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Summary

Constructive wallowing seems like an oxymoron. Constructive is a good thing, but wallowing is bad. Right?

But wait a minute; is it really so terrible to give ourselves a time-out to feel our feelings? Or is it possible that wallowing is an act of loving kindness, right when we need it most?

Almost everyone loves the idea of self-compassion. The notion that maybe in spite of our messy emotions and questionable behavior, we really aren’t all that bad. In recent years there’s been an explosion of books that encourage readers to stop beating themselves up for being human, which is terrific. Unfortunately, readers who aren’t interested in Buddhism or meditation have been left out in the cold.

Constructive Wallowing is the first book to cut right to the chase, bypassing descriptions of Eastern philosophy and meditation techniques to teach listeners how to accept and feel their feelings with self-compassion for greater emotional health.

It’s tempting to turn away from menacing, uncomfortable feelings like anger, grief, or regret; however, ignoring them just seems to make them stick around. By learning to accept and embrace, difficult feelings, listeners keep their sense of personal power and gain greater understanding and ultimately esteem for themselves.

©2014 Cleis Press (P)2014 Cleis Press

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Helpful book. Not very well narrated.

I’m 2/3 through this so far.

For a long time, I’ve recognised I have a problem with tolerating and processing emotions. I often google things like ‘I feel empty all the time’, and I’ve sometimes wondered if I’m broken and beyond repair…

I’ve had a lot of struggles with depression and anxiety, and usually freeze up under stress. This book is helping me become more aware of my responses to difficulties in life (I.e. I feel really angry because of that jerk at work. I hate them!). Previously, I’d shut down any negative emotions because ‘anger is bad’, etc.

Some emotions feel bad, but it’s really only actions and behaviours that can become problematic. A lot of angry people landed themselves in prison because of their poor choices but pretending emotions aren’t present doesn’t lead to a good place.

I have a lot of work to do, but I’m going to make an effort to express my emotions better - even if that means in a diary or talking aloud to myself. If emotions are held in, you essentially suffer for a very long time and become unable to connect with other people.

Anyway - the narration kind of lets this down, so I’d recommend the physical book over audible on this occasion. At one point, the author makes a point that Wallowing = allowing emotions to pass through. Clearly, this becomes ‘W-allowing’ when written down, but the narrator butchers this in the audible format… it’s frequently quoted throughout the book, and every-damn-time, the narrator pronounces it as ‘Wuh-ollowing’. Instead of saying the word ‘Truth’ (which is an acronym for an idea’, the narrator repeatedly spells out T.R.U.T.H… it gets annoying fast.

Lastly, the audio recording isn’t up to scratch. The volume doesn’t remain consistent, and you can tell when the narrator took a break between recordings.

Overall, this seems to be a good book for those who struggle to know what they’re feeling (and how to deal with it). But the book would be much better in standard format due to the disappointing narration.

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  • Christopher Johnson
  • 04-12-21

Loved this

This book was wonderful. It helped so much. Wonderful narration, great advice, appreciated it from beginning to end.

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    1 out of 5 stars
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  • Julia
  • 01-06-21

This book is about Manifesting Reality

I found out after wallowing through most of this that thinking reality into being, The Secret and other Napoleon Hill ideas are promoted by the author by name. Not what I signed up for and I wish I had the time I invested in listening to the book back,

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  • Nimrod
  • 26-04-21

did not help me at all.

the book has very obvious content. i did not gain any value from listening to it.

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  • Mamie
  • 18-12-19

My Kind of Self-Help!

Practical, funny and succinct. Good for those in therapy who want go deeper into feeling work or for those who have worked on “feeling their feelings” for awhile. The author offers clear, solid examples and applies her easy to remember strategy to a variety of issues people must work through in resolving feelings. I enjoyed the narrator’s sense of humor and real person approach to a professional narration.

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  • Allison Aley
  • 04-09-19

Amazingly clarifying and actionable

This book illuminates and makes accessible the “how” and the “why” of allowing yourself to experience painful feelings and the healing that is possible when that becomes your practice. If you, like me, got good at not consciously feeling problematic feelings (in my case, anger, hurt, defensiveness), this book will teach you how to feel those and other feelings and to develop self-compassion in the process. The concepts are explained well, the exercises are inspiring and doable, and the examples are varied, interesting, and relatable. I appreciated the author’s humor and reassurances. I will wholeheartedly recommend this book frequently to friends and family who are stuck.

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  • QQ
  • 06-08-18

Great book!

I would highly recommend this book! Great insight into the life cycle of feelings and the importance of allowing yourself to feel your emotions. A bit repetitive about the pros of why you shouldn’t repress your feelings, but ultimately drove home the point.