Beyond Pipe Dreams and Platitudes: Insights on Love, Luck, and Narcissism from a Longtime Psychologist



In this eye-opening collection of essays, Dr. Geraldine K. Piorkowski shares what she learned working with people from different socioeconomic levels, races, sexual orientations, and walks of life. Besides reaffirming that all people are fundamentally the same, she discovered many psychological realities that run counter to popular culture. Among her insights is the observation that positive thinking does more harm than good at times, especially when it bypasses the normal processing of negative events and emotions. Another cultural misdirection is the overemphasis on romantic love as the be-all and end-all of existence, where unrealistic expectations lead to love’s downfall. She also notes that unhealthy narcissism, which runs rampant in American culture, is quite different from the healthy variety that is the bedrock of self-love.

These illuminating and provocative essays, titled 1) Positive Thinking Isn’t All It’s Cracked Up to Be, 2) When Is Madness Better than Sadness? 3) Romantic Love Is Mostly an Illusion, 4) Vulnerable People Are More Likable than Super-Confident Ones, 5) You Can’t Make Anybody Do Anything, 6) Luck or Chance Has Been Badly Underrated, 7) A Smidgen of Narcissism Adds Joy and Spice to Life, and 8) Empathy and Healthy Religion Go Hand in Hand, all provide a new understanding of psychological health and well-being.


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