The Best Quotes From “Cold Blooded Kindness”


Cold Blooded Kindness is an excellent book with some real insights to human behavior. Here are the best quotations from the book. Enjoy!

Codependent behaviors or habits are self-destructive. We frequently react to people who are destroying themselves; we react by learning to destroy ourselves. — Melody Beattie, P.27

It is surprising how many diseases and syndromes commonly seen in women seem to be related to women’s generally stronger empathy for and focus on others. For example, Rachel Bachner-Melman and her colleagues have found that the stronger the symptoms of anorexia, the more concerned for others and selfless a person appears to be — it’s even possible to predict whether children will develop anorexia based on their selflessness. (In a mark of the importance of setting personal boundaries and limits, it seems becoming more selfish helps protect against eating disorders.) — P.69

In fact, people at the far end of the empathizing spectrum might form a key constituency of codependency. Such individuals would feel a deep-seated need to help others but at the same time be unable to see how, though their “help” might feel right, they are not really helping at all. In other words, such hyperempathizers might be so caught up in the sensation of “Oh my goodness, they’re hurting!” that they would therefore find it difficult to understand other factors — like what they really need to do if they want to be of assistance. — P.70

Empathic concern for others without allowing yourself to become immersed in their pain can be a good thing for all concerned. But responding with empathic distress, particularly over long periods of time, can lead to trouble. As transpersonal psychologist Margaret Cochran says, empathic distress is “when somebody is down in a hole moaning, thrashing and flushing like a toilet and they call out to you to join them and you do. So now you’re both down in the hole. Nobody wins.” Compassion, however, “is when someone is down in a hole moaning, thrashing, and flushing like a toilet and they call out to you to join them and you say, ‘No, I’ll stay up here at the mouth of the hole. I’ve got some sandwiches and juice, come on up and we’ll talk about it.’ Everybody wins.” — P.73

Murder is unique in that it abolishes the party it injures, so that society has to take the place of the victim and on his behalf demand atonement or grant forgiveness. — W.H. Auden, P.85

In cases of domestic violence and even homicide, women are often treated by the justice system as victims in need of help, and men are viewed as aggressors deserving of punishment. Such distorted views, based on cultural archetypes, can result in diminished responsibility, or at least sympathy, for the mother. — P.141

Every culture has different perspectives on crime and its victims. In modern Western culture, the dominant view at present is the “sanctity of victimhood.” This “refers to the belief that victims are good, honest, and pure, making those who defend them both righteous and morally justified. Conversely, it suggests that those who doubt them are immoral and unjust in their tasks.” — P.142

The very fact that victims are perceived differently and given special dispensation means that there can be an incentive — whether conscious or subconscious — to be a victim. We cringe to even think victimhood claims could be false (what if we’re wrong!), but false victims can be a real, and horrific, problem. — P.142

The history of our race, and each individual’s experience, are sown thick with evidence that a truth is not hard to kill and that a lie told well is immortal. — Mark Twain, P.157

Another critical-thinking moment occurred when McGrath began studying and then publishing the results of his research related to sexual assaults, in which he estimated that perhaps 25 percent, if not more, of all reported sexual assaults are simply not true. — P.159

Although the public and research perception has long been that partner violence is inflicted almost exclusively by men, in reality, this is not at all true. In fact, men and woman partners physically assault one another at virtually identical rates, as almost two hundred studies have confirmed over the past fifty years. Women are hurt more often, because men are stronger, but even so, men are on the receiving end of a third of the injuries noted in partner violence — including deaths by homicide. Rates of battering of women appear to have declined substantially in the past thirty years. But rates of problems for men — non-negligible to being with — haven’t changed at all. — P.163

As Schore writes: “There is widespread agreement that the brain is a self-organizing system, but there is perhaps less of an appreciation of the fact that the self-organization of the developing brain occurs in the context of a relationship with another self, another brain. — P.195

Clinical psychologist Sue-Ellen Brown, who specializes in attachment issues with animals, observes, “Animals are unable to disagree with a human’s interpretation of how they feel or what they want. People can believe animals feel and think exactly like them whether they actually do or not. — P.197

Every form of addiction is bad, no matter whether the narcotic be alcohol or morphine or idealism. — Carl Gustav Jung

Scientists have found astonishing resonances and synchronizations between a mother and her baby, as if at some deep level, the pair form a single creature. This mother-baby creature shares sleep patterns, brain patterns, heart rhythms, direction of gaze, facial expressions, and speech. Mothers can excite or soothe their babies through their voice alone, or by jostling, or in a myriad of other warm and comforting ways. — P.243

…we must be aware of the dangers which lie in our most generous wishes. Some paradox of our nature leads us, when once we have made our fellow men the objects of our enlightened interest, to go on to make them the objects of our pity, then of our wisdom, ultimately of our coercion. — Lionel Trilling, P.283

“[S]elective reporting is everywhere in science,” notes Richard Palmer, a biologist at the University of Alberta who has been surprised by his own findings. Neuro-scientist Jonah Lehrer adds that “scientists find ways to confirm their preferred hypothesis, disregarding what they don’t want to see. Our beliefs are a form of blindness.” –P.296

All scientists know there is real research and then there is “research” — specious findings that make it into the media largely because they sound good, and no one wants to tie their career knickers in a knot rebutting what “everybody knows” is “true.” — P.299

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