Talking to crazy How to deal with the irrational and impossible people in your life

Mark Goulston

Book - 2016

Difficult people can make life hard, but a select few can make it hell. The boss with nonsensical demands. The spouse who explodes at nothing. The overly emotional coworker, hostile neighbor, or friend who frequently bursts into tears. Marriages, families, friendships, careers, businesses--crazy people drag them all down with their manipulation, volatility, and inability to see the world rationally. You can't win by just ignoring the craziness or trying to reason with it. But you can stop i...t cold. Top-ranked psychiatrist and communication expert Mark Goulston shows you exactly how to do that in this life-changing book for everyone trapped in personal or workplace relationships that feel confusing, stressful, or downright hopeless. Goulston unlocks the mysteries of the irrational mind, and explains how faulty thinking patterns develop. His keen insights are matched by a set of counterintuitive strategies proven to defuse crazy behavior, along with scripts, examples, and exercises that teach you how to use them.--Adapted from book jacket.

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Location Call Number   Status
2nd Floor 158.2/Goulston Checked In
New York : AMACOM, American Management Association [2016]
Item Description
Includes index.
Physical Description
vii, 259 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm
Main Author
Mark Goulston (author)
  • The basics of talking to crazy. Understanding crazy ; Recognizing how crazy happens ; Spotting an irrational person's M.O. ; Knowing when to talk to crazy and when to walk away
  • Facing your own crazy first. Pinpointing your own crazy ; Keeping your own crazy at bay when you're under attack ; Regrouping when crazy wins
  • Fourteen tactics for talking to crazy. The belly roll : putting the irrational person "in charge" to defuse a tense situation ; The A-E-U technique : highly effective
  • but scary ; Time travel : getting an irrational person to stop dwelling on the past and focus instead on the future ; The eye of the hurricane : finding the sane inside the crazy ; Digging down to disappointment : dealing with emotional people who don't really mean what they're saying ; The fishbowl : bringing an irrational person's mirror neurons into play ; The split second : how to handle an irrational person who's playing you against someone else ; The three L's : helping an irrational person cope with extreme fear ; The butter-up : getting a know-it-all to behave ; Executive order : getting a martyr to accept help ; Coup countrecoup : turning an irrational person's M.O. to your own advantage ; The kiss-off (and the gentle kiss-off) : saying no to a manipulator ; Frenemies : handling a "toxic deflector" at work ; I know what you're hiding : getting a sociopath out of your life
  • - Eight ways to deal with crazy in your personal life. You've lost that lovin' feeling? : handling your mutual crazy in a relationship ; Shock absorber : getting through to an emotional partner ; Copy cat : getting a strong-and-silent partner to talk ; Child A or child B? : going through a divorce without wrecking your kids for life ; "What's the worst thing for you?" : being there for a parent, partner, or child in pain ; The reconnect : healing a broken relationship with an adult child ; The assumptive close : getting an aging parent to accept help ; The four H's and four R's : rebuilding a personal relationship after an irrational person breaks it
  • What to do when crazy is actually mental illness. Where to turn when crazy is above your pay grade ; How to get the person to say yes to getting help ; What to do if you think someone may be suicidal ; Woulda, coulda, shoulda : preventing the next Sandy Hook.
Review by Library Journal Reviews

Psychiatrist Goulston (Get Out of Your Own Way) asserts that we must "lean in" to the crazy—to empathize with it. He distinguishes between mental illness and the kind of absurdity that emerges in everyday interactions with, for example, an irrational partner, a self-sabotaging colleague, or someone who doesn't see the world clearly. To cope with crazy, says Goulston, people have to identify modes in which others act out, realize that it's "not about me," and deal with one's own irrational behaviors first. After discussing the basics of empathetic listening, the author details how to interact with such personalities as the manipulator, the toxic deflector, and the frenemy. VERDICT A solid choice for understanding people in general. [Page 63]. (c) Copyright 2015 Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Review by Publisher Summary 1

Provides a range of techniques for communicating with unreasonable people by empathizing with their "crazy," using this counterintuitive method to change the dynamic of the conversation and become an ally rather than a threat.

Review by Publisher Summary 2

Teaches readers how to handle irrational people by channeling empathy. By the author ofGet Out of Your Own Way and Just Listen.

Review by Publisher Summary 3

"Finally! The book that helps you deal with irrational, impossible people." -Oprah's Book Club 2.0 Because some people are beyond difficult... Let's face it, we all know people who are irrational. No matter how hard you try to reason with them, it never works. So what's the solution? How do you talk to someone who's out of control? What can you do with a boss who bullies, a spouse who yells, or a friend who frequently bursts into tears? In his book, Just Listen, Mark Goulston shared his bestselling formula for getting through to the resistant people in your life. Now, in his breakthrough new book Talking to Crazy, he brings his communication magic to the most difficult group of all-the downright irrational. As a psychiatrist, Goulston has seen his share of crazy and he knows from experience that you can't simply argue it away. The key to handling irrational people is to learn to lean into the crazy-to empathize with it. That radically changes the dynamic and transforms you from a threat into an ally. Talking to Crazy explains this counterintuitive Sanity Cycle and reveals: Why people act the way they do * How instinctive responses can exacerbate the situation-and what to do instead * When to confront a problem and when to walk away * How to use a range of proven techniques including Time Travel, the Fish-bowl, and the Belly Roll * And much more You can't reason with unreasonable people-but you can reach them. This powerful and practical book shows you how.

Review by Publisher Summary 4

What can you do with a boss who bullies, a spouse who yells, or a friend who frequently bursts into tears? In his breakthrough new book Talking to Crazy, psychiatrist Mark Goulston says the key to handling irrational people and turning threats into allies is to learn to lean into the crazy---to empathize with it!