|Basic InformationMore InformationLatest NewsLinksBook Reviews|10 Minute Solution: Butt Lift10 Minute Solution: High Intensity Interval Training101 Ways to Meditate29 Gifts3-In-1 Total Body Fitness with Desi Bartlett30 Minute Ab & Butt Blaster5 Day Fit Yoga5 Mega Miles with Toning Band7 Weeks to 100 Push-Ups8 Keys to Body Brain BalanceA.M. EnergyAccessible Yoga for Every Body DVDAfter the Ecstasy, the LaundryAge-Proof Your MindAgeless Mobility: Pain-Free Wellness For LongevityAlmost MeatlessAM/PM YogaAnswers for AristotleAnywhere, Anytime, Any Body YogaAthlete's Guide to YogaAuthentic HappinessAwakening Self-EsteemBalanced AssetsBedroom Body: Booty Burner, Core & Pelvic Floor WorkoutBeginners Yoga DVDBeginning YogaBellyFit ElementsBetter Sex Through YogaBody By BethennyBreath-Centered YogaBreathingBuddhist Boot CampCalm Body Clear MindCalm EnergyCalm Focus JoyChoosing CivilityClassical Pilates Technique DVDComplementary and Alternative Therapies ResearchCore Fusion - Pilates PlusCore Fusion - Pure Abs & ArmsCore Fusion - Thighs & GlutesCore Fusion Body SculptCore Fusion Lean & TonedCore Fusion Power SculptCore Strength PilatesCore Strength Vinyasa Yoga Power Hour with Sadie NardiniCore YogaCreative Core AbsCreative Writing In Health And Social CareDance Off the Inches: Cardio Hip Hop PartyDance the Chakras Yoga WorkoutDeep Stretch / Yin YogaDr. Andrew Weil's Guide to Eating WellDr. Andrew Weil's Guide to Optimum HealthDr. Andrew Weil's Mindbody ToolkitEastern Body, Western MindEasy YogaElement: Barre ConditioningElement: Targeted Toning Pilates for BeginnersElement: Yoga for Stress Relief & FlexibilityElements of Yoga, Earth FoundationsElements of Yoga, Fire DynamicElements of Yoga: Air & WaterEmotional Chaos to ClarityEmotions, Stress, and HealthEvamarie Pilipuf's Yoga Express DVDEvery Day Yoga for Every Body DVDEveryday GreensEveryday Workout for the Everyday WomanEverything VeganExhale Core Fusion 30 Day SculptFamily YogaFast Food for the SoulFat and FuriousFear and Other Uninvited GuestsFit Family Fun CircuitFit in 5 DVDFlat Abs PilatesFlow and YinFlow YogaFluid Power Vinyasa Flow YogaFully PresentGaiam Pilates Slide and Sculpt Kit with DVDGaiam Pilates Total Toning KitGaiam Yoga For Weight Loss KitGet Ripped & ChiseledGood MedicineHealing Through Movement: Pilates Head to ToeHealthy AgingHealthy Sexy Beautiful Kundalini YogaHemalayaa's Yoga for Young Bodies DVDHemalayaa: Bollywood BootyHot Body Cool Mind - Level 1Hot Body Cool Mind: Waking Energy How to Cook Everything VegetarianI'd Rather LaughIn Defense of FoodInsight Yoga Earth: Balancing Yin EnergyInsight Yoga Heaven: Balancing YangInsight Yoga with Sarah PowersIntegrated YogaIntegrative MedicineIntroduction to Ashtanga Yoga DVDIntroduction to Qi YogaIntroduction to Yoga DVDIt's Up to YouJanis Saffell Beverly Hills YogaKids Teach Yoga - Flying EagleKidYogi - Yoga for ChildrenKnowing the Nature of FearKripalu YogaKripalu Yoga Dynamic DVDKripalu Yoga Gentle DVDKundalini Yoga : DVDKundalini Yoga for Beginners & BeyondKundalini Yoga Meditation for Beginners & BeyondKundalini Yoga Meditation for Complex Psychiatric DisordersKundalini Yoga on the BallKundalini Yoga Solar Power All-In-One WorkoutKundalini Yoga to Detox and Destress DVDKundalini Yoga Transformer All-In-One WorkoutKundalini Yoga: Green Energy of the HeartLife MakeoversLifeForce Yoga to Beat the Blues--Level 1LifeForce Yoga to Beat the Blues: Level 2Living BeautifullyLiving Room Yoga DVDLiving Room Yoga: Twist and BendLiving Your Best LifeLiving Your DreamLunar Flow YogaMadhur Jaffrey's World VegetarianMake It Fast, Cook It SlowManage Your Depression Through ExerciseMaui PilatesMayo Clinic Wellness Solutions for Back PainMayo Clinic Wellness Solutions for IBSMayo Clinic Wellness Solutions for InsomniaMean GenesMeditation in a New York MinuteMindful AngerMindfulnessMindfulness for BeginnersMindfulness-Based Treatment Approaches: Clinician's Guide to Evidence Base and ApplicationsMisadventures of a Garden State YogiMozart's Brain and the Fighter PilotNew York PilatesNext-Level PilatesPassionate VegetarianPerfect in Ten AbsPerfect in Ten: PilatesPerfect in Ten: StretchPerfect in Ten: YogaPilates AnatomyPilates for BeginnersPilates for MenPositivityPower to the Peaceful YogaPower YogaPower YogaPower Yoga for HappinessPower Yoga: Core PowerPower Yoga: Fat BurnerPrenatal FlowPrescriptive StretchingPresence Through Movement: Yin YogaPsychology Moment by MomentPure and Simple YogaPure SculptPure Yoga Pilates with Kerry BestwickQi Gong Fire & Water With Matthew CohenQi Gong Flow for BeginnersQi Gong for Low Back PainQi Gong for Upper Back and Neck PainQi Gong for Weight LossQi Workout AM/PMQiGong for Healthy Joints & BonesQiGong IllustratedQuick Blast MethodReach - Upbeat Toning & Flexibility for a Dancer's BodyRed Lotus YogaResistance Stretching With Dara TorresRestorative Yoga PracticeSara Ivanhoe's Taste DVDSaving NormalSelf-CompassionSeven Challenges To Change Your Life DVDSleep BetterSolar Flow Yoga DVDSoupsSparkSpontaneous HappinessSports Hypnosis in PracticeStep By Step Strength TrainingStep by Step Tai ChiStrength & SpiritStrength, Grace, HealingStress ReliefStrong & SculptedStrong Body, Ageless BodySun SalutationsSuper Natural CookingSuper Seniors: Box, Balance, & Lift SupersurvivorsSurf Yoga SoulSybel's Yoga For Sports & FitnessSybel's Yoga For Sports & Fitness Vol 2Tai Chi for Beginners with Grandmaster William C. C. ChenTaming Your Inner BratTeach Yourself MeditationTeen YogaTeenYogi DVDTen Minutes to RelaxThe Accidental VeganThe Angelica Home KitchenThe Art and Science of MindfulnessThe Athlete's Guide to YogaThe Beginner's Guide to Healthy EatingThe Best Things You Can EatThe Booty Barre -Total New BodyThe Breathing FieldThe Cafe Brenda CookbookThe Complete Book of Raw FoodThe Complete Vegetarian HandbookThe Easy Yoga WorkbookThe Feeling Good HandbookThe Five Things We Cannot Change ...The Happiness of PursuitThe Healing Remedies SourcebookThe Healing Remedies SourcebookThe Health Psychology HandbookThe Healthy KitchenThe Heart of YogaThe Indian VegetarianThe Jewel Tree of TibetThe Joy of MeditatingThe Kettlebell BoomerThe Little Book of Healthy TeasThe Little Soy BookThe Little Yoga BookThe Mood CureThe Mozart EffectThe Myth of Freedom and the Way of MeditationThe Perfect ExerciseThe Pilates Workout JournalThe Playful BrainThe Quest for Peace, Love, and a 24'' WaistThe Spa DeckThe Stoic Art of LivingThe Way of StretchingThe Weight of the NationThe Will to Live and Other MysteriesThe Yin Yoga KitThink SmartTotal AstangaTotal Health the Chinese WayTotal PilatesTotal-Body ToningTransform Yourself with Jivamukti YogaTransformative YogaTrudie Styler's Warrior YogaV-Core WorkoutVegan ExpressVegan for LifeVegetarian Turkish CookingViva Vegan!Walk It Off in 30 DaysWalk to the HITS Radio RemixesWalkingWalking a Literary LabyrinthWatch Me Do YogaWeight Loss Cardio KickWellbeingWhat We Say MattersWhen Things Fall ApartWriting in FlowYin and Yang YogaYin Yoga DVDYogaYogaYoga & Pilates Workouts for DummiesYoga 4 TeensYoga : Beginners Flow for EveryoneYoga AnatomyYoga and PsychologyYoga as MedicineYoga Beauty BodyYoga Bliss HipsYoga Body : Lean & Defined Total Body WorkoutYoga By Teens DVDYoga Emergency DVD: Arms & ShouldersYoga Emergency DVD: BackYoga Emergency DVD: Full Leg StretchYoga Emergency DVD: HipsYoga Flow DVDYoga for AnxietyYoga for Back CareYoga for BeginnersYoga for Energy & Stress ReliefYoga for EveryoneYoga for MeditatorsYoga for OsteoporosisYoga for Pain ReliefYoga for Regular GuysYoga for Strength & EnergyYoga for Strength & FlexibilityYoga for the Young at HeartYoga for Your WeekYoga In BedYoga in BedYoga Inside Out: Go DeeperYoga Inside Out: The Healing WayYoga Journal's Yoga for StressYoga Journal: Yoga for Strength and Toning DVDYoga Link: Core IntegrationYoga Link: Hip HelpersYoga Link: Shoulder Shape-UpYoga on DemandYoga Quick FixesYoga SanctuaryYoga SculptYoga ShaktiYoga Therapy for Back PainYoga Therapy Prescriptions - 60 Health Restorative SequencesYoga To Go's Yoga Quick Fixes DVDYoga to the Rescue - Feel Good from Head to ToeYoga to the Rescue for Back PainYoga to the Rescue for Neck & ShouldersYoga to the Rescue for Pain-Free Back, Neck & ShouldersYoga Weight Loss for DummiesYoga: Freedom from Back PainYoga: Relief from Neck and Shoulder PainYoga: Spirit of Vinyasa FlowYogabodyYogawomanYou Can Think Yourself ThinYou'll See It When You Believe ItYour Body Breakthru - Your Best Body Circuit DVDYour Brain on FoodYour Miracle BrainZen Encounters with Loneliness
by P. M. Forni
St. Martin's Press, 2002
Review by Daniel L. Buccino, L.C.S.W.-C., B.C.D. on Mar 25th 2002
psychotherapist, I work with many patients who, for a variety of reasons, just
cant seem to get along with other people.
As a teacher of psychotherapy, I work with trainees who are learning how
to get along with their patients, who, in turn, cant get along with
others. As a parent educator, I face
many questions about how to help families run better and how to help children
behave better. As a corporate
consultant, I work with organizations that aspire to higher levels of service
excellence with both internal and external customers. And, after 9-11, many have argued that the best first line of
defense against terrorism must be not to inflict the microcruelties of
incivility on those with whom we come into contact daily.
P.M. Fornis small but mighty new
reference, Choosing Civility, is the only book I can recommend to all
audiences. And if readers are open to
his insights and willing to do things differently to improve their
relationships at home and at work, Choosing Civility may be the only book
theyll ever need.
professor of Italian literature at Johns Hopkins University and cofounder of
the Hopkins Civility Project, has produced a book that is at once smart yet
accessible to a wide audience. It is
full of concrete examples and personal anecdotes, and it is written in a warm,
engaging tone that is usually impossible for academics to achieve.
Forni offers 25 bite-sized
meditations on topics central to civil living such as acknowledgement,
agreeableness, attentiveness, assertiveness, and apologies. His insights may appear simple but they are
far from easy to put into practice on a regular basis and remind us that the
eternal truths do bear repeating. Common
sense is not always common practice.
Yet choosing civility is the best way to choose a better quality of
We dont wait for civility to
happen, offers Forni. We work for it
when we are smart enough to imagine its rewards.
Though it will eventually appear
effortless, civility requires work, conscious effort guided by vision and
perseverance. We make nice after all,
but the practice of civility, as Fornis well-sourced text reveals, is the
royal road to health and happiness. Not
only is civility the path to personal contentment and connection, but its good
for business too. Often, nice guys do
Those with an interest in good
manners are often accused of being either fussy or superficial, or masters at
the art of duplicity. Civility is
about far more than how to set the table.
Choosing Civility makes the argument most persuasively that
civility does not represent concealment and inauthenticity but rather offers a
model of restraint and tolerance that makes real expression and meaningful
relationships possible. Forni has
described excess self regard as being a drunkenness of the self and calls
civility our inner designated driver.
We have been led astray
by the culture of therapy and self-esteem into thinking that it is somehow more
honest to be in touch with our feelings and blurt out whatever comes to mind to
whomever we encounter rather than seeing training in etiquette as being
training in sensitivity. Civility does
not deny us the opportunity to express ourselves (Indeed Forni himself has
noted that his longest chapter is, Assert Yourself.), but it helps us find
the tools to say the right thing at the right time to the right person, not
everything to anyone. This is
consistent with Freuds lessons on free association that often come as surprise
to students of, and patients in, therapy. Good psychotherapy will help people
speak freely, not intemperately or abusively.
therapists know that establishing a warm, empathic, genuine, and collaborative
relationship with our patients is one of the most central features of the
treatment. Choosing Civility
offers many valuable relationship management strategies to guide the practice
of psychotherapy. Most therapists are
thought to be good listeners but Forni offers more specific guidance for
listening, paying attention, acceptance, creating hope and speaking
kindly. Therapists are not just born,
but can be made; Fornis instruments of civility can be used to help make
better counselors, just as the surgeons equipment can improve her performance.
continues to reveal that relationship factors common to all forms of
psychotherapy are more important to successful outcome than specific technical
factors unique to one particular model.
Choosing Civility offers specific recommendations for things to
say and do differently, and we know that thinking and doing things differently
can cause one to feel differently. And
insofar as a text in civility offers lessons in positivity, as Fornis does, we
can build on its hopefulness to restore some healthy optimism in our colleagues
and our patients.
is like deliberate trudging in the mud, cautions Forni, and we must be mindful
where we spread our mess if we cant always avoid the muck.
successful, long-lasting marriages reveals that those in which partners are
able to be open to each others influence and opinions and be ready to say,
maybe youre right, are those with a better capacity to endure
difficulties. Choosing Civility
implicitly builds on these findings and offers useful insights for domestic
life. In chapters on how to Respect
Others Opinions, Be Agreeable, Respect Even a Subtle No, and Accept
and Give Praise, Forni provides tips on how to build bridges to connection
rather than to difference and disagreement.
If we can agree that it is with those to whom we are closest that we
should most want to get along, and therefore be on our best behavior, than
lessons in civility will offer pathways to openness, compromise, and
appreciation which will help any family navigate the toughest of times.
families, a principal responsibility is raising children. A training in civility is part of our basic
training as social beings, Forni tells us:
First manners, then love. And
it is at home that these lessons are reinforced and all will have learned to practice
respect, restraint, concern, and benevolence.
It is in
todays workplace that many complicated and painful issues of difference and
diversity are played out. Though we
know workers at all levels and in all industries are distressed by specific discourtesies,
civility in the workplace goes far beyond concerns about who took the last cup
of coffee and didnt make a new pot, or who ate anothers lunch from the
communal refrigerator. Choosing
Civility offers guidance about not only how to take better care of our
customers but how to take better care of each other. A civil workplace is productive in more ways than one, and one
of the things it produces is good service, argues Forni. In chapters on respecting others time and
space, thinking twice before asking for favors, avoiding personal questions,
giving constructive criticism, and on how to play the game rather than just win
it, Forni offers useful interventions for us to better work among colleagues
toward a common goal.
powerful combination of self-respect and respect for others should make it
almost impossible for us to choose incivility, Forni says, yet many do. And when they do, whether at the office, on
the road, in the store, or at home, we are struck out by the Three Strikes of
Incivility. First, we are
inconvenienced or treated rudely by others.
Second, we are diminished by the others dismissal of our existence in
their uncivil actions. Third, we are
left with the burden of how or whether to respond to the slight. Rudeness, therefore, begets conflict with
others but also conflict within ourselves, and the latter can prove as hurtful
as the former. We all strive to not
give our power away to those uncivil souls in our midst. Civility requires that we try to be polite
to everyone, even those who have been rude to us, not because they are civil
but because we are.
important intervention in Choosing Civility is in its calling attention
to the insincere apology and the blame shift.
Politicians, corporate malefactors, and other uncivil sorts are quick to
say, Im sorry you feel that way, as if our reactions are the problem, not
the result of something they did.
Lighten up, were told after the offensive comment or insensitive work
assignment. Civility requires taking
responsibility for ones actions, a reality that is rapidly receding, most
recently at Enron where nobody seemed to know what was going on. Forni offers very particular language for
making sincere apologies, the simple decent words that soothe the bruised
soul, rather than exacerbating the offense by shifting blame.
choosing civility resembles living by the Golden Rule, Forni helps us take it
one step further. In a radical yet
liberating proposal, Forni suggests that even though we may tolerate some
behavior and think it OK for ourselves, others may not. Therefore we will want to restrain ourselves
on the chance that we may offend others.
We should not always be so quick to assert our own rights. It is rude to expect others to just get
over it if they are uncomfortable with choices we make. They are as entitled to their feelings as we
are to ours and if we are all to get along we must stay open to the influence
of others. Especially in our post-9-11
environment of renewed patriotism, one of the best and most consistent ways we
can stand united against terrorism is to not be rude to each other.
Though there is a profoundly
spiritual dimension to civility and how we choose to conduct ourselves in the
world, Choosing Civility makes clear that there are very compelling
secular reasons for choosing civility.
Its good for us. Its good for
business. Its good for our families, our children, our pets, our patients, our
colleagues, our customers, our health, and our environment.
P.M. Forni deserves great acclaim
for developing such potent yet easy to digest remedies for many of todays ills
and for offering all of us an invitation to reconnection. Everything about relationships is knowable,
if we want to know it and do it enough.
Choosing Civility is the ideal companion while we risk reaching
© 2002 Daniel L. Buccino
Buccino is Co-Director of The Baltimore-Washington Brief Therapy Institute
and on the faculties of the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and the
Smith College and University of Maryland Schools for Social Work.