Thursday, March 2, 2017

Book Review: "The Kindness Challenge " by Shaunti Feldhahn

I'll admit that writing this book review was something of a challenge for me. It wasn't exactly a bad book, it was just kind of...obvious. The information presented isn't without merit, but it strikes me as information that is common sense to 95% of the population. The premise of the book is essentially, "Be kind to anyone you want to have a successful relationship with." Perhaps because I grew up surrounded by healthy relationships, I already understand the need for kindness, and I already know the practical ways to show kindness to my romantic partner, my family members, and my friends. I guess that those who grew up in dysfunctional families, who were never modeled a healthy relationship, might benefit from this book. But I suspect that it is the exception, not the rule.

Feldhahn spent ten years surveying people about what makes a relationship successful, and includes many anecdotes from this research in the book. The result of those years of research is a program she calls "The 30-Day Kindness Challenge". Throughout the book, she encourages the readers to sign up on her website to take the challenge and receive daily email reminders and "personal assessments". Although there are some worthwhile suggestions, I felt like they were buried too deeply in personal "success stories" and salesmanship. The whole feel of the book was like one of those timeshare presentations you have to sit through to get free tickets to Disneyland. The annoyance just wasn't worth the payoff. 

I guess my bottom-line recommendation is that if you grew up in a dysfunctional family, and your "normal meter" isn't well-calibrated, you might pick up a few tips from this book. But I think your money would be better spent on a good therapist. 

I received this book for review from Blogging for Books. For more information about The Kindness Challenge by Shaunti Feldhahn, please see the The Kindness Challenge website.

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