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Mean People Suck by Michael Brenner

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Genre: Self-Help

Ratings: 4.5/5

“Empathy is defined by the dictionary as “the action of understanding, being aware of, being sensitive to, and vicariously experiencing the feelings, thoughts, and experience of another of either the past or present without having the feelings, thoughts, and experience fully communicated in an objectively explicit manner.” 


“Do you love your job? Or at least like it? Are you happy with where you are now?”

“Mean People Suck” is a book that mainly highlights about empathy and how it can help a business or an individual in a job. It also talks about experiences of individuals who have used empathy in various different ways that gives them success in their careers. In addition, it emphasizes on sub-topics that relate to empathy. And that makes the book interesting and a lot easier to digest.

Some of the topics talk about showing empathy towards customers, patients, and employees. It goes on to mention that managers and employers who show empathy towards their employees and champion their ideas make them more productive thus raising revenues for the company. The old ways of growing and making a successful business generally includes being mean and protecting the pride of having a superior working position. 

The book mentions about researches (with charts) and experiences that showcase the wonders of having empathy. The result is: it leads to changes that delightfully shift the vision of the company (meaning the individuals running the business). Also not to mention the fact that adapting to change and including empathy in their strategies attracts attention from the masses which ultimately makes it prosperous.

Quotes from the book:

“Empathy is about walking in our neighbor’s shoes even for just a little while. Empathy gives us the ability to understand what others are experiencing either because we’ve gone through a similar experience ourselves or because we can imagine enough how we’d feel if we were going through it.”

“Mean People Suck” is an inspiring work of art. Michael made sure to be consistent with the overall mood of the book: being informative and being good in story telling of the life experiences of the different individuals mentioned (which are definitely a lot). The end parts of the book give immense impression on me. In the same manner, at the end of each chapter/topics, the author exhibits takeaways which are splendid. It is truly relatable and worth pondering upon.

Thoughts Lane

Stumbling upon this book and just being curious of what it is about lead me to realize a lot of things. Things I didn’t even imagine. The book answers the questions mentioned above. Since I have just started working, it crossed my mind that I am doing something that I don’t enjoy. Something that I don’t love and that I am not happy of. The ending of the book really touched me in a way that made me rethink of the things that I am trying to change. I think heeding the advises at the end of the book will surely make a difference. Not only to the perspective of life but also to be a better person.

Quotes from the end parts of the Book:

“Maybe we lean toward a certain line of work because of our passions, serendipity, or just plain luck (good and bad!). Either way, that first job allows us to get paid, pay the bills, and start on something we can call a career path. If it’s relevant to our major, great! If not, we’ll just figure out that part later.”

“We all want what we do for eight hours a day to matter to the world. We want to know we’re having an impact in the grand scheme of things. Without that feeling, we tend to get apathetic about our goals.”

“Purpose doesn’t have to always depend on our passion.”

“To find meaning, sometimes we just need to adjust our mindsets away from the tedious, frustrating work we do to find the deeper purpose of the daily grind. What kind of person do you want to be? What’s the bigger goal? If you can see through the monotony in pursuit of a bigger goal, your work will seem much more meaningful, even if at the moment it’s not what you want to be doing.”

How wonderful are these words? I really love these words as they are very inspiring.

“Mean People Suck” would be relatable to working individuals. As mentioned above, it discusses having empathy in a job or in a business. If you are an open minded reader who likes to be ahead especially before having a job, then this book will be of great help.

Overall, the title is worth spending your time with. A great read that showcases the future of companies. Especially the future of the well-being of employees which is rarely talked about. Definitely a recommended title!

Thank you so much to NetGalley for giving me a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

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