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Running on Empty

Overcome Your Childhood Emotional Neglect
Narrated by: Karen White
Length: 7 hrs and 46 mins
3.0 out of 5 stars (2 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Do you sometimes feel as if you're just going through the motions in life? Are you good at looking and acting as if you're fine, but secretly feel lonely and disconnected? If so, you are not alone. The world is full of people who have an innate sense that something is wrong with them - who feel they live on the outside looking in, but have no explanation for this feeling and no way to put it into words.

If you are one of these people, you may fear that you are not connected enough to your spouse, or that you don't feel pleasure or love as profoundly as others do. You may drink too much, or eat too much, or risk too much, in an attempt to feel something good.

Running on Empty will give you clear strategies for how to heal, and offers a special chapter for mental-health professionals. In the world of human suffering, this book is an emotional smart bomb meant to eradicate the effects of an invisible enemy.

©2013 Jonice Webb, PhD (P)2015 Tantor

What listeners say about Running on Empty

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  • Sara Beth Wade
  • 10-08-17

long on diagnosis, short on solutions

Really good book for those of us who are trying to deal with our childhood issues, and it's always very validating and strengthening to understand better the conditions and causes of unmet needs, but there's not a whole lot of follow up to that. No real way forward into making yourself full again, to retrain, or re-parent yourself into more abundant life.

36 people found this helpful

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  • Rob B
  • 14-11-15

Epiphany

Dr. Webb described my symptoms perfectly. And also my childhood perfectly. Like the white space in a painting, it's not what happened, but rather what didn't happen. Having this knowledge will help me to create and plan treatment. Thank you Dr. Webb!

24 people found this helpful

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  • KIC
  • 16-01-19

Trigger warning for eating disorders

The first part of Running on Empty was hugely validating, and I experienced it as a big relief. It helps me to understand what happened to me and my sister, what happened to our parents in addition to the abuse we know they experienced, and why they were unable to meet our needs, or cope with one disabled / high-needs sibling. Many of the examples she used were things that *literally happened to me*. It helps me quite a bit to have words and names to describe what I experienced, and why it had an impact. I can now understand that I was raised with / by authoritarian parents, with a disabled / high-needs sibling - two family dynamics that tend to create environments for emotional neglect. I really wish the therapists I had seen over the past twenty years had been educated in emotional neglect and hidden psychological abuse. It has been so frustrating to present with symptoms of trauma, but not be able to point to enough significant traumatic incidents. I feel like this book has provided a map for the path I've been walking my whole life. ...Except for the second section. Between the robotic narrator (speed up your playback to 1.25x it helps a bit) and the new years resolution style "change sheets" I suggest you manage your expectations for the "overcoming childhood neglect" section. I think the authour is excellent at observation and understanding family dynamics, but is frankly rather useless at giving advice in a book. She did say the reader should take a "buffet" approach and take only what is useful to them, but there was nothing here that your average life coach or self help book or facebook meme hasn't already covered many times. Frustratingly, as I'm recovering from an eating disorder which I developed in part because of messages perpetuated in the advice part of this book, the authour suggested things like, "Practice resisting three things a day, such as not eating a piece of chocolate cake." She qualified that a bit, but it's a ludicrous statement. You don't simply resist an impulse to eat anything once, or three times in a day. That's not how diets work, that's not how deprivation works, and that's not how healing disordered eating works either. No matter where you are from any kind of eating disorder, this is terrible advice. If you have been depriving yourself through dieting by internalizing messages like those in this book that suggest if you're overweight, it's because you've been eating to self-soothe for the love you didn't receive, therefore in order to be healthy you should replace "emotional eating" almost entirely with other "healthy habits". If you don't understand why this is harmful, I suggest you start with the podcast, "Food Psych" by Christy Harrison. It doesn't get really bad until the second section of the book, so even if you do have an eating disorder, I still recommend this book and strongly suggest you skip the second section, or at least skip the sections on eating, exercise, and self-discipline. No one knows self-discipline like an eating disorder veteran, and again, any "healthy habits" book would suggest you document changes you're trying to make in your life. Frankly, the sections on rest and self care were ridiculous too. Rest when you need it - but don't rest too much! Come on. Any depression-veteran has had every well-meaning person in their life tell them to rest and exercise. It's the generic advice for everything from period cramps to major life transitions to grief management. Instead, the book "Healing from hidden psychological abuse" has practical, more actionable advice, and does not imply your internal suffering is simply solved over time through forced behavior changes tracked with "change sheets". "Healing from hidden psycological abuse" is also safe for those recovering from eating disorders, as it never states nor implies changing your weight or eating habits is simply a matter of willpower. I give the first section of this book 5 stars. It's set me on the road to understanding myself and my family dynamics.

19 people found this helpful

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  • Max B. Misch
  • 22-09-15

Little Lee Lee~ pretty powerful

I listened to this book twice. And will listen to it again. So much information. A lot of insight as to why as adults we feel so empty, scared, lost and lonely. Even though we have children, a husband and friends.
We were emotionally neglected at such a critical time.
I cry uncontrollably almost every day. I'm 48 years old and just now able to start breaking through to the real pain. It's a horrible feeling to have SADNESS all of the time. But through therapy and books like this one I am beginning to put the painful pieces together.
I would highly recommend this book.
Lisa

30 people found this helpful

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  • Purposeful
  • 03-08-16

Good book with somewhat robotic sounding narrator

I loved the content and it's great for therapist use. It was difficult to listen to this narrator. It was similar to listening to Siri trying to narrate a book which is the reason I left off one star overall

45 people found this helpful

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  • T.L.
  • 09-09-19

Unnatural narration distracts from the content.

I cannot comment on the content of this book because the narrator distracts too much from the content for me to get passed the first chapter. Her voice is lovely, but the narrator is merely reading the words on the page without grasping the point of what is being read. This leads to a disconnect between her tone, pace, emphasis and that which would be expected if the author read the book.

10 people found this helpful

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  • Marilyn
  • 08-12-15

If you need solutions don't buy this book

Would you try another book from Jonice Webb, PhD and Christine Musello, PsyD and/or Karen White?

No. This book did not deliver as promised.

What could Jonice Webb, PhD and Christine Musello, PsyD have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

More information should have been given on recovery. To much information was given about the problem. I know the problem that is why I purchased the book. I was seeking ways to overcome the issues caused not read a bunch of case studies about the issue.

How did the narrator detract from the book?

Lol! The voice of the narrator only made it worst.

What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

Disappointment. But not because of what was written. I was disappointed by the promise of help that was not delivered.

Any additional comments?

When I purchased this book I was looking for direction on how to handle the fallout of emotional neglect. In stead this book seems to be geared toward people who away looking for affirmation of their neglect. As previously stated, I am aware of the issue, which is why I purchased the book. This book fails to provide comprehensive help and direction. Therefore I will be returning it.

64 people found this helpful

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  • Anne Katona Linn
  • 30-06-16

life changing!!

This book was the aha moment that I've been looking for my whole life! It explains me to a tee! Great strategies and support for healing. Thank you!

3 people found this helpful

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  • TR
  • 01-06-16

great content, annoying voice.

the author nails it on the head, getting to the root of most common conditions. I'll recommend this to anyone. the lady reading the book sounded so raspy and cold that I had to listen to it sped up just to get through it. I'm buying the hard copy to re-read just to avoid that whiny dogmatic voice and because it's a great book.

6 people found this helpful

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  • Jacob
  • 14-07-19

We need a pdf

Please can we get a pdf download along with this. I want to listen to specific parent types again, and am having to spend a fair bit of time skipping around to find them.

2 people found this helpful

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  • aj
  • 01-01-18

multi level marketing hook, expect spam.

book loosely based on emotional intelligence concept, but really a marketing tool to push you towards a 1,400 dollar online learning module. few basic tit bits, then the sales pitch begins. amazon should carry warnings for this type of deception.

17 people found this helpful

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  • Sunshine girl
  • 01-03-16

Interesting book

I thoroughly liked the book. It was so relieving hearing about the things that did not happen also has a big impact on children. I found the person reading the book sounded a bit robotic. It annoyed me to begin with until I got used to it.

5 people found this helpful

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  • Edyta
  • 12-06-17

A tool of self-compassion

Thanks to this book I really started to feel some self-compassion, it explains so well the mechanisms that make me miserable that I felt ....wow I should really be more understanding for myself, taking all that mess into consideration.
If this book helped me in anything, that would be it - I am less hard on myself for not being perfect.

4 people found this helpful

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  • gucci grace
  • 12-02-20

eye opening

I needed this so badly, thanks so much Dr Webb for giving this a name, I spent my 38 years wondering what was wrong, it feels amazing to have an answer and clarity on this.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Mr. R. Young
  • 02-04-17

I now understand myself.

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

A must read if you think you or someone close to you, may be are struggling emotionally with the lasting effects of childhood emotional neglect. This is a constructive, empowering and life changing book.

What other book might you compare Running on Empty to, and why?

Yes. Over many years I've spoken to councillors, psychologists, physiatrists and none have ever got to the heart of my problems like this book. I now understand myself. It also give strategies and advice on how to move on and not stay feeling empty and stuck.

What does Karen White bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

Childhood Emotional neglect is clearly explained, how it can affect someone's life, why they may feel empty inside but not know why, it discusses reasons for possible suicidal thoughts that are hard to put into words or explain, especially if life is generally good. It explains why someone may struggle with things life self control with diet, exercise, daily routine jobs etc. and it gives positive advice and strategies on how to move on.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

Warning, if like me, you initially find the readers voice hard to listen to, to get past this - it is a life changing book.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Kindle Customer
  • 22-03-17

Very Interesting

A very interesting theory for the "why am I so unhappy when everything seems right" category of mental health. Manages to tread carefully around blame, even while putting emphasis on causal effect of parental behaviour.

1 person found this helpful

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  • I. Ahmed
  • 15-01-16

Great book

The person performance is not fluid but the content is exceptional. The ideas and findings by Dr Webb will receive resonate with the majority.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 18-10-20

Quality content

Somebody complained this book was a sale pitch, it is definitely not. It contains content based on scientific evidence but at the same time it’s made available to non academic people and is told in an easy to understand manner. My therapist gave me this book and it’s been the most valuable information I‘ve ever gotten.

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  • Ateqa M
  • 16-10-20

A must read for those seeking self improvement

Brilliant book with a very new but nevertheless valid concept. the book is rigorously researched and we'll structured and covers the subject of emotional neglect brilliantly. I found it particularly helpful for my situation and I think this book and its knowledge filled some gaps about who I am and who I can become. Thank you Dr Webb for bringing this subject into the light.

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  • Lee Wilson
  • 07-07-20

Too many anecdotes

This is an interesting subject. But there's so many fictional anecdotes included. I felt the information could have been delivered much more succinctly, and generally, rather than laboured through a collection of anecdotes. Also, the narrator's voice was so grating. A real struggle to finish.

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  • EM
  • 26-05-16

frustrated with lack of chapters

Would you try another book written by Jonice Webb, PhD and Christine Musello, PsyD or narrated by Karen White?

No, the book is divided into chapters for very good reasons. I wanted to listen to specific chapters, and not all of them, but I was forced to by the endless run-on format. Insert Chapters!

What was one of the most memorable moments of Running on Empty?

Part 2 & Part 3: filling the tank are very good.

Do you think Running on Empty needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

No

Any additional comments?

Why doesn't Audible require audible publishers to have chapter markers? The book is written in chapters to divide chunks of information. Also, re-listening to a part of the book would be so easy in comparison to holding the fast forward button - which is a ridiculous way to search for something in particular!

7 people found this helpful

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  • Dan
  • 19-06-17

Fabulous book, terrible narrator voice.

Great book, very informative and insightful around the concept of emotional neglect and treatment. Both personally and professionally I can see myself referring back to this often.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Joey Aguilar
  • 15-06-20

Very relatable and easy to understand.

I felt like this book was talking to me personally in many ways. The author has made every effort to keep the discussion from sounding like a psychology lecture, and more like an individual session.

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  • CONSCIOUSSHELF
  • 15-02-20

Good

This book explains childhood emotional neglect in a very easy to understand, non-judgmental and non-sexist way. I have read a few books by psychologists and so I was positively surprised by that and very impressed. There is a list of parenting styles and how they impact children with examples. I felt this was done great. I would personally break these (parenting styles) into chapters (on Audible) and **name them** for future reference - to re-listen if I wanted. Narrator was ok 3/5 What I didn't like: No chapter titles - so unprofessional and frustrating!!!

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  • Gillian FEAKS
  • 14-07-19

Fantastic ,

The deepest self help book ever. Now I need to re-read & do the questionnaires. So exciting, I feel this will heal my issues from 5 years old, & it is a great eye opener. Thank you for giving me this tool.

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  • Adam
  • 03-01-19

Complete revelation

This book really put a lot of the pieces together for me and articulated the things that I've struggled with that I was completely aware of. It gives some amazingly simple practical strategies for addressing them, too.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 06-11-18

enlightening content

content was enlightening but narrating lacked passion in presentation. overall though a good audio book to listen to.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 14-06-18

Bang on for me

This made sense. Within the overview you will know if it's right for you too. A great help to finally get over that barrel.

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  • Bill Ruys
  • 01-04-17

Terrible

I got about half way through this book and simply couldn't bare to continue with it. The case studies were all very similar and the book became highly repetitive. Most of the stories seemed to involve extremely privaliged and successful people with rather pathetic, first world issues. There goes a few hours of my life I will never get back.

4 people found this helpful

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  • Krystina Lamb
  • 13-10-17

Great information, great reading

I liked the narrator ab's the stories. I would recommend going to the website and printing off the worksheets to do the activities.