Maybe You Should Talk to Someone: Quotes to Ponder

This article is an excerpt from the Shortform book guide to "Maybe You Should Talk to Someone" by Lori Gottlieb. Shortform has the world's best summaries and analyses of books you should be reading.

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What are some of the most noteworthy Maybe You Should Talk to Someone quotes? What do these quotes say about coping in difficult times?

Maybe You Should Talk to Someone is a memoir by Lori Gottlieb, an author and therapist, during a time when she sought out therapy herself. The following Maybe You Should Talk to Someone quotes discuss the life lessons Lori has learned from her time in therapy.

Keep reading for Maybe You Should Talk to Someone quotes by Lori Gottlieb.

Maybe You Should Talk to Someone: Quotes by Lori Gottlieb

“Many people come to therapy seeking closure. Help me not to feel. What they eventually discover is that you can’t mute one emotion without muting the others. You want to mute the pain? You’ll also mute the joy.”

In talking with her patients, Lori discovers a common thread in their motivations for seeking therapy: they have all come to attain closure, to move on. However, Lori doesn’t think there’s any such thing. When people ask for closure, what they really want is to stop feeling. 

“What people don’t like to think about is that you can do everything right—in life or in a treatment protocol—and still get the short end of the stick.”

This quote is inspired by a well-known essay Welcome to Holland where a fictional person who was supposed to be going on vacation to Italy somehow wound up in Holland. The premise behind it is that even though everything goes according to plan, there is still a possibility that the outcome won’t pan out the way you expected. When you find yourself in this situation, you can either spend the whole vacation upset that Holland isn’t Italy, or enjoy Holland for what it is. 

“Avoidance is a simple way of coping by not having to cope.”

In psychology, avoidance is a type of defense mechanism where the person unconsciously avoids the problem through distraction or suppression. Lori sees this clearly in her sessions with John. He forbids any mention of his son Gabe, who died in a car accident, in an effort to push away his grief. John eventually realizes that his avoidance is a defense mechanism: If he avoids the difficult feelings, he doesn’t have to do the hard work of looking inward and coming to terms with his loss.

“Between stimulus and response, there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.”

This quote is inspired by psychologist Viktor Frankl, whose work was all about how people’s primary drive was to find meaning in their lives. The part that Lori finds especially relevant is Frankl’s discussion about how the only thing a person will always be able to choose is how to respond to his/her immediate circumstances in the little space between the stimulus and the response.

Maybe You Should Talk to Someone: Quotes to Ponder

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Here's what you'll find in our full Maybe You Should Talk to Someone summary:

  • How a psychotherapist found herself in need of therapy
  • How the therapist sees her own fears and feelings reflect in her patients
  • Why you have to be ready to accept uncertainty if want to enjoy life

darya

Darya’s love for reading started with fantasy novels (The LOTR trilogy is still her all-time-favorite). Growing up, however, she found herself transitioning to non-fiction, psychological, and self-help books. She has a degree in Psychology and a deep passion for the subject. She likes reading research-informed books that distill the workings of the human brain/mind/consciousness and thinking of ways to apply the insights to her own life. Some of her favorites include Thinking, Fast and Slow, How We Decide, and The Wisdom of the Enneagram.

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