I am a little reluctant to read books that force me to look too critically at my life, my history and my family. Selfexploration is interesting in that it can help understand ourselves and where we came from, but it can also shine a light into the dark parts, bringing memories and hurt to the forefront. A person can react two ways to this: they can either learn from it and have an even greater understanding of their past, or they can play the blame game and become a victim.
In this book, named in tribute to the famous poem, 'This Be The Verse' by Philip Larkin, Oliver James says the family is where things start to go wrong. Who we are is based on our position in the family, how our mother and father treated us, the roles we were forced to adapt and follow, how our parents favoured another sibling to us, how they understood us or did not understand us, how they manipulated us, controlled us, argued with us, were kind to us or not kind to us, for that matter. And while it initially may seem like a lot of James's observations are a little harsh, you may just come to find that they are, in fact, true.
James states at the beginning of this book that it should be read by you as a child rather than you as an adult. It is for the purpose of looking at yourself and seeing how your parents shaped your life, rather that you reading it to be critical of you as a parent. I have to admit, I read it both ways. We are brought into this world as innocents; we are vulnerable, open books. Everything is a possibility. And then we are molded into shape by those nearest and dearest to us. Our life is a script and our role in it is scripted for us, unless we are willing to change it, of course.
I did find myself becoming very interested in this book. There are some passages that I could really relate to and I found myself nodding along on more than one occasion. However, reading it as the parent of two very young children was sometimes upsetting. James suggests that most of the molding of people's lives is done in the early months and first few years of life and discussions here about a mother's choice to work really sent my mind into panic mode. When asked to categorise myself according to James's breakdowns of wobbler, clinger, punitive or weak, I started looking at my personality in a way I haven't ever done, and while it did make me a little embarrassed at times, it also helped me to see how I came to be like this. And again, it's not about the blame game, it's more about looking inward and getting some perspective. James insists that he is not trying to stir up trouble with his findings, but he certainly has some very controversial subject matter here and it is hard to disagree with a lot of it.
I am glad I took the time to read this book. I liked how it blended psychology with a bit of science, and also how James introduced autobiography and biography into his research, studying everyone from himself to Prince Charles to Woody Allen. There is such an interesting discussion of the ageold concept of Nature vs. Nurture with James leaning heavily on the side of environment over genes. While certain passages were too heavy for me, I think I certainly gained some valuable insight from this book. Without a doubt, I gained some new perspective on being a parent and raising children. Using as examples of various personality traits and problems, Oliver James cites the lives of Prince Charles, Woody Allen, Mia Farrow, Paula Yates, serial killers and victims of sexual abuse in They F*** You Up. In the process, he has written an accessible but scholarly treatise on the role of care, or its lack, in early childhood. His observations and quotes from various studies make a convincing case for the primary function of good parenting in raising children. He breaks down the process into periods of childhood and infancy and also describes how conscience, selfawareness and general mental wellbeing can be fostered by good and appropriate care from parents or carers. His ideas, backed up by the results of many studies and tests, make it clear that the role of genes in forming personality, conscience and the idea of ‘self’ is at best peripheral. Those who cite genetics as the major cause of crime, addiction, low performance, sexuality, depression and other mental illnesses are exposed as frauds or, at best, illinformed commentators. Whilst our genes play a large part in making the human the animal he is, it is undoubtedly the type of parental care we receive from birth to age 6 that forms us into the adults we become.
James explains in great detail how personality traits are formed, and describes how early brain patterning can and does form individuals into certain types of adults. Whilst some of the damage done by inappropriate parenting can be modified, alleviated and even repaired, a great deal cannot be changed without huge effort.
What James is calling for with this book is nothing less than a complete overhaul of the way society treats children. That nurture, rather than nature (genes), is the driving force behind personality disorders, depression, disassociation, weak conscience, criminality and madness is no longer disputed by those who understand these matters thoroughly. Those who blame genes, and use this argument as a basis for social discrimination, are both fraudulent and hypocritical.
James suggests a different strategy for dealing with society’s problems and forecasts that a failure to adjust to such a system will inevitably increase the rates of violence, crime, injustice and insanity in our world. I am convinced by his cogent arguments and find myself looking at my fellow human beings with much greater respect, tolerance and understanding.
Alain De Botton urges all prospective parents to read They F*** You Up BEFORE embarking on the hazardous voyage of parenthood. I can only agree with this injunction.
If you are thinking of having children, please, for the sake of your offspring and the future of the human race, read this book FIRST. And, if you have already had your children, or wonder about your own early life and its effect on your personality, read this book as a way of understanding why you are who you are and your friends are who they are. It is a cathartic experience.
This was very interesting, but equally pretty depressing (if you have parents like mine and equally probably if you don't). Lots of fascinating facts (tm) like sexually abused girls are more likely to start menstruating an average of six months before those who are not, and if you have been very stressed (by a variety of factors) before the age of three, then your production levels of cortisol are permanently changed, yes that's right for the rest of your life. Also, if you have no exposure to human language before the age of 6 years old, you can never learn human language (but maybe some elements of Glaswegian dialect). This is because for a human in terms of speech 6 years is what is called a Critical Peeriodd.... So yes all highly interesting but I can see that what I have actually done is just already provided you with the good things about this book so maybe you don't really need to read it now.
The reasons it is not a good book are because the author is VERY VERY BAD at writing. So many times he writes something which begs another four questions, or is utterly unclear, or can be read with a variety of meanings, or contradicts something from three sentences before.... I found this extremely frustrating. In fact there are lots of scribbled pencil notes all over the pages of my copy ending in thick question marks or exclamation marks. I think he is probably just not very ordered in his thinking (which can be put down to possible emotional coldness from his mother / principal carer between the ages of 018 months). The other annoying thing about this book is that the author was banging a drum about the importance of nature over nurture: 1. this book did not purport to be addressing this, 2. he would often tack on "which again proves the importance of nature over nurture" in a very lame way, and 3. I am very much of this belief myself anyway so didn't need his constant nonarguments pecking away at me all the time throughout the book.
Basically I think you should read this book if you can put up with a distracted teenager's writing style, if you are bringing up young kids and want to be reminded how and why you can't afford to put a foot wrong with them, or if you want to develop and/or enhance a deep resentment against your own parents. Simply written the book explains the most fundamental elements to our psyche which are often years forgotten by most of us, our infancy. During the course of reading however at times faced with bitter facts, one can understand so much about not only herself but her parents, her siblings, and almost everyone one might encounter. It’s greatly enlightening, with practical ideas that have the power to make one want to make changes and see the world differently. Having finished reading it, rather than being left angry or disappointed I feel a sense of understanding has wrapped me. I believe this book is a must read for everyone especially those who think they have to have children. I've never really read a book like this; something that allows me to hold up a critical mirror in order to really assess what comprises me as a person. It was an interesting, thoughtful and, at times, worrying/upsetting experience to be able to so easily apply the archetypes laid out within this books pages, and so easily map them to your own character traits and personality.
Oliver James writes in an easily accessible way, which is great for somebody like me who hasn't got the background lexicon or knowledge of the subjects explored. I never really found myself lost, or confused because of it.
If you are interested in critically dissecting why you are as you are, and why you seemingly pertain to strict character roles within relationships; whether it is familial or with a spouse/significant other, then this book is a great place to start. Or, at least, that's how I'm left feeling after just finishing it.
I will say that the first half of the book completely captivated me, I think the phrase I used was that it was "blowing my mind." The second half however tends to fall into some repetition, with the main theme of the book (nuture over nature) being hammered home, seemingly with every other sentence. Because of this it became a bit harder to read, but as an overall experience, especially with the interesting character studies (Prince Charles, Woody Allen, etc) I would recommend it.
If you are reading this review and know of any other books on similar subjects of character, or what makes us the way we are as a person/or in a relationship, I would love your recommendations.
Find me on Twitter @stevetendo They F*** You Up takes its title from the Larkin poem This Be The Verse, and is an introductory thesis to the idea that our personalities, and level of mental health(yness) are shaped by our childhood and not by genetics. Indeed, the earlier something happens in childhood the more crucial it is for our early development, as it lays down the brain’s basic pathways and shapes what we expect to happen in future. Often people discount the importance of events in babyhood/early childhood as they can’t be remembered, but Oliver James makes it blindingly obvious that these prememory times are actually what set the tone of our emotional development both in childhood and as adults. At times he labours his point a little too much – to the extent where his refusal to accept any influence/interference on the part of genetics feels almost bigoted – but overall this is an insightful and wellresearched book, notwithstanding the author’s thankfully occasional bad attempts at humour.
... [Read the rest of my review here: https://whathannahread.wordpress.com/...]
This book wasn't as life changing as I expected, but it did leave me with a sense of relief. It allows for introspection with some clever examples about why we are the way we are (our parents of course, hence the title), but it also leaves you feeling that all is not lost and that once we recognize these things about ourselves we can change them. Philip Larkin This Be The Verse They F You UpIt Was Written Around April , First Published In The Augustissue Of New Humanist, And Appeared In Thecollection High Windows This Be They F You Up EPub Oliver James Achat Ebook Fnac They F You Up, Oliver James, Bloomsbury Publishing Des Milliers De Livres Avec La Livraison Chez Vous Enjour Ou En Magasin Avec % De Rduction They F You Up James, OliverThey F You UP Is A Good Call To The Way In Which We Can Work Towards Changing The Damage Done By Our Parents Through Better Life Experiences, Better Relationships, And Good Therapy Simply Reading This Book Can Put You On A Good Road Towards Feeling Better And Stronger Read People Found This Helpful Helpful Comment Report Abuse D P Birkettout Ofstars Down They F CK You At The Drive Thru Joe Pesci Leo Getz They Fuck You At The Hospital Scene Duration Zerano , Views Anger Management With Joe Pesci Duration Redacted , Views Pacino And Leo Getz They Fuck You At The Drive ThroughLethal Weapon Cast Reunites For Th Anniversary Of The Classic Buddy Cop Film Duration Good Morning America ,, Views Quote By Philip Larkin They Fuck You Up, Your Mum They Fuck You Up, Your Mum And Dad They May Not Mean To, But They Do They Fill You With The Faults They Had And Add Some Extra, Just For You But They Were Fucked Up In Their Turn By Fools In Old Style Hats And Coats, Who Half The Time Were Soppy Stern And Half At One Another S Throats Man Hands On Misery To Man It Deepens Like A CoastalSofi Tukker F Ck They Jinco Remix YouTube Song Fuck They Artist Sofi Tukker Album Treehouse Licensed To YouTube By Merlin Ultra Music On Behalf Of Ultra Records ASCAP, LatinAutor, SOLAR Music Rights Management, AMRA, Kobalt MusicPronouns Personal I, Me, You, Him, It, They, EtcPronouns Personal I, Me, You, Him, It, They, Etc English Grammar Today A Reference To Written And Spoken English Grammar And Usage Cambridge Dictionary MangaGo MangaGo A very interesting book, and one that goes farther than anything else I've ever read in nature v. nurture. The answer, according to Oliver James, is about 99.9% nurture. Plenty of evidence and examples are given, such as the fact that many child abusers were themselves abused as children, i.e. 'nurture' made them that way. Highly successful people are much more likely than anyone else to have lost a parent when they were a child, and their despair drove them to achieve. Babies born to poor, uneducated, nutritionally deficient mothers, when adopted by welloff highly educated people, become just the same as a child from those same middleclass people. Even genetically identical twins, when separated from their parents at birth, turn out very differently from each other. I have to admit, I'm convinced by him (or at least 99.9% convinced). If you have any opinion at all on the spectrum from genes to environment, I think you would be interested in this book.
Now that I have the information, though, what am I supposed to do with it? How to stop from f***ing up my own children? Other than not beating them, the book ends without anything in the way of practical advice.