Mastering the Gentle Art of Verbal Self-Defense
Audio Literature | Date: 1995-05 | ISBN: 0787102822 | MP3 | 192kbps | 41 + 41 + 24 Mb
Summary: Poor title, great audio book!
While the title and beginning of this audio book suggest a focus on verbal combat/conflicts, the content is important and applicable in a much wider scope of situations. It is very impressive the range of topics covered in this relatively brief presentation. While the audio format allows greater clarity when explaining tone of voice and voice stress issues, for those that are more visual, I strongly suggest taking notes. This audio book offers great ideas toward helping you communicate whatever it is you want to say. Some of the topics covered include matching your sensory style to your audience, preventing reflex arguments, making your voice more pleasing (without spending considerable time or money), giving feedback (positive and negative) in a way it will be best received, and, of course, disarming verbal attacks (without pissing off your attacker).
Summary: learn to spar verbally with people…not worth sparring with
i found the book interesting enough to give a few hours to…because Elgin’s really studied this carefully, but what really struck me loud and clear as i read on is that she misses the most OBVIOUS (and most emotionally healthy, or martically artistic) option for how to deal with verbally aggressive/abusive people: TO GET AWAY FROM THEM! (and she forgets that SAYING NOTHING…i.e. not engaging…is a form of verbal communication too.) the “presupposition” (she loves that word) she completely misses is that people don’t always HAVE to stay (stuck) in verbally abusive relationships, and she never really suggests, either subtly or overtly, that people can leave. her basic unspoken assumption is that you should stay and learn how to spar better verbally so as not to be verbally taken advantage of and trampled. (rather a conservative point of view for a “modern” feminist, wouldn’t you say?)
one other thing that irked me: she often suggests that in times of real emotional attack the best verbal mode to enter into is “computer” mode. psychologically, what she’s suggesting is to pull one’s emotions out of the interaction…to basically emotionally detach from the situation…and become an analytical computer that lacks a self. the people who have really mastered this art into the marrow of their personalities have earned a label in psychology: that of schizoid personality disorder.
i hate to say it, but i think this book is really a big crock, and while i did find parts of it engaging, as i think analyzing interactions to be fascinating, as a self-help book, which is really what it is, i found it to be USELESS!
other gripe: she makes FAR TOO MANY stereotypes about men’s and women’s patterns of verbal interaction, and while she makes occasional attempts to demonstrate that such stereotypes are not always so, she still regularly falls back into them, suggesting she has an emotional bone to pick of her own.
and finally, a saying i love, that applies here: “don’t argue with idiots…they’ll drag you down to their level and beat you with experience…”
Summary: Audio presentation offers something the written page doesn’t
For those familiar with the “Gentle Art” series this audio offers an added dimension in understanding and incorporating the skills of gentle art communication into your own vocabularly. An essential part of the Gentle Art communication skills are tone of voice and stresses that are placed on each word and this audio is exceptionally helpful in demonstrating the content that is being discussed. It will also serve as an excellent introduction to the material for anyone who enjoys audio books.
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