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Publisher's Summary

In The Upside of Your Dark Side, two pioneering researchers in the field of psychology show that while mindfulness, kindness, and positivity can take us far, they cannot take us all the way. Sometimes, they can even hold us back. Emotions like anger, anxiety, or doubt might be uncomfortable, but it turns out that they are also incredibly useful.

For instance:

  • Anger fuels creativity
  • Guilt sparks improvement
  • Self-doubt enhances performance
  • Selfishness increases courage
  • Mindlessness leads to better decisions

The key lies in what the authors call "emotional agility," the ability to access our full range of emotions - not just the "good" ones - in order to respond most effectively to whatever situation we might encounter. Drawing on years of scientific research and a wide array of real-life examples including sports, the military, parenting, education, romance, business, and more, The Upside of Your Dark Side is a refreshing reality check that shows us how we can truly maximize our potential.

©2014 Todd B. Kashdan and Robert Biswas-Diener (P)2014 Brilliance Audio, all rights reserved. Recorded by arrangement with Hudson Street Press, a member of Penguin Group (USA) LLC, a Penguin Random House Company

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Comfort is killing us

Interesting listen, well read. I totally agree with the 'Whole Person' the authors assert. The discussion on Narcissism was both surprising and delightful. What captured me immediately, and I believe deserves further exploration--maybe even another book--was the topic of how comfort has totally influenced our culture. Defines our culture is probably more accurate, and the unintended consequences of heated seats, and perfectly designed coffee holders.
bsn

29 of 29 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

good

narration was good, interesting prespective; not sure I'd re-listen though. sometimes struggles to pay attention & would zone out while listening to this one...

16 of 16 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

food for thought

This book teaches to understand myself and others from a holistic point of view. It allowed me to see myself as a whole with positive and negative emotions; but most of all, it shows how to use these emotions so I can be a better person.

14 of 14 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • Philip
  • Ann Arbor, MI, United States
  • 07-06-16

Some interesting concepts, annoying narration

I was only able to stop getting annoyed by the narration after I sped up the recording by 1.25 times. Else, the fake interested narrator would leave you disgusted with the book.
The topics and transitions are not well organized. But there are some interesting concepts every now and then.

25 of 28 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

All New Agers must read for Cognitive Dissonance.

This is a refreshing dose of reality for those that overvalue comfort positivity and happiness. The results are in and it seems much better to be whole than happy. Embracing all emotions and accepting their gifts allows us to make better decisions, be better people and generally get more out of life

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

must read!!

Over all we must learn to embrace our dark side because it is necessary to maneuver through today's society. This book points out why we get more stuff done when we're upset.

24 of 30 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Just ok

Not sure why but this book just didnt grab or inspire me much. Asssertions are backed up by solid research, but I think they went a little too deep into research aspects at the expense of readability.

Anyway, the ideas were good, but not inspiring - I honestly only remember the gist which is negative emotions can sometimes be helpful.

16 of 20 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Evan
  • Philadelphia
  • 07-07-17

Much Better Than I Expected!

One of the things the author talks about is on having agility: social agility (being able to handle social situations as they come), mental agility, and emotional agility (being able to handle negative and positive emotions as they come).

He also talks a lot about something called "comfort addiction" and why this is bad. The more materialistic items we have the less happy we are. There is no feeling of achievement or accomplishment when getting something we want with little to no required effort.

According to the author's, we should spend 33% of our time facing adversity and dealing with and endure pain. Overall he talks about having willpower and why it's important to do the things you don't like to do.

He gives some great tips on how to do that but you'll have to read the book to find that out yourself. There's a lot more to it than that and I highly recommend you check it out.

Hope this helped. Happy Reading and Cheers!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • Joshua
  • Spring Mills, PA, United States
  • 06-07-17

Just OK

I like self help books and thought the utility of "embracing your dark side", might offer some interesting insights, and, I guess, it did deliver some. Unfortunately I found the narration displeasing, sometimes seeming glib and superior. I suspect some of that voice was in the writing and some issued from the narrator. Still, it made it a difficult listen, and did not dispose me to accept the views of the authors.

I thought their understanding of Buddhist thought was pretty shallow. At any rate, the sort of Buddhism which interests me, very much recognizes the significance and actually values recognition of our "dark side". And, I thought the discussion of the utility of sociopathic traits could have been better balanced, the lauding of the effectiveness of the lack of empathy and conscience juxtaposed with the potential for harm. But, as a counter to the sort of superficial embrace of pure "positivism", the book has value.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Tibber
  • Denver, CO United States
  • 06-08-16

freakonomics fans would like this

A review of research on and reasons for emotions and motivations that are not entirely positive.

12 of 17 people found this review helpful