I recently came across this very interesting book thanks to the inimitable Derek Sivers. I was intrigued at the title, and quickly googled it and downloaded a copy. I think it may be out of print as a book now. Women, particularly are affected by the people pleasing dynamic, as many of us have been primed from an early age that we are the ones who serve: cook, clean, do laundry, and in the 21st century, do all this at the same time as work a job and look after the kids. Or just people who have not yet learned to be selfish enough?
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The Art of Selfishness by David Seabury. Get A Copy. Paperback , pages. Published June 2nd by Pocket Books first published January 1st More Details Original Title.
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Aug 13, Kurt Keefner rated it really liked it. A quarter century earlier came The Art of Selfishness, a number one bestseller by psychiatrist David Seabury. It is not systematic. It does not work from first principles and basic observations about human nature. It is not especially careful about terminology. It is not trying to prove its case. But it is useful. Seabury offers a cornucopia of practical advice.
The Art of Selfishness uses an informal case study approach on the model of medicine. Seabury also adds discussions of principle and many lists of how to do and not do things, ranging from how to invest to how to get to sleep.
Seabury reduces his ideas to two basic principles, which help to organize his thinking. The first is: "Never compromise yourself" pp. I take it to mean, "never surrender your judgment or your authentic needs. This may give pause to an admirer of Rand's work, but in Seabury's context, it means: no spite, no self-aggrandizement, no martyrdom, etc.
Make your theories tangible Try out your ideas by imagining them in action. Some more examples: On pages , Seabury discusses the use of sex manuals and the danger of employing them mechanically. He advises identifying with the methods, becoming one with them, and following them as an artist follows his technique. We could point out that Seabury's inventory of reality is a bit too narrow, but his basic point is surely sound. In addition, he lists some of the common blame patterns.
One pattern worth mentioning is blaming someone for being born as they are. Seabury encourages accepting the assortment of talents and dispositions one has inherited from one's ancestors, and not trying to force oneself into a cookie cutter.
A lot of the advice in The Art of Selfishness is concerned with difficult people; there are at least three mentions of kicking parasitic in-laws out of the house. A reader would have to decide for him- or herself the appropriateness of such techniques, which may strike some as questionable. For example, if your husband has a contrary nature and always wants the opposite of what you suggest, Seabury might advise that you suggest the opposite of what your want.
At the same time, Seabury repeatedly advocates benevolence and mutual aid. He has an enlightened attitude on the subject of women and children. He is explicit in stating that selfishness does not require hurting other people. In fact, he proposes that unselfishness hurts people because it keeps them dependent. Not everything in The Art of Selfishness is wonderful.
Seabury is often philosophically confused, speaking of "good" and "evil" selfishness, and "good" and "evil" unselfishness, without making totally clear the principles that differentiate them. He is unclear about the human need for self-esteem, and consistently condemns pride as a vice. Perhaps his biggest fault as a writer is his tendency to deluge the reader with lists of loosely catalogued precepts and observations — a symptom of his lack of theoretical structure.
On the other hand, The Art of Selfishness has much to offer in the way of practical wisdom, and the reader who patiently mines it can discover many a gemstone. Feb 11, Kimberly Aikens rated it it was amazing. And I quote, "The answer to the pressure of our days is one and simple: dare. Dare to live while life is passing. You'll never live otherwise. Set a limit on what you are willing to bear.
Call this your adjustment marjin, your wall of personality. That's what I took away from this book. Excellent read!! A collection of essays by a clinical psychologist in what was probably one of the earliest self-help books. What he calls "selfishness" is more like what we call "self-assertiveness" today, and the change in terms may have occurred because of the negative reactions he got to this book, especially from religious leaders. Much of the content is from interesting situations and changes reported by patients seen by Seabury and his colleagues.
Jun 18, Bella rated it it was ok. I finally decided to abort seeing the book through about halfway. I have found my mood took a dip to the negative as a result of the focus on the dark side of lives. Mar 29, Rania rated it it was amazing Shelves: woman , read. What a book?! I have taken so many notes from it. Picture of its quotes and saved in my mobile.
I need to re-read it again, to come back to it, every now and then. Jun 24, Bubblebubbly rated it it was amazing. Excellent book. A bit dated so some users may find that at times it's not politically correct in speaking to the genders. David Seabury gives you a new perspective on 'selfishness'. If you don't like the word 'selfishness', substitute with "self-regard" or "filling your own cup so whatever you do or give comes from the heart". View 1 comment.
Jun 09, Kay Aniza rated it liked it. This book give us the other side of the stories- different prespective.. Jul 21, Meg rated it it was amazing. Written years ago Jun 06, Joanna rated it it was amazing Shelves: favorites. Written in with much wisdom The Art of Selfishness is a practical guide to contentment.
David rated it liked it Jun 24, Valentyn Klishch rated it it was amazing Oct 17,
The Art of Selfishness
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David Seabury - The Art of Selfishness