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Publisher's Summary

Is verbal abuse ruining your business, your personal life, or even your physical and emotional health? With a little help from Suzette Haden Elgin, you won't have to put up with it anymore. She'll show you how to create an environment in which verbal abuse almost never happens, and how to take complete control of your language behavior. Once you've mastered the techniques, you'll be able to defuse a verbal attack before it can even be completed, and deal effectively with the rare attack that cannot be avoided. You'll never be at a loss for words again.
Copyright © and (P)1995 by Dove Audio, Inc.

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall

Disappointingly Executed on Audible

I have the paper based version of this book, so I was naturally thrilled to see it on Audible. Yet I was disappointed in the sample and then to read it is available in Format 1 quality only. Dr. Elgin wrote an excellent book that I have found extremely useful in dealing with people.

Another reviewer said SEEING what was said was not effective--he missed the point. You have to match the perspective of the person you're talking to in order to help them understand you. Moreover, that is only the basics of the book, which then goes into how to parse (or dissect) the statements people make and then use specific techniques to prevent yourself from taking the bait and falling victim to verbal abuse. One favorite of mine is when someone baits you into an argument and you can ask them a simple question that not only ignores the bait, but places them and everyone around you on notice that you will not be abused in such a way. And a welcome side-effect is to take the agressive assertions they make away from them while //placing them on the defensive.//

This book is well worth your time, but I am disappointed that the audio quality is so low. My recommendation is to buy it in the bookstore or check it out at the library if you can find it (it's been out of print for several years now.) Otherwise, this might be the only place you can get it. Either way, it is a very worthwhile read.

22 of 23 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Great Information

This book has very valuable information about dealing with people--especially those that are attacking you. Sound quality isn't that great, but it's a lot better than a poor book with great sound quality.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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Verbal Defense?

What made the experience of listening to Mastering the Gentle Art of Verbal Self-Defense the most enjoyable?

Nothing! Its a fantastic book, but the audio is terrible. Sounds like it was recorded in an empty room with a cheap mike on a tape deck. Really prehistoric audio quality and sound level. BUT THE BOOK. Great book.

Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Suzette Haden Elgin?

Anyone louder.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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good topic to talk about professionally

This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

every one who seeks to live peacefully in our crazy world !

Would you be willing to try another one of Suzette Haden Elgin’s performances?

NO !

You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

just the subject

Any additional comments?

YES, GET A PROFESSIONAL NARRATOR !

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Daniel
  • San Jose, CA, United States
  • 09-28-11

linguistics applied

First impression- audio quality is terrible, simply unacceptable. Others have mentioned this before, I didn't care so much but it is so bad sometimes I have to rewind just to acoustically understand what the author is saying. Imagine an old audio cassette on the dashboard of your car for a summer, then sticking it into an 80's low-cost cassette player that has never been cleaned.. you get the idea.

Contents wise- very interesting, inspiring. The author establishes a very logical system of linguistics that aims to help in everyday communications, especially in situations when you have to deal with 'difficult' people. I have yet to try the techniques, but the mere awareness of the principles established in this book makes me more aware of communications and language. Recommended, but perhaps I would go for paper version due to extremely poor, insulting audio quality.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Terrible audio quality

The copyright says 1995, but the audio quality made me feel like I was in 1982. While this book had some good points, it really wasn't what I expected and I don't feel overly prepared to defend myself verbally. Also, I felt the examples stopped short. I wanted to hear the next step in the example conversations, not just the attack and initial defense. Overall, I hoped for more.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Record quality

Absolutely terrible, nigh unlistenable. Had to turn all the way up and eq out noise.

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Waste of a credit

The audio quality is so bad that I can hardly understand what she is saying. Additionally, this isn't so much about verbal abuse. It's all about workplace communication. Not worth the time.

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A helpful companion to S.H. Elgin's books.

Suzette Haden Elgin is a master of neurolinguistic programing. Her works are precise and comprehensive.

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Terrible Audio quality

What disappointed you about Mastering the Gentle Art of Verbal Self-Defense?

The audio quality was horrible and the tone of reading does nothing to help it.

Any additional comments?

Not recommended and I wish I didn't waste a credit on this.