Running on Empty

Running on Empty: Overcome Your Childhood Emotional Neglect

by Jonice Webb, PhD with Christine Musello, PsyD

Nikki’s Rating: 9 out of 10

Summary: Running on Empty is a self-help book that looks specifically at how well your parents were able to effectively recognize and meet your emotional needs as a child. The book defines Emotional Neglect, how even well-intended parents can still fail in this area, and how to overcome Emotional Neglect as an adult.

9 Recommendable Things about Running on Empty by Jonice Webb with Christine Musello

(May Contain Spoilers)

1. Organization

First and foremost, let us all thank Webb and Musello for having a wonderfully organized book. Seriously, I’ve come across self-help books that within 2 chapters I’m like, “What the fuck am I reading?!” Running on Empty explains Emotional Neglect, gives you examples of how Emotional Neglect may have happened, the repercussions of Emotional Neglect, and then how to heal your Emotional Neglect. Clear cut.

2. Sources

Webb pulls from Attachment Theory and other research studies providing cited sources and a “references” page giving her work more credibility. I really hate coming across books that propose theories that have no research to back them up.

3. Emotional Neglect

The concept of Emotional Neglect makes so much sense and I would not be surprised to see more studies and literature pop up discussing it.

4. Poor Zeke

Never met a person name Zeke but I feel sorry for him. Regardless of Zeke’s hardships, I do appreciate that Webb uses his “story” repeatedly to show what different parenting styles would look like. Allowed more clarity of the different parenting styles.

5. Vignettes

Webb and Musello include many clinical vignettes to show Emotional Neglect in real-life and they are all powerful, relatable stories and do a great job of giving context of Emotional Neglect.

6. Homework

While I’m never excited about homework, change does require practice and implementation of new tools hence, homework. Regardless, the exercises Webb provides are doable, easy, and realistic.

7. For the Parents

I appreciate Webb for not only including a section for parents in Running on Empty but throughout the book she makes sure to never villianize parents. Every parent on the face of the planet has made mistakes in parenting, that does not mean that they are bad parents. Most parents parent the way they were parented. So if you had Emotionally Neglectful parents, you are more likely to also Emotionally Neglect your children. Regardless, that doesn’t mean you are a “bad parent”

8. Recommendations

Webb includes recommendations of other books to read for self-help.

9. Feelings

Love, love, love the “Feeling Word List” provided at the end of this book. I always have trouble coming up with the most accurate word to describe how I’m feeling, so excited to have this available to me!

As always, thank you for reading. I would love to hear from you so feel free to contact me or comment below. If you would like to support this blog and/or my paintings please become my patron.

Be Authentic. Be Unique. Be You.

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