In this debut self-help book, a certified professional coach illustrates his own realization of the difficulties of dealing with conflict.
Burke’s early life, he says, was riddled with moments of rage and other negative emotions, and he later set out to figure out what caused him to lead such a drama-fueled existence, full of frustration and fighting. He discovered that emotional triggers and traps propelled him into a seemingly endless cycle of defensiveness, anger, and refusal to accept others’ values. Slowly, he learned how to begin to understand others instead of rejecting their differing opinions, wants, and needs. In this thorough, explorative, and highly personal work, Burke gives readers tools and ideas for self-examination, growth, and conflict resolution. He discusses anecdotes from his coaching work, in which he asked people to explore what was truly important to them, in order to get a better sense of what it was that angered them regarding other people. The book flows well, presenting a readable narrative that effectively weaves together memoir and self-help guidance. Burke skillfully uses his life story to illustrate his points and principles, which may help readers to more easily access difficult topics, such as triggers, abandonment, rejection, and letting go of things that keep one from accepting and forgiving. The book’s most powerful moments involve the author’s epiphanies about taking control of his life. Readers will be able to connect to these and understand his difficult but rewarding journey toward self-awareness. Overall, this work successfully tackles a complex subject that’s relatively uncommon in self-help titles. What makes it particularly stand out is Burke’s willingness to show his story in all lights in the service of his project—what his wife, Denise Burke, in a preface, calls “the good, the bad, and the ugly of my husband’s life.”
A compelling discussion of anger, conflict resolution, and self-improvement.