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An Intelligent Life is a practical guide to modern life and relationships. This bestselling title in a revised and updated edition.

An Intelligent Life is a practical guide to modern life and relationships. This bestselling title in a revised and updated edition.

Dr Julian Short draws upon 30 years’ experience as a psychiatrist to offer hints, tips and guidelines for coping with many of the problems and events that we face every day.

In straightforward language Short explores rejection, family, professional and personal relationships, improving self-esteem and winning an argument, even when you lose. He arms us with the techniques and language to walk away from conflict feeling good about ourself.

To feel good we need to act well. We see ourselves in the mirror of other people’s reactions and if we want to like the person we see, we need the skills to give and get as much love as we can. An Intelligent Life is designed to show that we can lose and still like ourselves, liberating us to be hopeless at things, but sensational as people.


This impressive, wise book distils the insights of a man who has sat and listened to thousands of modern worries and worriers... Read and understand why the complex machine called 'your emotions' can be far easier to service than you may think.

Geraldine Doogue

An Intelligent Life proposes that our inner emotional life revolves around two primitive essentials of survival: belonging to a herd and holding our own territory. With belonging come warmth, peace and love; with territory come pride, dignity and a sense of creativity. Meeting these fundamental needs translates into being loved and preserving our individuality. Finding the ideal balance between love and power in relationships is the ultimate aim of an emotionally healthy person. Short suggests there is no relationship problem that isn't formed by a sense of rejection or belittlement, and that emotions often spring from a primal fear of death. At times quite confronting, the book explores the interrelationship between thoughts, actions and feelings. Simple, everyday language keeps the themes accessible, and a grounded approach communicates the ideas in a practical and matter-of-fact way rather than the spiritual approach often associated with self-help books. ... a compelling and thought-provoking read.

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Formats & editions

  • EBook


    January 4, 2011

    Random House Australia

    336 pages

    Online retailers

    • Amazon Kindle AU
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  • Paperback


    January 1, 2010

    Vintage Australia

    336 pages

    RRP $19.99

    Online retailers

    • Amazon
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    Find your local bookstore at booksellers.org.au