In this manual, Ogbonna illustrates the most damaging negative emotions and supplies strategies to master them and create worthwhile opportunities from adverse feelings.
This second edition of the author’s debut book offers a well-structured set of chapters that tackle tough subjects like anger, shame, grief, jealousy, and depression. Ogbonna expertly navigates the causes and symptoms of these strong emotions, often using anecdotes to depict experiences of people who faced uncomfortable situations and harnessed the resulting emotions in a way that led to growth and positive change. In one example, the author looks at the universal trigger of criticism, spotlighting a young woman who came under the fire of internet users who ridiculed her for an accidental typo in a LinkedIn article she wrote. The book discusses how she addressed the issue openly in a brave “letter” to readers. Ogbonna describes how maintaining productive routines and having the courage to speak publicly, publish work, or express ideas often draw criticism, an unfortunate symptom of a motivated life. Handling criticism, the author explains, requires the recognition that it was the daring act of writing that invited it and that no one should regret that winning path. Later, Ogbonna focuses on jealousy and grief, deftly unpacking these broad emotions. He explores the ways in which jealousy can be healthy or destructive, depending on its manifestation. Examining sorrow, the author distinguishes anticipated grief—such as the despair experienced in the long journey of coping with a terminal illness—from shorter term grief, which occurs unexpectedly and lasts for a brief duration. One central piece of advice here is to step away from the reactions to powerful emotions to give oneself time to ruminate and mold the response into something constructive. Whether the emotion is anger or shame, the author encourages reflection and exercises to determine the best course of action. The book delivers a wealth of worthy suggestions and exercises in its final pages to deal with and release negative emotions rather than falling victim to compulsions. In the last section, Ogbonna includes several valuable self-assessment quizzes to help readers understand the emotional surroundings of their family lives and the stresses and pressures that may be contributing to harmful emotions. Overall, the book provides an excellent resource for understanding and coping with the most distressing emotions humans can endure.
A useful, upbeat, and well-organized guide to managing emotions and building resilience and strength.