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How to Hug a Porcupine: Easy Ways to Love the Difficult People in Your Life (Little Book. Big Idea.) Hardcover – March 10, 2009


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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Dr. Debbie Joffe Ellis is a licensed psychologist in Australia and mental health counselor in New York. She is affiliated with several major psychological associations and societies including being a Member of the Australian Psychological Society, and an International Affiliate Member of the American Psychological Association. For several years, she worked with her husband, Dr. Albert Ellis, giving public presentations and professional trainings in Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy (REBT), as well as collaborating on writing and research projects, until his death in 2007. She now continues to present, practice and write about his groundbreaking psychotherapeutic approach of REBT. She has also co-authored several forthcoming books with Dr. Albert Ellis. She currently has a private practice in New York City, and also delivers lectures, workshops and seminars throughout the U.S.A. and across the globe.
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Product Details

  • Series: Little Book. Big Idea.
  • Hardcover: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Hatherleigh Press (March 10, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1578262933
  • ISBN-13: 978-1578262939
  • Product Dimensions: 4.9 x 0.6 x 7.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #198,842 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By C. J. Pearmon on August 6, 2009
Format: Hardcover
How to Hug a Porcupine is a small book about relationships with "thorny" people. Using the metaphor of the porcupine, tips are given about how to deal with the defensive person who raises their armor when seemingly attacked. The book explains how using questions and re-affirming your interest in the person can help expose their softer, gentler side. By understanding the porcupine personality, the nature of conflicts can be better understood and dealt with.

This tips are easily read and quick to digest, yet they hold much insight into dealing with a defensive personality. While this book will not be helpful to everyone, for those in relationships with kind-hearted, yet easily hurt people, there will be a wealth of information to be gleaned from the pages. At it's most basic, the book preaches a kind, gentle, patient examination of people and the root of issues beneath the exterior words tossed around. This type of reminder is useful for everyone.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Nancy VINE VOICE on March 29, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition
I work with a prickle of porcupines. I know, calling a group of porcupines a prickle is funny, but truly, that is what they are called to.

Some mornings maneuvering around this group is treacherous at best, so when I came across this book I thought it was a gift from above.

In easy to follow little snippets, the book spells out the background and ways to deal with the difficult and toxic people in your life. By no means is this a book that should be read in one sitting. The reader has to take each section, read it, digest it, possibly read it again and see how to apply it to the person or situation that they are currently dealing with.

I am a “confront the situation head-on” type of person, so the idea of sitting back and letting a porcupine run the show was way out of my comfort zone, but on a lovely spring morning I turned my office into a science lab. Little did my little porcupines know that they were now my guinea pigs.

When quills started fluffing up, I stepped back, let the porcupines bristle a bit, did not confront, did not interfere and just let them stomp and grumble – and you know what? It really threw them off; it took the wind out of their sails. Who knew that there was a way to do this without my feeling that I had to give up who I am solely to keep peace in the office.

I actually learned a great deal from this book. It may have gone against my grain, but learning how to deal with the difficult people in your life is so much easier when you see what is causing it and how to work around their stubborn need for control without losing too much of your own independence.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By we'll be ok on January 31, 2013
Format: Hardcover
I've read half a dozen books on borderline personality disorder, but none of them are as practical as this book. It's not limited to or specifically for BPD, but the advice really applies.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Paprika on November 11, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I am a porcupine and I loooooooved this book! It's full of comforting words and practical advice for dealing with difficult people like me. The advice are simple and practical yet very touching and comforting. When you are in the difficult situation of dealing with a porcupine you feel frustrated and helpless wondering what to do. This book is full of all the intuitive stuff you should know in those situations. Analogy of using the porcupine as a metaphor is the brilliant feature of this book making it cute and easier to read. There is a nice explanation in the beginning about the metaphor.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Nancy S. Kitchen on January 25, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I had heard of this book before, but never took the time to read it. Now that I have 2 grown sons and a husband arround, I needed to read a self-help book on "difficult people."
It was really an eye opener and something I need to read over and over. It is broken into little parts, so you can read some each day. It has changed my life.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Qdypi on December 4, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
A darling, easy reader chock full of useful information and tips on how to deal with and love those difficult people in our lives. Provides insight and understanding into their behavior so that we may bridge those gaps.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Cyndy Eldredge on October 6, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I thought that it would be more of a novel than a short story type of book, but it is a cute book that you can read really quickly.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Mary-Theresa Dameron on May 17, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I just have to put the thoughts into action for my particular issue with family. It's nice to know we all are porcupines...
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How to Hug a Porcupine: Easy Ways to Love the Difficult People in Your Life (Little Book. Big Idea.)
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