Liefde & Relaties

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1991: Bespiegelingen over levenswijsheid

Hoe kunnen we, ervan uitgaande dat de wereld nu eenmaal een tranendal is, toch proberen ons leven zo aangenaam mogelijk in te richten? Jaag niet het geluk na, zo luidt de raad die Schopenhauer ons in dit boek geeft, maar besteed al je energie aan het vermijden van ongeluk. Bespiegelingen over levenswijsheid, dat in 1991 voor het eerst sinds 1907 weer in een nieuwe Nederlandse vertaling is verschenen, geeft niet alleen een schat aan wijze levenslessen, maar is dankzij Schopenhauer’s onnavolgbare stijl ook te genieten als een literair meesterwerk.

Met zijn Bespiegelingen over levenswijsheid verwierf Schopenhauer tien jaar voor zijn dood eindelijk de roem en erkenning waar hij zijn hele leven tevergeefs naar had gesmacht.

Handboek voor het genie, geschreven door niemand minder dan de filosoof Schopenhauer. Het cynisme van deze 19e eeuwse filosoof staat in mooi contrast met de hedendaagse zelfhulp- en succesliteratuur. Schopenhauer bewijst dat pessimisme en humor hand in hand gaan. Voor mij was het een verademing, omdat ik in Schopenhauer een van de weinige gelijkgestemden vond. De centrale vraag is: Hoe kunnen we, ervan uitgaande dat de wereld nu eenmaal een tranendal is, toch proberen het leven zo aangenaam mogelijk in te richten?

Monique van Ommen, 5 september 2017

Genre: Levenslessen, Liefde & Relaties, Rouw & Trauma

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Love & Relationships

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2014: Quitting. Why we fear it and why we shouldn’t in life, love, and work

Find out why the happiest, most successful people have the ability both to persist and to quit

Do you believe that “winners never quit and quitters never win”? Do you tend to hang in longer than you should, even when you’re unhappy? Our culture usually defines quitting as admitting defeat, but persistence isn’t always the answer: When a goal is no longer useful, we need to be able to quit to get the most out of life. In Quitting, bestselling author Peg Streep and psychotherapist Alan Bernstein reveal simple truths that apply to goal setting and achievement in all areas of life, including work, love, and relationships:

  • Without the ability to give up, most people will end up in a discouraging loop.
  • Quitting is a healthy, adaptive response when a goal can’t be reached.
  • Quitting permits growth and learning, as well as the ability to frame new goals.

Featuring compelling stories of people who successfully quit, along with helpful questionnaires and goal maps to guide you on the right path, Quitting wil help you evaluate whether your goals are working for or against you, and whether you need to let go in order to start anew.

Genre: Life lessons, Love & Relationships, Work life

2014: The body keeps the score. Brain, mind, and body in the healing of trauma

This profoundly humane book offers a sweeping new understanding of the causes and consequences of trauma, offering hope and clarity to everyone touched by its devastation. Trauma has emerged as one of the great public health challenges of our time, not only because of its well-documented effects on combat veterans and victims of accidents and crimes, but because of the hidden toll of sexual and family violence and of communities and schools devastated by abuse, neglect, and addition.

Drawing on more than thirty years at the forefront of research and clinical practice, Bessel van der Kolk shows that the terror and isolation at the core of trauma literally reshape both brain and body. New insights into our survival instincts explain why traumatized people experience incomprehensible anxiety and numbing and intolerable rage, and how trauma affects their capacity to concentrate, to remember, to form trusting relationships, and even to feel at home in their own bodies. Having lost the sense of control of themselves and frustrated by failed therapies, they often fear that they are damaged beyond repair.

The body keeps the score is the inspiring story of how a group of therapists and scientists – together with their courageous and memorable patients – has struggled to integrate recent advances in brain science, attachment research, and body awareness into treatments that can free trauma survivors from the tyranny of the past. These new paths to recovery activate the brain’s natural neuroplasticity to rewire disturbed functioning and rebuild step by step the ability to “know what you know and feel what you feel.” They also offer experiences that directly counteract the helplessness and invisibility associated with trauma, enabling both adults and children to reclaim ownership of their bodies and their lives.

Readers will come away from the book with awe at human resilience and at the power of our relationships – whether in the intimacy at home or in our wider communities – to both hurt and heal.

Genre: Grief & Trauma, Love & Relationships

2010: In sheep’s clothing. Understanding and dealing with manipulative people

Dr. George Simon knows how people push your buttons. Your children – especially teens – are expert at it, as is your mate. A co-worker may quietly undermine your efforts while professing to be helpful, or your boss may prey on your weaknesses. Manipulative people have two goals: to win and to look good doing it. Often those they abuse are only vaguely aware of what is happening to them. In this eye-opening book, you’ll also discover:

  • 4 reasons why victims have a hard time leaving abusive relationships
  • Power tactics manipulators use to push their own agendas and justify their behavior
  • Ways to redefine the rules of engagement between you and an abuser
  • How to spot potential weaknesses in your character that can set you up for manipulation
  • 12 tools for personal empowerment to help you maintain greater strength in all relationships
Genre: Grief & Trauma, Love & Relationships, Work life

2009: Mean mothers. Overcoming the legacy of hurt

An exploration of the darker side of maternal behavior drawn from scientific research, psychology, and the real-life experiences of adult daughters, Mean mothers sheds light on one of the last cultural taboos: what happens when a woman doensn’t or can’t love her daughter.

Mean mothers reveals the multigenerational thread that often runs through these stories – many unloving mothers are the daughters of unloving or hypercritical women – and explores what happens to a daughter’s sense of self and to her relationships when her mother is emotionally absent or even cruel. But Mean mothers is also a narrative of hope, recounting how daughters can get past the legacy of hurt to become whole within and to become loving mothers to the next generation of daughters. The personal stories of unloved daughters and sons and those of the author herself, are both unflinching and moving, and bring this most difficult of subjects to life.

Mean mothers isn’t just a book for daughters who’ve had difficult or impossible relationships with their mothers. By exposing the myths of motherhood that prevent us from talking about the women for whom mothering a daughter is fraught with ambivalence, tension, or even jealousy, Mean mothers also casts a different light on the extraordinary influence mothers have over their female children as well as the psychological complexity and emotional depth of the mother-daughter relationship.

Genre: Grief & Trauma, Love & Relationships

2008: The drama of the gifted child

Why are many of the most successful people plagued by feelings of emptiness and alienation? This wise and profound book has provided thousands of readers with an answer—and has helped them to apply it to their own lives.

Far too many of us had to learn as children to hide our own feelings, needs, and memories skillfully in order to meet our parents’ expectations and win their ”love.” Alice Miller writes, ”When I used the word ‘gifted’ in the title, I had in mind neither children who receive high grades in school nor children talented in a special way. I simply meant all of us who have survived an abusive childhood thanks to an ability to adapt even to unspeakable cruelty by becoming numb… Without this ‘gift’ offered us by nature, we would not have survived.” But merely surviving is not enough. The Drama of the Gifted Child helps us to reclaim our life by discovering our own crucial needs and our own truth.

Genre: Grief & Trauma, Love & Relationships

1997: The gift of fear

In this empowering book, Gavin de Becker, the man Oprah Winfrey calls the US’s leading expert on violent behaviour, shows you how to spot even subtle signs of danger – before it’s too late. Shattering the myth that most violent acts are unpredictable, de Becker, whose clients include top Hollywood stars and government agencies, offers specific ways to protect yourself and those you love, including how to act when approached by a stranger, when you should fear someone close to you, what to do if you are being stalked, how to uncover the source of anonymous threats or phone calls, the biggest mistake you can make with a threatening person, and more. Learn to spot the danger signals others miss. It might just save your life.

Through dozens of compelling examples from his own career, security expert Gavin de Becker teachers readers how to read the signs of impending danger by using their most basic – but often most discouraged – survival skill: intuition. This book provides a unique combination of practical guidance on leading a safer life and profound insight into human behaviour.

Genre: Grief & Trauma, Love & Relationships, Work life

1995: The drama of being a child. The search for the true self

Alice Miller’s startling insights into child development are shared with us here as she explains her conviction that violence and cruelty in society have their roots in conventional child rearing and in education. She shows how many children, adapted from birth to the needs and ambitions of their parents, lose the ability to experience and express their true feelings, eventually to become estranged from their real selves. In sublimating their full potential in order to fulfill the desires of their parents, they impede the creativity, vitality and integrity that is authentically their own. Many people who have read her books have discovered within themselves the little child they once were. This may explain the strong and deep reactions Alice Miller’s books have evoked in so many readers.

Genre: Gifted children, Grief & Trauma, Love & Relationships

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