Powerful Personalities (by Tim Kimmel)

I don't really know anything about Tim Kimmel - apparently he's a fairly well-known advocate for Christian family living, based in the US. I would not have come across his book, either, if it had not been left behind by some friends who moved away, a little over twelve years ago.

I first read 'Powerful Personalities' in 2001, and was very impressed. I hadn't really come across many controlling people in my life, but was aware of tendencies in a few; reading this book helped me clarify in my mind what was meant by being controlling, how to avoid it in myself, and what to do if I came across someone who tried to be controlling. I was particularly impressed at the author's low-key but clear Christian guidelines, while being a little shocked at his descriptions of controlling people within the church.

The book has sat on our shelves since then, and is beginning to fall apart. Recently I thought it merited a re-read, and have been getting through a few pages per day for the past month. This time, I still found it interesting, but it didn't feel particularly brilliant or new. Perhaps this is simply because I had read it before; but I suspect it's also because in the meantime I've read so many other books about personalities,  particularly the better-known 'Emotional Vampires'. I have also met a wide variety of people and taken part in many online forums, discussions, and so on, meaning that I have come across far more people with controlling tendencies.

Still, I thought this book was well worth re-reading anyway, to remind myself about the different kinds of controllers that one might meet. There are some interesting anecdotes, most of which I had forgotten, and advice for people coming across controlling folk, whether in the family, at work, or in churches.

Recommended for Christians and non-Christians, if you can get hold of it, so long as you don't mind the low-key theology and underlying Christian assumptions made in the book. It's no longer in print or easily available, but can sometimes be found inexpensively second-hand.

Review copyright Sue's Book Reviews, 16th January 2013

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