The figurative language of Lori Gottlieb…

Reading time: Less than 1 minute

I like to share interesting pieces of figurative language I encounter in my reading. I write today about similes and metaphors from Lori Gottlieb….

When I hear about a book five times in less than a week, that author gets my attention.

California-based psychotherapist Lori Gottlieb (pictured above) must have put dozens — if not hundreds — of hours into the tour of her new book Maybe You Should Talk to Someone because I heard her on just about every podcast I scan. (My favourite was the Fresh Air interview with host Terry Gross.)

All of the talk persuaded me to buy the book and I found it an engaging read. It tells the story of a significant relationship collapsing in Gottlieb’s life (a man she had intended to marry bailed on her in an offensive way) and her own resulting pursuit of therapy. I don’t believe Gottlieb has the world’s strongest handle on figurative language but her writing style is both readable and likeable.

Here are four passages I found that pushed some figurative writing buttons for me:

  • I look up and I think I see Wendell suppress a smile… but it’s hard to tell because I can’t see very well [as a result of crying]. It’s like looking through the windshield of a car without its wipers on during a rainstorm.
  • Therapists don’t perform personality transplant; they just help to take the sharp edges off.
  • Typically therapists are several steps ahead of our patients — not because were smarter or wiser but because we have the vantage point of being outside their lives.
  • Feelings are actually more like weather systems — they blow in and they blow out.