Why Good People Do Bad Things: How To Stop Being Your Own Worst Enemy - Paperback Edition
Click here to read an excerpt, Chapter 4
Are you or is someone you know your own worst enemy? If the answer is yes, New York Times best-selling author Debbie Ford has written a book that you must read. By exposing the facade of the false self and venturing behind the protective masks worn by our wounded egos, Why Good People Do Bad Things guides us to heal the split between our ego and our soul and live the authentic life that is well within our reach.
Our headlines are full of stories of good people gone astray. They show up on the evening news, on the front page of newspapers, and splashed across the weekly tabloids. In many ways, these sad stories have become a national obsession. Countless other acts of self-destruction and sabotage take place in our families, in our communities, in our circle of friends. Despite good intentions, "good people" do very bad things - often without understanding why.
Why Good People Do Bad Things exposes the pervasive and often hidden impulses that influence our everyday decisions. #1 New York Times bestselling author Debbie Ford expertly guides us into the heart of the duality that unknowingly operates within each one of us: the force that compels us to live by our values, give and receive love, and be a contributing member of the community, and the force that holds us back, sabotages our efforts, and repeatedly steers us toward bad choices.
Beginning with an examination of what Ford calls the Beach-Ball Effect - the way in which suppressed emotions eventually rise to the surface - this exploration examines the origins of self-destructive behavior. By describing the never-ending battle between our light and dark sides and then identifying the signposts of potential disaster, Ford helps us understand how we end up damaging the lives we've worked so hard to create. She then breaks new ground by helping us recognize the masks we wear to protect ourselves, including the People Please, the Victim, the Bully, Mister Cool, and the Jokester. Understanding these masks and what they cover up helps us to go beneath the surface, wake up from denial, and become the person we always intended to be.
With Why Good People Do Bad Things, Ford has created her most enduring, expansive and powerful work to date. By providing the keys to unlocking the patterns of self-sabotage, Ford ultimately knocks down the facade of the false self and shows us how we can heal the split between the light and dark and live the authentic life within our reach.
Why I Wrote This Book
We are living in a split world, a world of war and peace, a world of hate and love, a world of fear and courage. We are living in a time when we have so much spiritual information and so much pop psychology, tricks, coaching and techniques to live a better life yet we also have 18 million people on antidepressants. We have more people in treatment centers, suffering from addiction and obesity. We’re living in a society where our media is obsessed with what look like random acts of self-sabotage. I’m always fascinated when I listen to these shows and listen to people talk about a star or an athlete who has done something to destroy their image or their career, like they did it on purpose. We don’t self sabotage because we wake up the morning and say, “How am I going to screw up my life today? How am I going to destroy my relationships?” It’s an unconscious mechanism which has us say things we wish we hadn’t, spend money we don’t have, hurt people we love and shame ourselves in public displays of self-destruction. What drives us to do things that leave others and even ourselves perplexed and asking the question, “Why did I do that? How did that happen?”
It is not a mystery. Why Good People Do Bad Things answers this question. The book is a process that takes people step by step to see how they are programmed and how if they don’t integrate and digest the fear, pain and shame of the past, it will display itself in either a random act or an unconscious act of self-destruction. Some people do it in small ways, other people do it in huge ways. Either way, the cost is the same - our own self-love, self-respect and the ability to recognize and share our greatest gifts. I’ve taught and taken thousands of people through the process of ending their own self-sabotage and now in this book, I explain the mechanism of the internal war and deliver the spiritual process that returns us to wholeness, not in our heads but in our hearts
“In clear, straightforward language, Debbie Ford explores the struggles between the dark and bright sides of our personalities, exposing those early fears, wounds and shame which drive us toward a life plagued with self-sabotage. With insight and compassion, she takes the reader on a journey past the warning signs and the dysfunctional masks we wear, toward the antidotes which ultimately bring us back to our authentic selves. An exceptionally helpful book.”
- Paul Babiak, Ph.D., coauthor of Snakes In Suits: When Psychopaths Go To Work
“This masterpiece of unflinching clarity is Debbie Ford's most important and brilliant book. So much of our personal desolation and public destructiveness streams from our pathological inability to acknowledge and so begin to heal our shadow. Everyone I believe needs the fiercely compassionate and humble guidance of this stunningly naked book.”
- Andrew Harvey
“In this book, Debbie Ford brilliantly exposes the greatest human tragedy: the loss of the authentic self by ineffective parenting and the resulting split that ravages the life of the self and its consequences for others. I heartily recommend this book to everyone.”
- Harville Hendrix, Ph.D., author of Getting the Love You Want
“In this book, Debbie Ford very lucidly explains how our attempts to bottle up feelings of guilt, shame, and denial triggers destructive behavior both towards ourselves and others. She then goes on to prescribe the techniques that bring about the healing process and the discovery of our authentic higher self. Anyone who reads this book will find the means to become whole once again.”
- Deepak Chopra, Author, Third Jesus: The Christ We Cannot Ignore
“Why Good People Do Bad Things is a sage discussion of the dualistic nature of the human mind that so few people truly grasp as clearly and compassionately as Debbie Ford. Hers is a voice that passionately calls us all to face into our capacity to hurt ourselves and each other and charts a path for self-acceptance and self-forgiveness.”
- Richard Moss, MD, author of The Mandala of Being