Thursday, August 19, 2010
Book Review: No More Christian Nice Girl
"Tired of doing all you can for others while your relationships remain stuck in neutral--or headed in reverse? Paul Coughlin and psychologist Jennifer Degler show how being nice can harm you and drain the life out of your relationships. They explore the keys to fulfillment at home, work, church, and even in the bedroom. You'll discover that emulating the real Jesus is the key to transforming from a Christian Nice Girl into an authentic, powerful woman of loving faith." ~ Quote: No More Christian Nice Girl back cover.
I had high expectations for this book; I really did. I thought that, despite the odd title, this book would provide advice on how to escape the people-pleaser mentality that I've got running rampant inside my head without turning me into a pushy, overbearing shrew.
The book's premise is that women--particularly Christian women--are just too darn nice. We have a hard time saying "No" to anyone, because we truly want everyone to like us. Unfortunately, this process backfires as it opens us up to a host of problems including overwhelming stress and lack of self-esteem.
While I agree that many ladies fall into this category (myself included) and appreciated the author's efforts to remedy the situation, I felt the author's tone and delivery missed the mark.
Their sample Christian Nice Girl (CNG) "Nicole" is what I would consider to be an extreme example of a people-pleaser. Quite honestly, I couldn't identify with her at all. (Whether that makes me less of a people-pleaser than I thought, or just stronger than I give myself credit for, remains debatable.) Her actions, words, and thoughts felt very contrived, and at times reeked of a poorly acted "After School Special" from the 70's-80's. I've never met anyone like "her" in real life, so even in that regard I found reading this book to be more than difficult.
However, the one aspect that I found mildly enjoyable was how the authors explained that Jesus/Yeshua wasn't always "nice". In fact, some of His actions were downright controversial, were they not? :) I'm glad they chose to include that, as many Christians gloss over the "lion side" of the Lamb of God.
In closing, while I personally didn't care for this book, I feel it would be a good read for those who are more like the imaginary "Nicole"--an extremely nice, constantly bending over backwards, has no backbone whatsoever, Christian Nice Girl.
*Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book for free from Bethany House Publishing in exchange for this review. No additional compensation was provided, and the thoughts and views expressed are my own.*