Book Review

Are You Being Trashed?

No matter who you are or how nice you are, some people won’t like you. That’s a fact we all have to live with. Even worse, people we thought were friends can turn on us. And sometimes we may become the victim of unhappy people who enjoy talking rudely about others.

Know the meaning of “trashed”

You are being trashed if someone is making harmful statements about you with intent of damaging your friendships and reputation — or at least not caring if the negative talk hurts you. The truth of the statements is not the issue because your detractor believes them to be true because of her perspective. If you are being slandered, that is a different issue requiring legal advice beyond the scope of this post.

Being trashed hurts

We may be unaware that we’re being trashed behind our backs. Or, a good friend may clue us in. This knowledge will hurt. Grief, denial, upset, and anger aretypical reactions, followed by a strong desire to defend ourselves. I recommend not giving in to that desire.

Remain calm

I realize this is, as the cliche goes, easier said than done. Chances are good that you don’t deserve the bad things being said about you. The urge to tell your side of the story is reasonable. But unless not defending yourself will result in direct and certain harm, I recommend staying quiet.

Don’t enter the fray

Why? Because defending yourself will force your friend to take sides. She may not side with you after all. And with good intentions, your friend may try to act as peacemaker, which can backfire. Also, if your detractor discovers you have entered the fray, he may escalate the number and intensity of comments, resulting in a feud that could be worse than the initial comments.

Slay the beast

I have found that the fewer times complaints and accusations are verbalized, the better. Let harmful comments die the early death they deserve.

Don’t be a bore

Another good reason to stay quiet is to keep from becoming a bore. Share what’s happened with a trusted confidante to help you gain perspective. But stop after that. Most people are willing to offer sympathy after one or two accounts of terrible treatment, but no one wants to hear the litany again and again. And every time you complain, you are keeping the comments alive and reliving your own negative emotions.

Pity your attacker

It’s sad when someone has nothing better to do, or derives a strange pleasure from, trashing others. Trashing others is also a way of getting attention and sympathy. The person may feel victorious if she causes you to lose a friend. Friends who let trash talk cause them to abandon you have tenuous ties to you at best. Let them go. And consider the tragedy of lives controlled by negative talk.

Be wise yet harmless

If you are clued in about someone’s true character and feelings about you, be grateful to have the knowledge. Then you can then be as wise a a serpent but as harmless as a dove, to cite advice the Lord gave His disciples.

Continue to live a life of integrity, with dignity. You can and will rise above negativity.

Your turn:

If you knew your friend was being trashed, would you tell him? Why or why not?

Have you been trashed? What did you do?

What is your favorite advice for those dealing with negative rumors?



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Is it Possible to Read Too Much?

Amidst all the public voices and rhetoric swirling around these days is a healthy focus on the need to make reading more a part of every life.  From celebrities sponsoring reading campaigns to Amazon providing pre-loaded Kindles to schools in Africa through their Worldreader  program, it is a good thing …

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What is on Your Summer Reading List?

Since we are in the midst of Summer and I’m on a brief vacation I thought I’d ask you to tell us what books you are reading or planning to read this Summer. I’ll start… My list is intentionally eclectic because that is the way I graze with my reading: …

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How Do You Define Summer Reading?

Now that summer is nigh, I’m thinking about what I’d like to read over the next few months. I have not yet decided. But at least now I can choose for myself. At my college prep school, we were assigned summer reading. To enter eighth grade, we were assigned The …

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My Most Frequently Used Reference Book

by Steve Laube After pulling down this book from my shelf twice this past week I realized there is no other reference book I use more frequently. The book? The Synonym Finder by J.I. Rodale. I prefer it over Roget’s Thesaurus because it is laid out logically – in alphabetical order. …

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Stories in Hiding Places

Since I blog on Tuesdays and the next April 15 to fall on a Tuesday is not for another eleven years, I felt like I couldn’t pass up this opportunity. Corrie ten Boom was born on this date in 1892 and died on this date in 1983.  If Evangelicals were …

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Do You Like to Cry While Reading?

I’ll have to admit, I don’t like to cry. I don’t even like depressing songs. Instead I prefer things that are upbeat. For example, here are some of the lyrics to a song that helped me get through my teen years:


Red Light.

Neon Light.


Most of all you can funk. Help me find the funk….


I think I found the funk!

[“Flashlight” was written by Ronald R. Brooks, Gregory E. Jacobs, David R. Elliot, Bernard Worrell, William Earl Collins, and George Clinton Jr..]

Not that I can’t get serious. But I still like that fun song even today.

So now it’s your turn, if you like to cry while reading. What have been your favorite tearjerker books? I’ll give you a clue. Steve Laube told me that the marketing people at Bethany Publishing House wanted to mail a box of tissues with every copy of Deborah Raney’s A Vow to Cherish when it was first published.

So, what is your favorite tearjerker novel? 

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Why Did I Keep Reading?

As I believe I’ve mentioned on this blog, along with Christian books, I try to keep abreast of general market books. But I admit, I don’t always finish reading the books I begin reading. So what makes me stick with a book from cover to cover? Here’s just one example for nonfiction:

Empty Mansions: The Mysterious Life of Huguette Clark and the Spending of a Great American Fortune  by Bill Dedman and Paul Clark Newell, Jr. 

Why did I stay with this book while abandoning other books that may have been just as worthwhile or perhaps even better? Here’s why:

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A New Book by C.S. Lewis!

by Steve Laube

If you want the perfect gift for the bibliophile in your life consider this new book from C. S. Lewis called Image and Imagination (under $20 in paperback). To quote the description from the Cambridge University Press site:

This selection from the writings of C. S. Lewis gathers together forty book reviews, never before reprinted, as well as four major essays which have been unavailable for many decades. A fifth essay, ‘Image and Imagination’, is published for the first time.

Included are his reviews of Tolkien’s Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings.

But the crowning jewel is the 20 page essay “Image and Imagination.” This unpublished piece was found handwritten in a ruled notebook used by Lewis for his early drafts. Walter Hooper, who compiled this book, suggests that the essay was originally intended for but never sent to T.S. Eliot’s journal The Criterion in 1931. It is a rather dense exploration of ideas which, like much of Lewis’ academic work, demands much concentration of the reader.

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