Quick show of hands….

  • Hands up if you feel that life is rather overwhelming sometimes?
  • Hands up if you sometimes avoid conversations with other people because you’re not sure how best to interact?
  • Hands up if you’ve ever felt like you’re the only person talking sense in a conversation?
  • Hands up if you have a friend or colleague that sometimes rubs you up the wrong way because they’re too opinionated or wishy washy?

Well, you’re not alone. Statistics shows that nearly 70 per cent of under 30s said that they prefer to talking to people online or via email, rather than in person or on the phone. Various reasons are given for this, but the main reason is anxiety and/or the inability to control a conversation when you are face to face with another person. Luckily for us, psychologists and psychiatrists are on hand to explain the theory and science behind why this may be the case, to help us understand how people tick.

Below are a few examples of bestselling texts in this area. All are in stock with us and available to order on our website.


By Amir Levine and Rachel S.F.Heller

What is it about?

Psychiatrist and neuroscientist Amir Levine and psychologist Rachel S. F. Heller reveal how an understanding of attachment theory can help us find and sustain connections with people in the modern age. Attachment theory comes from Bowlby’s study in the 1950’s. Bowlby stated  that early relationships with parents and peers impact on how a human behaves as an adult; despite such an interesting premise, little further study was done on the impact this may have on forming meaningful relationships.

In Attached, Levine and Heller trace how these evolutionary influences continue to shape who we are in our relationships today. According to attachment theory, every person behaves in relationships in one of three distinct ways:

*ANXIOUS people are often preoccupied with their relationships and tend to worry about their partner’s ability to love them back.

*AVOIDANT people equate intimacy with a loss of independence and constantly try to minimize closeness.

*SECURE people feel comfortable with intimacy and are usually warm and loving.


Why should you read this book?

This is one of those books that you wish you had read when you were younger to help you understand why you might be acting the way you do with friends, family and relationships. It helps you understand what your attachment style is and how you can navigate relationships in the future. The science is not new but the way in which it is explained – more like a guide, than an academic study, makes this our psychology pick of the season.

Surrounded By Idiots

By Thomas Erikson

What is it about?

Surrounded by Idiots presents a ground-breaking new method of understanding the relationships that we have with people around you and suggests that you may wish to change how you interact with everyone from your co-workers to your spouse.

Thomas Erikson explains that understanding someone’s pattern of behaviour is the key to successful communication. Erikson breaks down the four kinds of behaviour types:

  • Reds who are dominant and commanding
  • Yellows who are social and optimistic
  • Greens who are laid back and friendly
  • Blues who are analytical and precise.

He then goes on to explain the strengths and weaknesses of all types, and also how different types may best go about interacting with each other.

Why should you read it?

The hype around this book is justified – it’s a great book to understand people and how they interact with each other. The ‘What colour am I?’ may seem largely generic at first glance, but the more you read, the more it seems scarily accurate (for those wondering, Meg is a logical blue and Will is a friendly yellow). What is most successful about this book, is that it is a positive portrayal of how a subtle change in your own behaviour can make such a difference in interacting with others.

Behave: The Biology of Humans at Our Best and Worst

by Robert M. Sapolsky

What is it about?

It may be easier to discuss what this book does not cover.  Put simply, this book is an amazing and mind altering of the whole science of human behaviour. Astounding and evocative, Sapolsky brings the science to life through simple language, engaging stories and irreverent wit, it offers the fullest picture yet of the origins of tribalism and xenophobia, hierarchy and competition, morality and free will, war and peace.

What makes this work especially fascinating, is the way in which Sapolsky moves backwards in time from the moment a neurone in the brain sparks to react in a certain way, and then hops back in time from there, in stages (adulthood, adolescence, childhood) ultimately ending up at a deep history of our entire species and its evolutionary legacy.

Why should you read it?

Simple really, it’s utterly fascinating and worth the investment in terms of time. So many behaviours that may seem impulsive or meaningless actually have deep rooted origins – when you have the chance to puzzle that out, it really does make you contemplate our entire species and the way in which we interact with the world. Wise, humanising and often funny, this is a tour de force in human psychology.