In a Perfect World by Pat Hirst

In a Perfect World

Interpersonal Skills for Life
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KIRKUS REVIEW

A guide to communication in everyday life.

In this book, Hirst asserts that it’s the quality of one’s interactions that makes or breaks one’s happiness. “Don’t relinquish your opportunity for a happy life and meaningful relationships because of beliefs that do not serve you,” she writes. “If you wait for a ‘perfect world,’ you will be waiting a long time!” She supports this advice with plenty of practical ideas throughout the book, including thought experiments on what interactions are possible and fruitful, a discussion of one’s role in every conversation, and others. She provides exercises, as well, including one that asks readers to consider their top five values or characteristics and how they can nurture them to create the lives they want. By focusing on communication, Hirst gives readers a set of basics to start practicing immediately, and a checklist to prepare for particularly important conversations. Hirst not only asks readers to consider how to communicate, but also when and why, and gives recommendations on how to divide one’s attention between different groups of people, such as family, friends, partners, children, colleagues, and the wider community. She also provides insights into how to manage one’s emotions and conflicts, using clear examples throughout. This book is ideal for anyone doing self-improvement work or who feels that his or her communication style could be better. It’s also an excellent introduction to important concepts, such as the difference between assertiveness and aggression, and the ever-shifting etiquette of text-based, real-time communications. Some readers may not like the work’s slow, methodical pace, or the pauses that Hirst takes in order to share her own stories and those of others. Overall, however, the book is a solid guide to effective communication.

A practical book that aims to help readers create a better life through better relationships.

Pub Date: April 15th, 2015
ISBN: 978-1-4602-5622-0
Page count: 304pp
Publisher: FriesenPress
Program: Kirkus Indie
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