then compare your version with their version. It then suggests imagining real life conflicts you could experience, or have in the past and how you would deal with it, using the 'five secrets of effective communication'. I really like the bit about dealing with a 'bragger'. I'm enjoying the book, which I bought on kindle, and am still working through it. It's helping me in real life.
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