They F You Up How To Survive Family Life This text demonstrates that who we are is largely the result of the way we were cared for during our first six years rather than our genes and other environmental factors

  • Title: They F*** You Up: How To Survive Family Life
  • Author: Oliver James
  • ISBN: 9780747584780
  • Page: 436
  • Format: Paperback
  • This text demonstrates that who we are is largely the result of the way we were cared for during our first six years, rather than our genes and other environmental factors.

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    One thought on “They F*** You Up: How To Survive Family Life”

    1. I remember listening to an interview with Steven Pinker on NPR right after The Blank Slate: The Modern Denial of Human Nature was published. There were these angry moms who kept calling in and telling him, What do you mean I can’t micro-manage my child’s personality? They should read this book instead. They’d love it. Despite the title, the book doesn’t say that parents are necessarily fucking up their children. What it does say is that children really are blank slates, and just about ev [...]

    2. Beautifully explained and truly enlightening, it helped me figure out why things are wrong with me and it also made suggestions on how to make it better. A must read for everyone,especially people planning to be parents

    3. Using as examples of various personality traits and problems, Oliver James cites the lives of Prince Charles, Woody Allen, Mia Farrow, Paula Yates, serial killers and victims of sexual abuse in They F*** You Up. In the process, he has written an accessible but scholarly treatise on the role of care, or its lack, in early childhood. His observations and quotes from various studies make a convincing case for the primary function of good parenting in raising children. He breaks down the process int [...]

    4. This was very interesting, but equally pretty depressing (if you have parents like mine and equally probably if you don't). Lots of fascinating facts (tm) like sexually abused girls are more likely to start menstruating an average of six months before those who are not, and if you have been very stressed (by a variety of factors) before the age of three, then your production levels of cortisol are permanently changed, yes that's right for the rest of your life. Also, if you have no exposure to h [...]

    5. I've never really read a book like this; something that allows me to hold up a critical mirror in order to really assess what comprises me as a person. It was an interesting, thoughtful and, at times, worrying/upsetting experience to be able to so easily apply the archetypes laid out within this books pages, and so easily map them to your own character traits and personality. Oliver James writes in an easily accessible way, which is great for somebody like me who hasn't got the background lexico [...]

    6. Simply written the book explains the most fundamental elements to our psyche which are often years forgotten by most of us, our infancy. During the course of reading however at times faced with bitter facts, one can understand so much about not only herself but her parents, her siblings, and almost everyone one might encounter. It’s greatly enlightening, with practical ideas that have the power to make one want to make changes and see the world differently. Having finished reading it, rather t [...]

    7. This book wasn't as life changing as I expected, but it did leave me with a sense of relief. It allows for introspection with some clever examples about why we are the way we are (our parents of course, hence the title), but it also leaves you feeling that all is not lost and that once we recognize these things about ourselves we can change them.

    8. They F*** You Up takes its title from the Larkin poem This Be The Verse, and is an introductory thesis to the idea that our personalities, and level of mental health(-y-ness) are shaped by our childhood and not by genetics. Indeed, the earlier something happens in childhood the more crucial it is for our early development, as it lays down the brain’s basic pathways and shapes what we expect to happen in future. Often people discount the importance of events in babyhood/early childhood as they [...]

    9. I picked this up thinking it would be useful next time I teach family communication - and it will be. James argues that personality and character are determined much more by environment than by genes, and cites seemingly valid research to back it up. He also points out that environmental variations can be subtle - for instance, it's not possible for first-born and later-born children to have the same experience of family life. They F*** You Up may also be helpful in the gender & communicatio [...]

    10. Written by a clinical psychologist, this book is head and shoulders above the typical "self help" book because the author really knows what he's talking about and actually uses a combination of studies and clinical experience to back up his assertions. I definitely learned a lot about myself and my relationships from reading this book and doing the exercises in it. I highly recommend it for anyone who wants to change their life for the better. (And should I ever have kids, I'm definitely going t [...]

    11. A lot of food for thought. Should be read before having children. My 4 stars are for it providing some food for thought. At times though I thought he shoe-horns research to fit his theories. At other times, I found his theories of the different selves unhelpful because they are overly simplistic. He makes reference to some psychoanalytic concepts - to provide back up for his own perspectives. Some of the exercises might provide some limited insight; but they may also uncover issues that a person [...]

    12. This book favors the Nurture/Environment side of why we are the way we are. Pretty good book with helpful insights. Fairly graphic descriptions of abuse and violence difficult to take, but are used to illustrate how people "visit" their experiences onto others. Some bad typoswhy? So many books these days are filled with them.

    13. A very interesting book, and one that goes farther than anything else I've ever read in nature v. nurture. The answer, according to Oliver James, is about 99.9% nurture. Plenty of evidence and examples are given, such as the fact that many child abusers were themselves abused as children, i.e. 'nurture' made them that way. Highly successful people are much more likely than anyone else to have lost a parent when they were a child, and their despair drove them to achieve. Babies born to poor, uned [...]

    14. I absolutely agree with Oliver James and think that although genetics has some part to play, we are mostly made by nurture. It is contentious and controversial - we really don't like being told that some things that happen to kids are the fault of the parents, however, I am certainly in agreement, as difficult a pill it is to swallow.A must-read for anyone with kids- or even better- for anyone about to have kids

    15. amazing information on nature vs. nurture. did you know that our genes are not much different from that of a fruit fly? and yet, people are always so quick to blame any unwanted or negative qualities on genetics haha. this book delves into how the way our parents act and react towards us shapes our personalities and our psychosis. very interesting.

    16. the title should explain it all. the first time i saw the title, and straight away i think of parents (not necessarily mine, but in general). and i wasnt disapointed. it really is a book, a rather technical book, about parent-children relationships.a real eye opener, worth considering Oliver's point of view.

    17. When i read the synopsis I thought this book is for me. I'm fascinated by child development and how my own upbringing has made me who I am today. At times it was a bit pf a hard read due to the sciencey nature of it but otherwise made total sense to me and I loved the interactivity of it.

    18. This is actualy one of my favorite books. It teaches you a lot about how your family life can influence you as a person.

    19. Wow wow wow as someone from a very turbulent family background and a history of rocky mental stability, this book is irreplaceably insightful. Kindly and humbly written with emotional audits you can complete yourself for each section of the book, I have such an insight to why I am the way I am and feel so much more free knowing that my neuroses, depressions, and anxieties need NOT be set in stone. I have always kept very close tabs on my mental state out of awareness that I am at a very high ris [...]

    20. Insightful read with the emphasis being on understanding yourself and rewriting your future, and NOT blaming your parents for what they didn't get right. Really good read.

    21. This is not a blatant attack on parents on how they raise children, but They F*** You Up is an examination on deliberate parenting and encouraging you to look within yourself. It’s not just how you were raised, but how you perceive how you were raised and how you deal with that information as an adult and in your relationships. James, while he allows for the nature/nurture debate and genetics, definitely leans on the side of nurture. The process of building personality and traits is incredibly [...]

    22. This was an interesting read, however I'm not sure I 'buy' all of what the author is saying. James is very explicitly a behaviourist, and is adamant of the fact that it is our upbringing and how we are treated by our parents or primary caregivers that determines who we are, rather than our genes - there is no 'bit of both' in the nature vs. nurture debate as far as this author is concerned. It's all a very interesting read though, and he does make a lot of very interesting and plausible points. [...]

    23. I bought this solely because the title interested me. No, I haven't had a bad childhood! While I do believe that who we are is definitely shaped by 'a little bit of this and a little bit of that', I definitely agree with his assessment of why siblings can be so different.It reminded me of Dawkins a little - in that he's pretty strident - which gets wearing after a while. I was also a little surprised at the attack on the right wing during Thatcher's time as PM, but since I wasn't in the UK at th [...]

    24. Much-needed alternative to the 80's/90's genetic determinist dogma that has so polluted the zeitgeist for the last 20-odd years. James undermines the very foundation of much of the nature side's domination of the nature/nurture debate: twin studies conducted in the early 1980's. He then illustrates how the family, in particular the parents, shape the personality, largely through a process he calls "scripting". James underplays the role of peers and culture in shaping the individual, in my humble [...]

    25. A real struggle. Based mostly on what sounds like a lighthearted title, I think I had expected a romp through the psychology of family life and how to come to terms with one's own personality and do the best for one's family. That was not the book I found myself reading.Instead, it's a terribly serious and dry exposition of the author's conviction that nurture in our early years has a huge role to play in determining who we become. I've no doubt that he's right, but I just didn't get along with [...]

    26. I found this really interesting and useful during a stressful time. I did most of the exercises in it, which he constantly says you don't have to, but I never really did the final one, which involves a bit of writing. At times (with work and so on) I found it hard to find time to do the exercises and was so engrossed in reading the book that I was getting backed up with homework, but it was worth it in the end.

    27. I decided to enjoy the book and trust that the author has plenty of experience backed by academic honesty. There were somethings I instinctively marked as (needs more research), but it did open my eyes to additional arguments around the nature / nurture debate and helped me understand what influenced myself and how and why my children are different even though we tried to bring them up the same - this has helped me watch out for things and adapt and I'm seeing positive results.

    28. They F*** You Up provides a heavily behavioralist slant on the nature vs. nurture debate. The material is compelling and sometimes shocking, and the presentation is targeted towards the general public rather than a scientific audience.If true, the contents of this book strongly suggest that as a society we are thinking about parenting wrongly. One issue I have is that references are not included inline, so it's difficult to cross-reference information against primary sources.

    29. Nature vs nurture? Oliver has very clearly favoured nurture over genetic composure at birth throughout this very convincing argument. More focus is needed to address this fault introduced by the 'science' of eugenics. Trouble is how will Oliver's argument prevail over the much more popular genetics one? Only time will tell.

    30. Wonderful look at how he first four years of your life impact the rest of it. Not a "blame the parents" exercise, though he does give food for thought in terms of understanding how your parents have created you. Great way to try to understand yourself further without going down stoopid self-help cult routes or the like.

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