This is Dr. Irwin Gootnick's first nationally acclaimed book on how and why people develop and constantly repeat self-defeating patterns, no matter how unhappy they are. Dr. Gootnick explains, "This book uncovers the hidden beliefs people have about themselves that make them continue with self-defeating behaviors. Once you know those beliefs you can start overcoming them."
"Why You Behave in Ways You Hate, and What You Can Do About It" illustrates how the dynamics of your family have affected you and have influenced the way you relate to the world. For example, a particularly competitive parent or sibling, one who acts threatened by someone else's achievements, could result in a child who has an unconscious fear of succeeding, despite his or her great potential.
Dr. Gootnick tells the story of one man who was intelligent, hard-working and very accomplished, but, in spite of this, had low self-esteem. Dr. Gootnick uncovered that in this man's family his brother was always thought of as the "smart one" and he was the "hard-working one." He had repressed memories of his parents recognizing his early reading and math skills as a child because his younger brother would sulk and withdraw from the family. "He falsely assumed that his brother's unhappiness was a result of his early accomplishments, and that caused him to feel irrationally responsible and guilty. As a result of these hidden guilt feelings, and to protect his brother, he not only believed that he wasn't smart, but for a period of time had forgotten how to do math."
There are many real-life examples like this throughout the book, complete with in-depth analysis, that help you identify the major flaws in your family and how they affected your life. Here are some of the family issues addressed in the book:
Authoritarian, weak and needy, possessive, rejecting, competitive, living through your accomplishments, immorality, drug and alcohol abuse. Experiences in childhood with these flawed family members are what set up the beliefs that result in self-defeating behaviors that are hard to change no matter how much you desire to change them.
"Why You Behave in Ways You Hate, and What You Can Do About It" helps you uncover the seeds planted in childhood that have led to your most pressing challenges in life, and gives you self-help strategies to help work past your self-defeating behaviors.