2009-08-26 / Arts & Entertainment News


'Nice Girls Can Finish First' and 'Self-Promotion for Introverts'
_R_EV_I_E_W_E_D_ _B_Y_ E_A_L_IS_H_ _W__A_D_D_E_L_Special to Florida Weekly

'Nice Girls Can Finish First' By Daylle Deanna Schwartz (McGraw-Hill, $16.95)

'Self-Promotion for Introverts' By Nancy Ancowitz (McGraw-Hill, $18.95)

They say the meek shall inherit the earth, but in the modern world, it usually seems like the opposite is true. Is it possible for a shy, retiring person to find satisfaction and success? These two books claim, resoundingly, "yes!"

In "Nice Girls," author Daylle Deanna Schwartz asserts that that many people, especially women, are culturally programmed to be "nice" above all else. While certainly a noble impulse, she says, if unchecked by self-preservation, this mentality can escalate into the complete waste of one's own ambitions and desires in favor of everyone else's. It's possible to be nice, she says, and also to be respected, productive and effective. Ms. Schwartz writes of the power of positive communication, both with others and oneself, and the importance of attitude and confidence in all walks of life. Nice folks don't have to be cruel to get things done, she says; they just need to believe in their innate right to do them at all.

"Self-Promotion for Introverts" is a primer on doing just that — helping "quiet sorts" assert themselves by using their inherent tendencies in the most effective ways. While designed for the workplace, Ms. Ancowitz's advice is often applicable to life in general — how to get the most out of short conversations, how to deal with extroverted clients and colleagues, how to streamline goals and strategies in keeping with one's own personal needs and strengths. The key is to access one's

own natural enthusiasm

and authenticity in a way that feels comfortable and confident, not fakey or bragging.

Indeed, this is the theme and the power of both books — neither one believes in playacting. Their aim is not to change folks to be something they're not, but rather to refine them into the strongest versions of what they already are.

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