Necessary Endings: The Employees, Businesses, and Relationships That All of Us Have to Give Up to Move Forward by Dr. Henry Cloud (Harper Collins, 2010), reviewed by Steve Gladis, Ph.D., October 2011
Overview: We’ve all hung onto a car, friend, relationship, business, or employee far longer than we knew we should have. And we’ve all known the back-and-forth process that drains our energy, even in the face of a hopeless situation we know is headed for a fall. Emotions, lack of resolve and energy, the draw of the status quo, and so much more keeps us in relationships we should shed for our own good and that of others. Necessary Endings by Henry Cloud gives us a rationale and a pathway to move forward on such endings. He warns us that the good can’t come until the bad ends: Pruning away dead wood—even if there’s still some life there—must happen if the whole tree is to survive; getting out of the new normal of being stuck; learning the difference between hope and wishing; knowing how to spot a wise person, a fool and an evil one and what to do with each; gathering energy to end and finally having the conversation; and, then grieving over the loss and moving into the future. Cloud has written a readable, understandable book with implications for each of us. It’s written more from his experience as a coach and psychologist rather than straight research; nonetheless, given his credentials and how his suggestions ring true, it’s a worthy read that I’ll recommend to clients, family and friends.