4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on November 12, 2000
...and that is precisely what Dr. Blanton prescribes. I think I've known for years that the person my friends and family knew, really wasn't me. But like so many of us I'd become trapped by a personality created by my mind; a personality that conformed to the socially acceptable standards of those people around me. I didn't say what I thought; I didn't do what I wanted to do; I did what I thought I should do based on what I believed was the "right thing" to do. But that is the trap! What we believe is the right thing, is not always the best or honest thing to do. Often we do more damage by trying to cover up things we believe will damage our loved ones and our relationships, than if we dealt with issues in an open honest fashion. If the emperor is naked, then we ought to be honest enough to tell him so.
This book is about learning to tell the truth, however much it may hurt at the moment, as a means of preventing greater pain in the future. I recommend this book highly to anyone sincerely interested in personal growth, whether you're just starting your journey, or are a seasoned traveler.
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on November 7, 2001
I sought out this book based on the title which seemed so noble to me. But the honesty here seemed defined extremely broadly, something more in line with honoring your whims/impulses. By contrast I would like to know something different: how to be honest without hurting people; how to know when the impulses are wise and when they are not.
You will wonder why most reviews are more positive than mine: I can only speculate that the excitement of other reviewers comes from others having a strong affinity to his philosophy. I also speculate that many may love the very confident and extremely energetic writing style, but unfortunatly I personally found it overdone, and not nearly as plausible as I would like. At the risk of being too blunt, I am not persuaded that the author has thought carefully about his positions. In any event, you may not agree with my rating, but I think you will agree this book is about something more than or different from honesty.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on April 19, 2000
After reading the plethora of fine reviews listed here in amazon.com I was excited to read a book about what some genius has written about living life honestly. I can honestly say the book was a complete waste of time and money. I drudged reading through it and eventually just said, I've had enough! I enjoyed his character style and got a laugh over the crass sense of humor, but highly disliked the theoretical blabber, the "people should be like me" mentality, and lack of practical application that was not elaborated. I have read many self-growth books that have been much more beneficial.
on June 25, 2004
Forget utilizing self-help/manipulatory/n.l.p. methods to "get ahead" in your life. (By the way, what is a "life," anyways?) The greatest stumbling block ahead of you is....well, YOURSELF. That's right. Either you're the person who has learned to mimic others to slither your way in and out of trouble......in and out of "close calls" with conflict...or in and out of facing your darkest fears OR you're the bigass intimidator, who makes others "have to" act like the faker, so they don't upset YOU. Well, in either case("wussy" or the "bully"), you're not living a true existence.
Read this book and learn what you "already know." You will face embarassment and setbacks if you follow through with the techniques. You may even feel like a "fool".....totally exposed in front of all those intimidators & elitists who WILL laugh at you and attempt to take advantage of your insecurities. But, guess what, they're not important. At least, not now. Once you've made this grand step, believe it or not, they'll either move on to gobble up somebody else's self esteem, or they'll actually be hobbling up to suck your hairy behind once you've begun LIVING CONSISTENTLY ACCORDING TO YOUR OWN TRUTH.
I have to admit, i have not full EXPOSED MYSELF, and I still play the INTIMIDATEE in most personal interactions, but I have chipped away at it and continue to show "it" in more and more instances. I have only 3 "scenes" in my daily life where I need to break free of it, but(here comes the excuse, the REASON) I don't want to take that risk due to my debt buildup from years ago of faking my life. See, there is a price to it. But the resentment I leak out will expose myself anyways.
I also recommend you read books by ROY MASTERS, even though he's a conservative.
on February 11, 2002
Whenever I pick this book up off the bookshelf I am reminded of the Jack Nicholsons character in A Few Good Men where he says "The Truth? You cant handle the truth!". This is an in your face book that will make some people terribly uncomfortable. People who are afraid of honesty. I believe that while many people will say they want the truth that when they hear it they are livid. Truth hurts. And I admit that I have a double standard with myself when it comes to truth. Most of the time I speak my mind and say what I believe. But I also admit that I also deflect questions from some people whom experience has shown me cannot handle the truth, simply because I don't need the nonsense in my life.
And I admit that I winced when I first saw the books title and then became intrigued when I heard him speak on a variety of radio and television shows. So I bought the book and am glad. And yes it is heavily politically incorrect in an era where pushing and enabling the whole woe is me victim mode is so popular.
One of my favorite parts of this book and advise that I believe more people need to take is where the author writes on page 179" Many of the people who go to therapists or physicians seeking relief are tired. They are tired from having worked out their lives in such a way that they get worn out instead of recharged by living. When someone like this takes responsibility for exercise, nutrition, and rest, a number of their "psychological" problems disappear. The human body has a wonderful capacity to restore itself it is given a break from abuse and a chance to rest. Wellness is a natural state of being for people who have learned how to get out of their own way. "
On page 185 the author notes wisely that "What happens when therapy works and keeps on working is that people want to learn about how to stay well. They become interested in living in the world by constantly renewing their leases on life rather than by being lost in their minds. They can do that best within the context of a sustaining community of other people in the same boat--people who have created wellness and are committed to maintaining wellness."
On page 187 he shares that most people don't take care of themselves out of knowing they should. That there was a man who was told by his physician to lose 15 lbs but didn't and in fact gained 10 more pounds and was told at his next doctors visit by the doctor "If you aren't willing to take care of yourself, why in the hell should I?". That it took having a heart attack that could have been prevented for the man to change. Dr Blanton then wisely notes that "learning to take care of ourselves creatively rather than resentfully is a big step in growing up".
On page 212 Dr Blanton notes "Responsibility means that whatever you are doing, you are willing to experience yourself as the cause. You are the source of your troubles as well as your successes." "As long as you are blaming, explaining, apologizing, trying, resolving to be good, hoping or feeling guilty, you are not being responsible." On page 215 "To get back in touch with who you are when you have been lost in your mind is to get back to your source. This is hard to do. You have to die to live."
on November 27, 2000
I bought the book on the basis of the title and in hopes that it could tell me how to be more open and honest with other people and they with me. Instead, I found it to consist mainly of his New Age philosophy rather than the meat of the subject. His first 3 chapters or so consist of his broad but shallow view of what people are and how they are formed. Nothing in his premises consider how a personality is formed, for example.
He doesn't discuss the consequences of telling the truth in such scenarios as filling out job applications accurately, completely, and honestly or what if your significant other doesn't want to know about all your previous lovers. In short, how do you deal with the consequences of telling all the truth all the time? Are there ever any situations where it is acceptable to lie such as in WW-II when Nazis demand to know where other jews are hiding so they can be deported to the concentration camps?
He undercuts the very premises of his book by stating the view that truth changes from moment to moment. This would also have to mean that the truth of the book's premises today will be a pile of crap tomorrow.
There are better authors out there who discuss truth and integrity in more practical terms without having to water it down with shallow and unintelligeable monologues.
on August 14, 1999
I used to think I was honest, until I read this book and realized that I had been nothing but a moralizing self-righteous bull*%$# artist and I was the cause of my anger, loneliness and seperation from others. It was not so much that I lied to those I loved, but that I had been lying to myself, I was hating everyone for not being who I thought they 'should' be... Well, what an experience it has been starting to listen to my body, share my anger, resentments and appreciations, to notice my victimization neurosis, and learning to share my feelings in the moment... Since I read the book and started practicing Radical Honesty, I have learnt how to live a life of laughter, loving, and joy... Pain, jeolousy, anger, etc. are no longer to be avoided, but to be 'experienced' as opportunities for growth, to work through them, to 'experience' them and move on.... Not only have I come to love myself, I love those around me for 'who' they are, and not for 'whom I want them to be'! Do yourself a favor and buy this book now, and then practice it! You'll never be the same.. ;-) I have not only bought it for my friends, but also my old enemies, some of whom have now become people I admire and appreciate.
on June 29, 1996
The author, Brad Blanton, is self-righteous and angry. Aren't we all? At least he
admits it! This is the most up-front, "out there" book I've ever read.
You might expect a book from a gestalt psychotherapist to be lofty and inaccessible.
Nope. Blanton's ideas are elegantly simple yet profound; his language is poetic and
gritty. I'm a Mensan and a voracious reader. I seldom reread books because I
constantly seek new concepts. However, this book instantly went to my "favored author"
shelf, and I've read it three times so far. Each time I absorbed different
meanings and improved my life through actions he recommends. There are nuggets here
for everyone. What's in it for you? Have a read and find out.
The subtitle is, "How to Transform Your Life by Telling the Truth."
Get mad and get over it. Stop being a victim. Learn to create your life.
DON'T MISS THIS BOOK!
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on April 26, 2003
This is another of those kinds of books that seeks to blame all the worlds ills on a single problem/idea and trys to make the solution very simple. While it is true we all need to work on being more honest with others and ourselves, I think the recommendations in this book are downright dangerous. I mean really physically dangerous. There are times when telling your spouse about how you enjoyed having sex with her/his friend and really trying to get across how much you enjoyed it will get you killed. In fact, with some couples and cultures, the mere suspicion of infidelity can get a spouse killed. Yes, many people can't handle the truth. The truth can get you fired (which has been rumored to make it difficult to get food). It can get you slapped and your butt kicked up and down the block. It can destroy relationships.
There are times when the truth is mixed up and there is no clear cut truth. One may blame or accept complete resposibilty themself as part of a truth when in reality it is not them to be blamed. There are possibly other factors at work on the being other than the mind and how truthful one is.
The author states that it is natural for humans to behave in a way different then what he is suggesting. Isn't natural the real truth? Seems like a huge contradiction there.
The story of the couple where the woman is all upset with her boyfriend leaving her ending with her doing the therapy, seeing her boyfriend again and having sex with him after he left her and expressing her feelings - I don't see how this is really helpful. You have him having sex with an ex who was very upset that he left her and he is now with a new person - it seems like there is no thought being given to consequences in any of this. Just mindless "truth" bearing. And then the guy kills himself. Doesn't seem like any of her truth particularly benefitted him.
This is a tough world with limited resources. The mind forms out of necessity, out of a realistic need for it. Or else it wouldnt form. I think getting closer to the "being" and less in obsessional mind states is a good idea. And working on honesty is a good part of the way towards that.
But this book with its panicky references to the impending end of the world and its vulgar language and his own admitted dubious motivations for writing the book seems like one big manipulation. Like the woman who he is attracted to in the session, it seems things are presented totally to sell you on his point. The book is also extremely repetetive. He is basically repeating the same thing over and over on almost every page. I think he could have made this a 10 page book and been just a little repetitive.
His style is very gestalt - to hit you over the head with a hammer and to tell you that your head is all wrong. I guess some people like the whole power play dynamics. I remember asking a very well known therapist about gestalt therapy and she said that Fritz basically was surrounded by groupies all the time. She thought of it as a sophisticated form of mind control through suppression of individuality guised as getting to the truth of things.
Being honest with others and yourself is extremely important. But turing that into an end in and of itself seems a little grandiose and ultimately, boring.
I didn't like this book at all.
on December 30, 2011
It was one of the first times that I got acquainted with gestalt therapy, so it was refreshing. I particularly liked how the author defined different terms and our psychological state when we lie. I see it as "defining the problem", which is crucial before solving it. I also liked his key reason as to why we should be so honest... basically, it's part of breaking up the lies we create about who we are. This allows us to be more authentic.
On the downside, I still think that most people will not attempt his level of honesty without support from a good friend or a therapist. Nonetheless, it's a good reminder that honesty is not just good for others... it is good for us.