Book Review: Feeling Loved

Disclaimer: All views expressed in this review are the personal opinion of the writer.

Let’s face it: the holidays are always an incredibly stressful time of year. And that goes double if you have a troubled relationship with your family or significant other. That’s why this season, you should consider picking up a copy of Feeling Loved: The Science of Nurturing Meaningful Connections and Building Lasting Happiness by Dr. Jeanne Segal.

Dr. Segal is co-founder of the incredibly popular HelpGuide.org, a website dedicated to helping people improve their own mental health. She’s also a therapist with over 35 years of experience.

According to Dr. Segal, all human beings are born with an innate need to feel loved. Unfortunately, not all of us know how to get it. Feeling Loved aims to change that by providing us with a roadmap so we can “experience the kind of love we need to feel secure, resolve conflict and stay connected with ourselves and others.”

Dr. Segal starts out her book by explaining the science behind why we need to feel loved and the various emotional benefits behind it. Part 2 focuses on why we might not feel loved: namely medication, a lack of real-life connection and bad mental habits. Part 3 gives various tools to tackle the stress that can make us feel unloved or prevent us from making others feel loved. And finally, Part 4 shows us how to show and feel love in specific circumstances, like in tense work or family relationships.

All in all, I loved Feeling Loved. Dr. Segal’s explanations are intuitive and easy to follow, and supported by the various example stories she writes about in her book. I liked that she focused on various kinds of relationships (like work and family) instead of making this a book solely about romantic love. And I liked that she gave specific tools to tackle stress and help us feel loved, which we can use both in moments of conflict and in our regular daily lives.

That said, I did have some issues with this book. Firstly, Feeling Loved is backed by various scientific theories which Dr. Segal includes in her book. And while Dr. Segal generally was able to keep my interest, there were various science-heavy sections that drew me out of the book — as well as moments where she presented a technique to combat stress but didn’t do a sufficient job of explaining why it worked. In other words, Dr. Segal could have integrated the science and advice better.

My second major issue with Feeling Loved was perhaps an ideological one. Obviously, everybody wants to feel loved. But if you’re so stressed out that you’re unable to connect to your emotions, chances are you’re not going to buy this book. One could argue that this is what makes Feeling Loved a great holiday gift. But if I tried to give this book to someone I thought needed it, I imagine they would be more offended than overjoyed.

Naturally, it’s impossible to fix someone who can’t fix themselves. And granted, Feeling Loved does help you help others by forcing you to focus on yourself. Still, I wish Feeling Loved had included ways to help other people in your life in a more direct manner as well.

Still, despite its problems, Feeling Loved is a great way to understand relationships – both the ones that have succeeded and the ones that failed. And as such, it’s a book everyone can benefit from.

Intrigued? Check out the book here!

Written by Sasha Graffagna

 

Disclaimer: All views expressed in this review are the personal opinion of the writer.

Let’s face it: the holidays are always an incredibly stressful time of year. And that goes double if you have a troubled relationship with your family or significant other. That’s why this season, you should consider picking up a copy of Feeling Loved: The Science of Nurturing Meaningful Connections and Building Lasting Happiness by Dr. Jeanne Segal.

Dr. Segal is co-founder of the incredibly popular HelpGuide.org, a website dedicated to helping people improve their own mental health. She’s also a therapist with over 35 years of experience.

According to Dr. Segal, all human beings are born with an innate need to feel loved. Unfortunately, not all of us know how to get it. Feeling Loved aims to change that by providing us with a roadmap so we can “experience the kind of love we need to feel secure, resolve conflict and stay connected with ourselves and others.”

Dr. Segal starts out her book by explaining the science behind why we need to feel loved and the various emotional benefits behind it. Part 2 focuses on why we might not feel loved: namely medication, a lack of real-life connection and bad mental habits. Part 3 gives various tools to tackle the stress that can make us feel unloved or prevent us from making others feel loved. And finally, Part 4 shows us how to show and feel love in specific circumstances, like in tense work or family relationships.

All in all, I loved Feeling Loved. Dr. Segal’s explanations are intuitive and easy to follow, and supported by the various example stories she writes about in her book. I liked that she focused on various kinds of relationships (like work and family) instead of making this a book solely about romantic love. And I liked that she gave specific tools to tackle stress and help us feel loved, which we can use both in moments of conflict and in our regular daily lives.

That said, I did have some issues with this book. Firstly, Feeling Loved is backed by various scientific theories which Dr. Segal includes in her book. And while Dr. Segal generally was able to keep my interest, there were various science-heavy sections that drew me out of the book — as well as moments where she presented a technique to combat stress but didn’t do a sufficient job of explaining why it worked. In other words, Dr. Segal could have integrated the science and advice better.

My second major issue with Feeling Loved was perhaps an ideological one. Obviously, everybody wants to feel loved. But if you’re so stressed out that you’re unable to connect to your emotions, chances are you’re not going to buy this book. One could argue that this is what makes Feeling Loved a great holiday gift. But if I tried to give this book to someone I thought needed it, I imagine they would be more offended than overjoyed.

Naturally, it’s impossible to fix someone who can’t fix themselves. And granted, Feeling Loved does help you help others by forcing you to focus on yourself. Still, I wish Feeling Loved had included ways to help other people in your life in a more direct manner as well.

Still, despite its problems, Feeling Loved is a great way to understand relationships – both the ones that have succeeded and the ones that failed. And as such, it’s a book everyone can benefit from.

Intrigued? Check out the book here!

Written by Sasha Graffagna

 

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