The Upside of Your Dark Side Book Summary - The Upside of Your Dark Side Book explained in key points
Listen to the Intro
00:00

The Upside of Your Dark Side summary

Todd Kashdan and Robert Biswas-Diener

Why Being Your Whole Self – Not Just Your “Good” Self – Drives Success and Fulfillment

4 (175 ratings)
23 mins

What is The Upside of Your Dark Side about?

The Upside of Your Dark Side looks into the darkest depths of the human psyche, only to discover that the painful emotions that we often wish we could just make go away – anger, anxiety, guilt – are sometimes the key to our success. Backed by many fascinating scientific studies, The Upside of Your Dark Side makes it clear that psychological health means wholeness rather than happiness.

Table of Contents

    The Upside of Your Dark Side
    summarized in 9 key ideas

    Audio & text in the Blinkist app
    Key idea 1 of 9

    Your happiness can interfere with your performance and accuracy.

    Nowadays, management goes by the mantra that an upbeat mood translates to business success. But while mirthful and content people do get better customer and supervisor evaluations, that doesn’t objectively mean that they are performing better.

    For instance, while they might be likeable, happy people are less persuasive.

    If you want to persuade others, then you have to communicate your message in a detailed and concrete way. However, happy people tend to focus on the big picture at the expense of the tiny details. Consequently, their arguments are less nuanced and concrete.

    Indeed, this can be seen in a number of studies on the persuasiveness of upbeat people:

    In these studies, “happy” and “unhappy” people were asked to create arguments about issues ranging from the allocation of tax dollars to the existence of soul mates. In all these studies, unhappy people’s reasoning was judged as 25-percent more convincing than those of happier participants.

    What’s more, happy people are more easily deceived and more likely to “recall” false facts than others.

    As we’ve already seen, people tend to be less interested in details when they’re happy. But if you want to spot deceit, then you’ll have to look for very subtle cues. This became obvious in one study in which participants were asked to identify liars and honest people in a series of videotapes:

    The tapes showed people denying that they had stolen something, only half of whom were telling the truth. Happy participants were able to identify the liars only 49 percent of the time, while unhappy people detected 62 percent of the frauds.

    In other experiments in which people had to recall facts or words they’d been presented with before, the happiest among them were the most prone to “recall” items they hadn’t even been shown!

    Clearly, happy people are both less persuasive and more gullible. So, how happy do you want your lawyer to be?

    Want to see all full key ideas from The Upside of Your Dark Side?

    Key ideas in The Upside of Your Dark Side

    More knowledge in less time
    Read or listen
    Read or listen
    Get the key ideas from nonfiction bestsellers in minutes, not hours.
    Find your next read
    Find your next read
    Get book lists curated by experts and personalized recommendations.
    Shortcasts
    Shortcasts New
    We’ve teamed up with podcast creators to bring you key insights from podcasts.

    Best quote from The Upside of Your Dark Side

    You need an anxious person on your team.

    —Todd Kashdan and Robert Biswas-Diener
    example alt text

    About the Author

    Professor Todd Kashdan is a widely recognized expert on anxiety, self-regulation and well-being, who has published more than 150 scholarly articles. In addition to working as a public speaker, he has also won numerous academic awards and wrote the critically acclaimed book Curious.

    Dr. Robert Biswas-Diener is a positive psychologist who has published numerous scholarly articles and conducted research all around the world. He is currently the managing director of Positive Acorn, and his book Happiness won the PROSE Award in 2008.

    Who should read The Upside of Your Dark Side?

    • Anyone who’s fed up with the happiness-hype in popular psychology
    • Anyone who tries to bottle up his or her negative emotions
    • Anyone interested in psychology

    Categories with The Upside of Your Dark Side

    Books like The Upside of Your Dark Side

    People ❤️ Blinkist
    Sven O.

    It's highly addictive to get core insights on personally relevant topics without repetition or triviality. Added to that the apps ability to suggest kindred interests opens up a foundation of knowledge.

    Thi Viet Quynh N.

    Great app. Good selection of book summaries you can read or listen to while commuting. Instead of scrolling through your social media news feed, this is a much better way to spend your spare time in my opinion.

    Jonathan A.

    Life changing. The concept of being able to grasp a book's main point in such a short time truly opens multiple opportunities to grow every area of your life at a faster rate.

    Renee D.

    Great app. Addicting. Perfect for wait times, morning coffee, evening before bed. Extremely well written, thorough, easy to use.

    People also liked

    Start growing with Blinkist now
    26 Million
    Downloads on all platforms
    4.7 Stars
    Average ratings on iOS and Google Play
    91%
    Of Blinkist members create a better reading habit*
    *Based on survey data from Blinkist customers
    Powerful ideas from top nonfiction

    Try Blinkist to get the key ideas from 5,500+ bestselling nonfiction titles and podcasts. Listen or read in just 15 minutes.

    Start your free trial