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The Blindspots Between Us

The Blindspots Between Us
How to Overcome Unconscious Cognitive Bias and Build Better Relationships

Pages:

216

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Product Code:

45083
Paperback

ISBN: 9781684035083
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About the Book

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.

Contributors

Gleb Tsipursky (Author)
Gleb Tsipursky, PhD, is a cognitive neuroscientist and behavioral economist on a mission to protect people from relationship disasters caused by the mental blindspots known as cognitive biases through the use of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT)-... Read more

Books by Gleb Tsipursky

David McRaney (Foreword by)
David McRaney is an internationally best-selling author, journalist, and lecturer who created the You Are Not So Smart books and blog, which cover the psychology of reasoning, biases, delusions, and fallacies. He has appeared as himself in a... Read more

Books by David McRaney

Praise

“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.

 

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, 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, 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, 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, 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, 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, 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, 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, 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, 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

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Two thumbs up in the book - The Blindspots Between Us book. When I read the title I honestly don't understand what it means and hesitant to open it, but still I gave it a try. I flipped on to pages where reviews have been posted. I became curious with the content that the book gathered with positive reviews and so I continued. You must read the book because it will help you recognize your mental blindspots and you will learn how to address such. It will help you train yourself on how to change an autopilot system so you can have better decisions in life, and it will help you evaluate situations before diving into impulsive decisions. There are a lot of ideas about cognitive biases found in this book. The one that hits me so hard is the Authority Bias. I must admit that I belong to this bias, I am phlegmatic person known to be the most stable temperament. I’m a calm and easygoing person. Last year was not a good year for me. I have been diagnosed to have a PCOS (Polycystic ovary syndrome), it has something to do with the woman's hormone levels. I consulted a couple of experts. The OBGYN 1 whom instructed me to undergo transrectal ultrasound because I might have PCOS and said to go back to her with the result. I went to other hospital to do the ultrasound and consulted OBGYN 2, since I could save time if I will let the doctor there translate the result instead of going back to OBGYN 1.So, OBYN 2 said I have PCOS and should undergo endometrial biopsy. I was shocked and paused for moment because I know what the biopsy procedure means. I said yes immediately because at the back of my mind I want this to be cured right away without evaluating what could happen after. All night I could not sleep and cried because I honestly don't want to do it. It affected me emotionally to the point that I got depressed. It took days for me to decide to go back to OBGYN 1 and have her second opinion. This until my family advised me to do so. I went back to her and she's kind of upset because I consulted to other doctor which made her feel that I did not trust her. Only to find out that I don't need to undergo biopsy because it (cysts) can be dissolved by taking medicine. She said the problem is the ovary, not the endometrium. I was delighted with the good news and apologized to her. If I could have read the book prior to this, I could have used the probabilistic thinking approach that involves stepping back and evaluating first the situation before deciding abruptly that lead me to depression. Through this book, I learned to give myself the time and space needed to cool down and make more reasoned, slower response to the situation. I will definitely be taking this with me all throughout my decisions in life. I am vulnerable with the Authority Bias, I don't like to have a long talk. I just keep on saying YES when I meant to say NO. I learned to use the debiasing strategy to protect from danger brought by this cognitive bias.
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Thank you very much Dr. Gleb Tsipursky for publishing such an effective book “The Blindspots Between Us” which will really help us to protect ourselves and our relationships from mental blindspots. By taking a dangerous decision, a person ruins his whole life in a blink of an eye. I am a victim of Cognitive Biases. I have taken many dangerous decisions in my life which caused me to waste my time and energy. I think this is a helpful book for me and will definitely help me a lot to keep me on my track. I believe that if a person follows the guidelines from this book properly, He/She will never take any dangerous decisions in future. If I got this book in the past, I could have made my decisions much better and would never waste my precious time. My parents forced me to give an exam in Marine Academy. But I don’t want to be a Marine Engineer because I think it’s hard for me to join the Marine Academy. I gave a written exam and I got a chance to participate in the physical exam. Finally in the physical exam, I didn’t pass in it. I was sure that I can’t pass. I told my parents several times that I am not capable enough to be a Marine Engineer. They didn’t even care about my thoughts. I was frustrated and depressed for 3 months for taking such a bad decision to follow my parents command. I have decided to follow the guidelines from this book to avoid dangerous cognitive biases to be a successful person. I usually face some difficulties in my life. I can’t control myself when I become very angry then I judge people unwillingly. For this reason, I have lost some friends. Sometimes I behaved rudely with them. From my point of view, The most surprising part of this book is that “Before you judge a person, walk a mile in their shoes.” From now I'll try to focus on others thoughts before I take a decision and I have decided to start meditations by following the guidelines that are included in this book. It will help me to be calm and mentally strong and I think I will be able to control my anger. It will also help me to avoid mistakes and make better decisions in my life. I think the Social Comparison Bias will be vulnerable for me because I feel much uncomfortable when my mom compares me to my cousins or neighbors. This type of competition makes me feel more frustrated and drained. I often feel sad and it leads me to tear down. After reading this book, I understand that I need to use my energy focusing on what I have, not on what others have. In this way, I can avoid the Social Comparison Biases for leading a happy life.
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By reading this book I came to know that our brain is wired which causes us to make many bad decisions in our relationships. And all of us are susceptible to subtle decision-making errors called cognitive biases, which can devastate our social ties with our loved ones. And I came to know that these science-based strategies that anyone can adopt immediately to address the problems caused by cognitive biases in their relationships, helping their relationships not only survive, but thrive. My wife always becomes angry when I do some stupid things like throwing the wet towel on the bed, not keeping my clothes in the wardrobe and not keeping my shoes on the shoe rack. She shouts on me when she found that I have done these mistakes. Sometimes I also become angry on her and also shout on her. Slowly I found that these silly things have been making distance between us. After reading the book I am able to identify my mistakes and also able to solve the cognitive biases. Now we are together and leading a happy life. The twelve strategies for solving the blindspots between our relationships were surprising to me. I think this is one of the best methods to solve your issues on relationship. This is definitely the take away part for me. I’ll use those twelve methods to solve the blindspots between my relationships. Sometimes in my life I faced reactant behavior of some people and I am vulnerable to this bias. I‘ll consider alternative explanations option to avoid this bias. Instead of seeing an incident in my regular method I’ll look at it from the perspective of goal achievement.
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I would like to give my heartfelt thanks to Dr. Tsipursky to launch such a thoughtful book which helps us to protect ourselves and our relationships from mental blindspots. This book meant to achieve all following three goals like where these dangerous judgment errors might be playing a role in our relationships; how cognitive biases harmed us in the past, are harming us now, and might harm us in the future; and a specific plan to address these mental blindspots. We have many unnecessary fights with friends that lead to hurt feelings and friendship breakups due to miscommunications and misunderstandings resulting from gut responses to what our friends shared. This book definitely goes in-depth into the solution of the problems caused by cognitive biases. This book would have been helpful in the past as I just came to know about so many cognitive biases including Egocentric Bias. After completion of my Engineering I served 2.5 years in a multinational organization also achieved the Best Employee Award but suddenly the official environment changed for some of my colleagues because they had started giving credit to themselves for the successful projects & blamed me for failure one where I was not involved even. If I would get chance to read this book earlier, I might solve the bias using the debiasing strategy of getting an external perspective. In this book it’s clearly described that many people’s tendency to ascribe to them more credit than is actually due for success while blaming others for failures. What I read proved surprising and unexpected to know about the Autopilot System, which is more powerful and predominant of the two systems & Intentional System which can guide the Autopilot System deliberately to go in a direction that matches our actual goals. I came to know we also have hidden blindspots in our minds that often ruin our relationships and other areas of our lives. Yet there are no driving instructors to teach us to watch out for these unconscious mental blindspots, what scholars term “cognitive biases.” We have many small stresses that are not life-threatening, but the autopilot system treats them as saber-tooth tigers, producing an unnecessarily stressful everyday life experience that undermines our mental and physical well-being. People are suffering disasters daily because they fall into cognitive biases. By reading this book I came to know, Illusory superiority which represents a specific form of the broader cognitive bias known as “Egocentric Bias” also I came to know so many Debiasing Strategies to overcome cognitive biases. This cognitive bias is about our preference to ascribe to ourselves more credit than is actually due for the success of a collaborative project while blaming others for failures. Cognitive biases also undermine our society as a whole. Some of the worst excesses of polarization and hatred stem from the consequences of failing to watch out for and address these blindspots between us.
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So many wonderful things to say about this book! The Blindspots Between Us is very informative with superb explanations. It has helped me greatly! It tackles the causes of many problems in our relationships and how to fix them. Written by the best-selling author, who wrote Never Go With Your Gut and The Truth Seeker’s Handbook. It also has relevance and great stories to make everything relatable, excellent exercises that meant to understand how cognitive biases harmed us and to address mental blindspots , and so much more! The book is very useful in providing strategies needed for building social relationships. The Social Comparison Bias as described in this book hits me and that I think I am most vulnerable. In most cases, we try to compare ourselves or our talents and abilities to those of our co-workers or to those in our peer group. This could have been helpful in the past have I read this book as it explains how to solve the Social Comparison Bias, I would have acted differently that doesn't harm my relationships with others. The first Chapter was my favorite part. It is where it offers the twelve debiasing strategies for solving these mental blindspots in the future. More so, "Setting a Policy to Guide Your Future Self" described as one of the easiest ways to address cognitive biases that will keep you from making the same problems that result from falling into these mental blindspots.