Tuesday, December 27, 2016

The Kindness Challenge by Shaunti Feldhahn

The Kindness Challenge: Thirty Days To Improve Any Relationship by Shaunti Feldhahn is more than just a 30-day plan to motivate you to be kind to others. Through extensive research combined with her understanding of human behavior, Shaunti explains why kindness is the answer to so many of life's problems. While most people would readily admit that they aren't as kind as they could be 100% of the time, this book reveals that there's more to being kind than  simply biting your tongue. It takes sincere effort to be kind when faced with everyday challenges in our current society.

The base plan of the 30-day challenge is merely the same three steps repeated every day:
   1) Don't say anything negative about the other person
   2) Find one thing to praise or affirm, and tell both the other person and someone else
   3) Do one small act of kindness or generosity for the person

In case you're thinking that that (in and of itself) is not enough to warrant reading an entire book, you're absolutely right! This book contains so much more than just those steps. Shaunti outlines the "Seven Types Of Negativity You Didn't Know You Had", "Overcoming Ten Tricky Traps" while giving praise, and eight different types of kindness so that you can select options that best suit your personality and specific situation.

The end of the book contains three separate 30-day plans with acts of kindness laid out and ready to go so that you don't have to struggle to come up with ideas. Why three separate plans? One is for wives using this book to be closer to their husbands, the second is for husbands longing to be closer to their wives, and that third plan is for everyone else (colleagues, parents, grown children, dealing with your kid's softball coach, etc.).

I think this book is a great asset for someone looking to soften a cold marital relationship or reignite the flames if it's simply gone lukewarm. As for using it in other situations, as with children or co-workers, I think it would work if the negativity from the other party is not overtly hostile. But even if you follow the plan and it doesn't improve the intended relationship, it will improve your outlook on life and other relationships around you. 5/5 stars.

*I received a free print copy of this book from Blogging For Books for the purpose of an honest review. All opinions are my own.*

About the book's author (copied from the back cover):
Shaunti Feldhahn is the author of many groundbreaking books, including For Women Only, The Male Factor, and The Surprising Secrets of Highly Happy Marriages, which have sold more than two million copies. A popular public speaker, Feldhahn earned her master's degree at Harvard University and worked on Wall Street and Capitol Hill before developing an innovative research method to deliver fresh insights into personal and work relationships. She and her husband, Jeff, live in Atlanta with their two children.

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