Cover Image: The Art of Showing Up

The Art of Showing Up

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Member Reviews

If you are having a bad day, then I would recommend this book to you. There isn't much about this book that needs feedback. It is a "self-help" and empowering book of just showing up to.
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Thank you to The Experiment and NetGalley for this advanced e-copy! 
This is a great, actionable guide made up of many small tips. I’m not really interested in most self-help these days because the ideas seem to be either too basic or really unobtainable. But I have followed Rachel Wilkerson Miller’s work for a while. She is a Black queer author with a very approachable brand of self improvement which consistently feels fresh and clever, not redundant or overwhelming. 

The book starts with how to show up for yourself: from deep dives into your preferences and priorities, an assessment of how you spend your time, money, and energy, how to help yourself through dark times, and how to ask for help. The second half discusses showing up for your friends: making new friends, being reliable, acknowledging when your friend needs help, and having tough conversations, with specific wording for helping you have these talks effectively. While some of her suggestions are meant to push you to work harder in your relationships, others involve taking a step back, like doing less in times of crisis. 

This might be a nice guide to give to a young person in your life, but I also think you’d be doing yourself a disservice by counting yourself out from a straightforward guide like this. We can all use a reminder to show up for ourselves and our friends, even if some of it is advice we’ve heard many times. It would pair really nicely with Big Friendship by Aminatou Sow and Ann Friedman if you’re feeling like your friendships need some more focus in your life. Even as someone who has learned plenty about empathy through my career, I took away tons of new tips, some of which I’ve already started utilizing in my relationships. I can see myself revisiting this on various occasions in the future.
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This was a great read, especially contextualizing it now with social distancing and coronavirus making friendships even harder to maintain. This is a great book for brainstorming ways to really show up for your friends, and makes it much easier to tell your friends what you need from them. Easy to read, funny and insightful.
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I liked that before the reader worked on showing up for others, they had to work on showing up for themselves.  O feel like I know myself better for having read this book.
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I've been following Rachel's writing for BuzzFeed for years, and have been eagerly anticipating this full collection of advice. Rachel has a talent for summing up the things we all know we should be doing in a way that feels accessible and easy to implement. She's the older sister I wish I had!
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I really loved this book. The vast majority of the time I pick up self-help book, it's a form of continuing education for my psych degree, but this one really did it for me. There's research (yay continuing ed!!), other books to check out, practical advice, and laying out those soft skills that they never explicitly teach you. It's so Millennial I loved it (especially the references to AIM), but that might also make it not-for-you if the casual language of the book isn't your style (I will take the straight talking, jokes, and swearing ANYDAY though). I also really appreciated the secular nature of it too - so many of the books I've picked up have a Christian subtext which is fine, but also not what I came to the party for. I will definitely be checking out any future books she puts out. 
I also really appreciated the reminders about showing up for yourself (I made a whole GoogleDoc of SEL ideas for my students), and will also 100% use the sympathy Venmo idea in the future. She has some good ideas and suggestions that were new to me, and does a solid job of explaining why things might happen and how you can respond, but she's not preachy, definitely recognizes everyone is in different shoes/places, and is trying to help people make healthy, affirming decisions/choices. 
So, essentially, if you are a Millennial who is here to keep learning and is down with the swearing, pick this up. 
Only downside: my ARC had some text missing occasionally which was a bummer cause I really loved everything she was writing.
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As a college counselor, I want to buy every student on my caseload this book. This book will lay the foundation for giving young people the keys to identifying toxic relationships, how to have healthy relationships, and to self-advocate for themselves. This should be required reading for all teenagers.
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A self help book that’s fun to read! The Art or Showing Up is a sassy, straightforward book about how to show up for yourself and friends/family.  It’s a fun read with plenty of examples.
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Rachel Wilkerson Miller's "The Art Of Showing Up" is a great and useful read! The first half is about showing up for yourself (because of course you can't show up for others when you aren't for yourself) and the second half about showing up for others. Full of great. practical advice and written in a helpful/thoughtful and not at all preachy way.   Thoroughly enjoyed it and highly recommend!
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In The Art of Showing Up, Rachel Wilkerson Miller shares information, examples, exercises, and resources to help you better understand and show up for yourself and others. I love the author’s voice; she sounds casual, warm, friendly, relatable, and encouraging. Reading this book, I felt like I would love to be her friend, which makes me inclined to trust her advice on how to be a better friend. 

This is a book I plan to return to often. Some sections work best if you allow plenty of time to explore the suggested questions and practices, while other sections might work best as a reference. The author encourages small steps repeated often to build tolerance to new habits, and she frequently acknowledges that we all have different contexts and abilities, so her advice feels feasible. I particularly loved her guidance on boundaries, which I think many of us struggle with. And I loved her discussion of “body neutrality,” an idea I wasn’t familiar with.

Her discussions of how to cope when difficult things happen, in your own life or someone else’s, are especially relevant during the current pandemic. I found the concept of different levels of friendship very helpful; I now feel more confident about choosing how much to disclose to friends of different levels.

I loved this book so much, and I highly recommend it for anyone interested in living a more authentic, aligned life and having better relationships of all kinds. Honestly, I would love to see everyone reading this book, and then perhaps we’d all have happier, healthier, more conscious relationships with ourselves and each other.

I was provided an unproofed ARC through NetGalley that I volunteered to review.
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This is exactly the kind of book I needed during our stay-at-home orders. After nearly two months of no social activity, drinks with friends, or coffee with coworkers, this hit the spot. 

Many of us feel overwhelmed at what is expected of us, our overstuffed schedules, and keeping up. Using written techniques that helped me understand why I am the way I am helped me pinpoint happiness and how to be there for myself so that I can be there for others. 

I enjoyed and appreciated the prompts to answer questions by actually grabbing a pen and paper, and now I have pages of thoughts, favorite things, and ideas that are meaningful to me.

It must feel defeating to publish a book in this Covid-19 world, and I think the lessons and thoughts in The Art of Showing Up will preservers!
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I previously worked a mental health therapist facilitating groups for adults with anxiety and depression. Probably the most frequent problem that came up was a lack of adult friendships. Had this book been available back then, I would have definitely used it as a resource! The first part is about showing up for yourself. The second part is basically a how to guide for developing friendships and learning what it means to show up for other people. I love that while Rachel's writing is funny and encouraging, it is also realistic about what it's going to take to develop these friendships, like yes, you are going to have to talk to people! So many people want the close friendships (like the myth of the lifetime BFF that Rachel also tackles), but don't know how or think that it happens without having to change anything. No matter what friendship situation you're in, this book can give you some advice on how to handle it.
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I felt like this one was written just for me! I’ve been not showing up for a good part of my life for neither myself or friends and family. I’ve managed to focus my energy on my kids without looking inward or outward for anything. 

To say this has been a problem for me would be an understatement! I’ve been called flakey at times from those who have mattered most and instead of taking their criticism and applying it, I allowed myself to feel the hurt instead. 

What I’ve realized now through therapy and a lot of self-work that I had a lot to work out within first. I had to be good with myself in order to be good for others and I’m still working on it.  

BUT…I’m a lot better! 

I’ve learned to say “no” when I needed to the time, I’ve noticed triggers that set off anxiety, worked on my breathing, and most importantly made attempts to do better. I couldn’t even see the patterns when I was younger and internalized the feelings of unworthiness. It takes a while to let things go, especially when you’re aware of your shortcomings but still isn’t accepted. 

This book was a huge reminder to take time to heal, focus on the good, and do the best I can when it comes to supporting others. Most of the time my anxiety got in the way. My worry about something not going right or being judged kept me from building lasting relationships that I now wish I fostered. 

If you’re struggling with showing up, especially during this time, give yourself a break, take a deep breath and pick up this book! You will find solace.
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A timely and playful guide to self-awareness that will help readers show up for themselves and others. Thoughtful exercises written in a conversational style that makes the advice feel like friendly counsel over coffee.
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I have a few friends who struggle with myriad challenges, so I’ve learned the hard way that just showing up for them makes all the difference.  Be it a well timed text that says “I’m here and I care,” or a drive across state lines to actually show up on the doorstep or whatever other form showing up takes, I know that it is important.  But I was still curious about what more could a 300+ page book teach me about the topic.  Should I be showing up more for my family?  More for my other friends?  If so, how do I do that?

In the Introduction, the author takes care to describe what “showing up” means in the context of the book:  noticing that the behavior, words, circumstances, etc communicates a need; processing what has just been noticed; naming the bigger narrative and recognizing its legitimacy and worthiness; and responding in a way that makes the individual feel seen, heard, supported, etc.  Afterward, the book is divided into two distinct parts: showing up for yourself and showing up for others.

The first section about showing up for yourself was interesting and insightful.  So much so that, before I moved on to the second section, I ordered two copies (plus two blank journals) for two of my friends.  The book wasn’t due to be published for another week, but by some miracle, it was available in stock.  The striking thing about the first section was that it immediately started with a personal values exercise, and then constantly referred back to it.  Preferences were rooted in values.  Priorities - how you allocate your time, money, and energy - were also rooted in values.  Personal boundaries were rooted in values.  Even how you administer self care when your life turns upside down was rooted in personal values.  So if you are serious about getting the most out of the first section, definitely invest the time in thinking through the values exercise.  And the last chapter of the section - showing up for yourself when life gets challenging - is definitely worth the price of admission.

Because the first section spoke directly to me (I have tremendous difficulty with setting and enforcing boundaries), I was reluctant to start the second section about showing up for others.  But not just any others - specifically “your people,” which includes anyone that you care about and have a connection with.  This section is similarly constructed to the first section: beginning with why and how to make friends, continuing with how to keep friends once you’ve made them and how to show up for friends who are having challenges in their lives, and finally ending with how to address friendships that may have soured.  I didn’t get as much out of this section as the first, but it was still worth the read.

The tone of the book is very colloquial, which attempts to speak directly to the reader, as if the author was engaging you, the reader, in a one-on-one conversation.  It’s also littered with profanity and sexuality.  Neither of my friends will mind, but some readers may.  The book could have easily been written without either, but that wasn’t the choice that the author made.

Overall, I enjoyed the book.  I think it would be useful for anyone who struggles with any aspect of self-care, as well as anyone who struggles with creating and nurturing appropriate friendships.
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A fan of this genre, the last several books I had read in it disappointed me. I opened the covers of this one with a bit of trepidation, expecting more of the same. I am happy to say that I enjoyed this book MUCH more than I thought I would! It earns 3.5 stars rounded to 4 stars from me!

This book is impressively comprehensive; it offers practical advice and even sample conversations to help you deal with situations and relationships that are difficult. The book is divided into two sections - how to be there for yourself, and how to be there for others. 

Being there for yourself and taking care of yourself is something we often neglect to do. Miller helps you take an in-depth look at yourself, identify your values, what is important to you and what's not. She also helps you assess what's working for you in your life, your job, your relationships, where and how you live, and what is not working for you. You'll read about levels of friendship, setting boundaries, what self-care encompasses and several other topics. This is a comprehensive look at YOU, and at the end of it, you will know yourself and what you want for yourself and your life better.

Part Two deals with How to Show Up for Others. It tackles how to make and maintain friendships, how to deal with relationships that may need extra work, how to navigate through hard times in your life or the life of your friend, how to have the hard conversations when someone is acting out of character or doing things that trouble you. It offers suggestions as to how to make your relationships work for you, and on the flip side, what to do when they don't.

Practical advice and helpful sample conversations are offered throughout the book. This is a good read for anyone wanting to take better care of themselves and want to build strong, mutually beneficial relationships with others.

My thanks to NetGalley and The Experiment for allowing me to read a copy of this book in exchange for an unbiased review. All opinions expressed here are my own.
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I will admit, I am a Wilkerson. I love her blog's weekly roundups. I love her writing at Vice. I will read pretty much whatever she writes.
This book is exactly what it proclaims to be, a dissection of how to show up for yourself and others. It does not simply muse on self-care and proffer face masks and baths and journalling. It offers a discussion of all the ways in which we can show up and gives exercises, very specific advice (i.e. sample dialogues, how to approach very specific situations, ways to practice new tasks) and truly meets you where you are. If you are someone who has a lot of skills here or someone with absolutely none, someone with mental health issues or none at all, there is something here for you.
Perhaps one of the most staggering facts here is that most social conversation is devoted to statements about the speaker’s own emotional experiences OR third parties who are not present. Think about it. Where are we showing up for our conversation partner? It makes you want to do better.
I consider myself to be skilled at showing up for myself but could improve on showing up for others, and I still took away so much from this book. It articulated why I struggle with certain friends (it comes back to boundaries), why even though I love to plan events I still deserve to have my time honored and respected, and why pretending we don’t have needs IS a disservice to the friendship (throw that "I'm a burden" thinking in the trash where it belongs). Pretending we have no vulnerability prevents our friends from showing up for US. That is important.
There is a particular poignancy to this work now. Taking care of ourselves and those around us is so important during this time. Wilkerson cites a recent Pew study that says one in 10 adults feel lonely all or most of the time. I wonder what that number is now. If you are a lover of self-reflection and self-improvement, add this book to your list. I read a lot of these books and many I don’t give a second thought to (often don’t offer anything “new” to this over-thinker, happy self-analyzer, personality-test aficionado). But this book truly does.
Thanks to Net Galley and The Experiment Publishing for providing the advance copy. All opinions are my own.
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The Art of Showing Up is a great guide that is filled with solid, practical and helpful ideas. The book is divided into two sections; one about showing up for yourself, and the other about showing up for others. I really think this could be very helpful for those that want to improve their personal relationships.

I received this book from NetGalley and The Experiment Publishing for an honest review.
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I have to ask, is Rachel Wilkerson Miller in need of any new friends? If so, I'd like to apply. It doesn't have to be at best friend status--I'd settle for a "deep-shallow" friendship. Her new book of advice for taking care of yourself and your relationships is warm, pithy, and practical. You'll learn everything from why sleep is important and why it's okay to be having a hard time, to how to make friends and how to break up with them. This is self-help at its best.
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I’m usually not a huge reader of the self-improvement genre, but the offer of an ARC for this book hit right at the moment when the stay-at-home orders started to pour in, and things felt very disconnected. Much like Marie Kondo’s The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up told us things we already knew (if you don’t need it, want it, or use it, get rid of it) in a friendly, more nuanced way, Rachel Wilkerson Miller captures what you have heard about what it means to be a friend and repackages it in a conversational, modern tone familiar to the new adult/millenial population. The first half of the book focuses on taking care of yourself, or as Miller puts it, showing up for yourself. The second half expands on those ideas to take care of your relationships and the people you care about. My big takeaways? Really listen, set and respect boundaries, and allow things to change, including yourself and other people. But Miller has phrased in a much more eloquent manner, while making the book feel like a conversation with a good friend.

I received a copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley for an honest review.
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