Book Review, Your Killer Emotions by Ken Lindener
A clinical psychologist, Ken Lindner, has written a book on an important topic, stopping your emotions from hindering your life. But I think Lindner is a better psychologist than he is a writer.
Understanding and controlling negative emotions is an important topic, and Lindner discusses ways to do that. His ideas are good, and I found them helpful even though the ideas are not new to me. But his writing “turned me off” because to me it seems too wordy, and his descriptions seem complicated and hard to remember when you need them.
Near the beginning Lindner refers to Dr. M. Scott Peck’s A Road Less Traveled and Dr. Stephen Covey’s 7 Habits of Highly Effective Individuals and their good ideas on the subject. Lindner acknowledges their covering the topic of going beyond basic response to stimulus in dealing with the challenges life brings. I’m not familiar with Covey’s writing, but it appears that Lindner’s title is based on Covey’s use of “seven” habits. Lindner deals with seven methods of not letting negative emotions ruin your life’s choices. Lindner also seems motivated by Peck’s book, which I did read.
The cynical part of me tends to believe that a major motivation in Lindner’s writing his book was to keep up with the Joneses in the persons or writing of these other two authors. Or maybe Lindner is just using those two as a kind of jumping off place for his idea that emotions, not just intellect, bear a heavy role in how we respond to what life throws at us.
I think Lindner’s ideas are fine. I also think he delves too much into what became for me a bit mind-numbing descriptions for the concepts and actions he urges us to take in avoid being controlled by negative incidents of the past.
We all suffer those negatives from the past. I well remember a minister, who also was a teacher, in a school in which I taught. He also was on the board of a summer camp at which I was employed for a couple of summers. He, in my opinion and recollection of events, accused me of shirking some camp responsibilities. I didn’t at all, and that’s not just being defensive, as some members of the board accused me of acting. I simply pled innocent to that description of my work. At the school, he showed film strips and slides -- how visuals were done in those days -- instead of actually teaching. I taught across the hall from him and felt he was cheating both the school and the students by his not actually teaching, although obviously teaching involves various methods.
What’s important is that I was very upset by his false accusations of my work at the camp. I harbored anger toward him for a couple of years.
But one morning I awoke realizing that my anger was not hurting him at all, but it was souring my view of life and could possibly make me ill. I changed and basically forgot about him after that.
He not long after resigned his teaching position and left the state for “away,” where I was informed by gossip that he had become a used-car salesman.
His own actions created my “revenge,” which by then I had ceased to want.
That’s the kind of stuff about which Lindner writes.
As I wrote above, his ideas are sound to my non-psychologist way of thinking. It’s just that his verbage took away from his message to me. One example is on the front cover, “The 7 Steps to Mastering the Toxic Emotions, Urges, and Impulses That Sabotage You.” Why not just write, “Seven ways to master negative emotions that hurt you?”
I found another confusing example of complicated verbage near the end with, “You’ve heard of pocket-sized stain remover sticks” -- a brand name is inserted here -- “which are to be used when you are on the go. Well, Quick Frames and Quick Pics are your Frisuals on the go.” (I had found his descriptions of these italicized terms a bit confusing when I first read them, and by the time I reached this paragraph, I had basically lost interest in their precise meanings.) The paragraph continues, “Quick Frames and Quick Pics can be effectively used once you have the required amount of positive, super-high-voltage emotional-energy charges and the requisite number of life-choice-making victories in the given area stored in your Heart-of-Hearts. Quick Frames and Quick Pics can act as your most effective, on-the-spot, life-choice-making allies...especially for snap-second decisions.”
As a side question, I wonder what a “snap-second” decision has going for it that a “snap decision” wouldn’t. But basically, that entire paragraph confused me. Part of my confusion was because I couldn’t remember the meanings of all those italicized words and phrases. I won’t even try to simplify that paragraph. A final side-question of this paragraph is where did he find all those hyphenation marks?
One final criticism of this book is that I thought the wide spacing between lines and graphics, some called “Your Take-Away,” along with pages between chapters with only a few words in large print or no words at all seem to me to be there primarily to fill out the 259 pages of the book.
I found no price on my 2013 paperback copy of this Greenleaf Book Group Press, Austin, TX publication, but I found Amazon copies listed new at $9.27 and in Kindle form at $5.24. (According to one website, Greenleaf Book Group publishes author-paid -- in the days of yore called vanity press -- manuscripts. I didn’t notice other “regular” publications in which the author does not pay to have his or her book published. My not noticing them does not mean they don’t exist.)
Good psychology I believe this book offers, but I would have found it more helpful in more simple language.
I looked up Lindner on Google but didn’t find his full name or other information except that apparently he operates a company that guides individuals and companies in effective choices. He authored several other titles, listed on various sites I found on Google, but not in a list with him as author. The book cover states that Lindner is the founder of Life-Choice Psychology, a helpful topic.
Milt Gross can be reached for corrections, harassment, or other purposes at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Milton M. Gross Copyright 2013