The Blindspots Between Us
How to Overcome Unconscious Cognitive Bias and Build Better Relationships
Published by: New Harbinger Publications
Imprint: New Harbinger Publications
When what you think you know gets in the way—this eye-opening guide offers a clear path to forging stronger, healthier, and more meaningful relationships.
We all want positive, productive, and genuine relationships—whether it’s with our family, friends, peers, coworkers, or romantic partners. And yet, time and time again, we all seem to make the same thinking errors that threaten or sabotage these relationships. These errors are called cognitive bias, and they happen when our brain attempts to simplify information by making assumptions.
Grounded in evidence-based cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), The Blindspots Between Us reveals the most common “hidden” cognitive biases that blind us to the truth, and which lead to the misunderstandings that damage our relationships. With this guide, you’ll learn key skills to help you debias—to stop, pause, and objectively observe situations before jumping to conclusions about others’ motives. You’ll also learn to consider other people’s points of view and past experiences before rushing to judgment and potentially undermining your relationships.
Being a human is hard. None of us are perfect, and we all have our blindspots that can get in the way of building the relationships we really and truly want, deep down. This much-needed book will help you identify your own blindspots, and move beyond them for better relationships—and a better world.
“Even the most intelligent people struggle with relationships. This groundbreaking book reveals that the way our brain is wired causes us to make many bad decisions in our relationships. All of us are susceptible to subtle decision-making errors called cognitive biases, which can devastate our social ties with our loved ones, our friends, our coworkers, our local community, and our society as a whole.~Scott Barry Kaufman, PhD
Gleb Tsipursky combines cutting-edge research and pragmatic case studies to show the kind of problems that result from falling into these mental blindspots. More importantly, The Blindspots Between Us offers science-based strategies that anyone can adopt immediately to address the problems caused by our relationships because of cognitive biases, helping their relationships not only survive, but thrive.”
—Scott Barry Kaufman, PhD, scientific director of The Imagination Institute at the University of Pennsylvania, author of Ungifted, coauthor of Wired to Create, host of The Psychology Podcast, and writer for the column “Beautiful Minds” for Scientific American
“Do not buy this book on impulse. Your gut cannot be trusted. But I hope you will trust me when I say, objectively, that you should buy this book. It has a high probability of improving your life—and your relationships—immensely. It will help you avoid cognitive biases. Whether you’re a student or a CEO, it will aid you in making better decisions about dating, family, friends, money, work, dessert—you name it.”~A. J. Jacobs
—A. J. Jacobs, author of four New York Times bestsellers, including The Know-It-All; and editor at Esquire magazine
“Our ability to enter into, nourish, and at times even end relationships in healthy ways is one of the keys to living a happy and fulfilling life. Yet most of us struggle with painful relational patterns that show up again and again, thwarting our ability to realize the higher potentials our relationships hold for well-being and mutual satisfaction. In this well-written, well-researched offering, Gleb Tsipursky provides clear and effective ways to relate to one another that promise to empower our relationships to be healthier and happier for many years to come. I strongly recommend it to those of us who are committed to learning how to grow our ability to love and be loved.”~Katherine Woodward Thomas
—Katherine Woodward Thomas, New York Times bestselling author of Conscious Uncoupling and Calling in “The One”; and licensed marriage and family therapist
“Let’s face it—our brains are lazy. We’re almost always looking for the easiest solution to a problem or the quickest answer to a question. Thinking carefully about anything is a lot of work. That’s what makes Gleb Tsipursky’s book so valuable. He clearly explains how our thinking shortcuts work, and when it’s time to step back and give something a little more thought. Bad decisions can harm us at work and in our personal relationships, and Tsipursky’s book is the only one I know of that addresses how cognitive biases affect our relationships—and believe me, I’ve read many books on cognitive biases. Tsipursky bases his work on the latest cognitive science research, and yet makes it very down-to-earth. A very enjoyable, revealing read.”~Michael Britt, PhD
—Michael Britt, PhD, host of The Psych Files podcast, professor emeritus at Marist College, and best-selling author of Psych Experiments
“Trusting my gut led to two less-than-ideal marriages, and even an affair. I convinced myself it was okay because my body was ‘speaking’ to me. In hindsight, this was not healthy behavior. Once logic took over, I could see my actions were damaging to me and the people around me. Gleb Tsipursky’s book will keep you from making the same mistakes as me.”~Gabe Howard
—Gabe Howard, best-selling author of Mental Illness Is an Asshole, and host of The Psych Central Podcast
“Maybe I’m biased, but this is a terrific book! Cognitive bias is a significant and ever-present challenge in all our lives. Our mental biases color our perceptions, blind us to opportunity, narrow our options, and even force us into mistaken courses of action. But it doesn’t have to be that way. Gleb Tsipursky offers a deeply coherent system for understanding our biases and then debiasing them ourselves. The book manages to be both wide ranging in scope and strategic in presentation, as it builds from start to finish, and provides meaningful exercises along the way for integrating the lessons. Readers’ lives will be dramatically improved, so I highly recommend reading it!”~Rick Kirschner, PhD
—Rick Kirschner, PhD, best-selling coauthor of Dealing with People You Can’t Stand, and author of How to Click with People
“A fascinating book! In today’s complex world, we still base too many relationships and big decisions on our gut instincts—and then wonder what went wrong. Gleb Tsipursky has a road map (and the experience to go with it!) for ‘debiasing’ our thinking errors for much better results. I’m going to keep this book close by as a reference when I know I need to check myself.”~Bill Eddy
—Bill Eddy, best-selling author of 5 Types of People Who Can Ruin Your Life and Why We Elect Narcissists and Sociopaths—and How We Can Stop
“We assumed this book would be useful, and it is. What we were surprised by is how intellectually engaging and entertaining it is; not only to read, but to discuss and apply with friends, colleagues, and family.”~Sheila Heen and Douglas Stone
—Sheila Heen and Douglas Stone, coauthors of Difficult Conversations and Thanks for the Feedback
“Gleb Tsipursky’s take on how cognitive blindspots damage relationships is fresh, creative, and backed by solid research. He offers entertaining examples of how friends and families fall out due to egocentricity, tribalism, superiority, and other biases. Then he offers ample exercises to help you identify and overcome your blindspots to achieve the empathy and close connection you crave with your loved ones. This book is a real gem.”~Patrick Fanning
—Patrick Fanning, best-selling author and coauthor of eight self-help books, including Couple Skills and Mind and Emotions
“The root causes of most relationship discord begin hundreds of thousands of years ago on the African savannah, where quick emotional reflexes were often lifesaving. Today, however, these same emotional reflexes tend to trap couples in endless, unproductive cycles of anger, fault-finding, and blame. Gleb Tsipursky masterfully applies the new brain science behind Thinking, Fast and Slow to show how slow, deliberate thinking can be the master key to avoiding the emotional traps that bedevil so many relationships. What’s more, he’s stocked this book with simple, actionable advice for turning resolutions into reality. Any intelligent modern couple, no matter how well-adjusted, will find much value in this book. As a therapist, I’ve always found it paradoxical that most of my interventions with clients involved helping them be less emotional with each other. After reading The Blindspots Between Us, now I know why.”~Stephen Snyder, MD
—Stephen Snyder, MD, best-selling author of Love Worth Making, host of The Relationship Doctor podcast on Macmillan Publishers’ QDT Network, and associate clinical professor of psychiatry at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai