Friday, November 9, 2012

Book Review: It's Hard Not To Hate You

By Tracey Meyers

"If you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all."

Many of us were taught at a young age, if we don't have something nice to say, it's better we don't speak at all.  If I had to guess the intent behind this saying, it would be that we shouldn't speak ill to others so we don't hurt their feelings.  However, what happens if we always hold in our negative thoughts?  Further, why isn't it ok to have negative thoughts?  We are only human, right?!

Personally, there was a time in my life when I planted a smile on my face and denied any unpleasant thoughts I had, all in the hope that it would make me feel "better".  In the end, it was kind of like trying to make two wrongs equal a right and ultimately caused more harm than good.

From an early age, Valerie Frankel faced circumstances that created negative feelings inside of her.  It wasn't until she was  told by her doctor that "The hate in you has got to come out," that she faced these negative feelings head-on and went on a mission of complete and total emotional honesty. 

The result of this mission: Her memoir, It's Hard Not To Hate You.

What attracted me to this book the most was that I know how it feels to lock-up inside lots of negative thoughts, and the fear associated with "coming clean."  I wondered if Valerie and I were kindred spirits in some way.  And if so, to what degree.  

From being bullied as a child because she was overweight, to neighbors who refuse to acknowledge her presence, she has surely had her fair share of craptasticness thrown her way.  This memoir definitely spans the gamete of emotions and addresses the different way in which people have added to her toxic feelings.  

What I like most about this book is the way Valerie approaches being emotionally honest.  Instead fighting fire with fire, she diplomatically exposes her negative feelings towards others.  For example, one day at the gym she encounters an individual using the machine next to them as a coat rack.  Rather than blowing up at them or passively standing by to see if they will notice their faux pas, she nicely offers to move it for them.  Seriously!  How many people do you know that would do that?! 

I loved the sassy chapter titles, such as "How to Hate the Man You Love (parts 1 AND 2) " and "That's So Great! (Can you sense the sincerity?!)." They made me smile and want to dive-in.

Ultimately, this book serves up a nice dose of laughter and honesty that makes you not only think about how you might incorporate emotional honesty into your life, but also has you wondering if you posses any of these "mean people" tendencies, as well.

More by Valerie Frankel:

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