Book Review I Untangling You by Dr Kerry Howells

Understanding of resentment and how many of us carry it around.

If you have ever wondered why you struggle with gratitude, feel like you are carrying something around inside of you, but you are just not sure what it is, this could be the book for you.

“Holding onto anger is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die”.

This quote is used a few times throughout the book, and it perfectly captures for me what resentment is. Holding on to resentment is only affecting one person. You. The person you are holding the resentment for is probably totally unaware. Do you now see the folly of this?

The good news is, Dr Kerry Howells has written a book to help. A book in which she will show you that resentment can be displaced with a regular gratitude practice. Many of these practices are laid out for you in the book.

Howells writes about how we may have held onto resentment for so long that we think it has become part of who we are, so much so that we no longer see it. And this can leave us with binary thinking. Black and white. We are good. They are bad.

What is insightful in the book is understanding that we have a choice in this. We have a choice in whether we hold onto resentment, or acknowledge it and let it go. That choice is to practise gratitude – a practice to change us, not the other person – captured beautifully in “for things to change, first I must change.”

The idea of rumination is covered, which as a coach is not a good place for anyone to be in. Having trouble dropping off to sleep as you are playing things over and over in your brain? You are ruminating and it is not productive.

Psychological safety, a rising trend in many workplaces, is touched on and I think a deeper exploration would have benefited many readers. It is a term that gets used a lot but it loses its power when there is little context.

If you feel you need untangling, and are looking for ways to increase your gratitude practice, do yourself a favour and pick up this book. You will be grateful.

Fran Cormack, Agile Coach & Organisational Coach

Untangling You by Dr Kerry Howells is available now. 

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