Customer Review

65 of 86 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Much better books are available, December 9, 2008
This review is from: Living Successfully with Screwed-Up People (Paperback)
I bought this book because I thought it might give me some ideas on how to cope with some difficult people at work. I was impressed with the book's 5 star rating on this website.

While the book contains some good information, I am giving it only 2 stars for the following reasons:
- It's unnecessarily long.
- It's confusingly organised. For example, it doesn't ask this essential question, "Do you want to have a relationship with the person you consider to be screwed-up?" at the start of the book. It should have done because you need to answer this question before determining your course of action. Chapter 16 is called, "Is different screwed up?" This question should have been considered near the beginning also.
- Occasionally some poor advice is given. For example, it is suggested that you could ask a person who becomes enraged during a confrontation, "Why are you responding with such rage?" Actually, it would be wise to stop the confrontation until they have calmed down.
- Some questionable advice is given. For example, "You lose less when you aren't afraid of losing", "a living faith can encourage you to seek real answers to the why questions", "envisioning your screwed-up person as handicapped changes your perspective", and "by turning your anger at aberrant behaviour into pity, you free yourself from the stranglehold the difficult person has over your emotions".
- Most surprisingly, the author refers to the other person who has difficulty relating with people as screwed up, or a SUP, all the way through the book. But labelling a person you want to have a relationship with as "screwed-up" is surely unhelpful.
- Mediation as a potentially helpful process is not discussed.
- It doesn't specifically discuss strategies to cope with stressful relationships at work.

Books I highly recommend for people struggling with relationships are Dr William Glasser's books on Choice Theory and a book called The Miracle Question: Answer It and Change Your Life, by Linda Metcalf.
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Tracked by 2 customers

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Showing 1-5 of 5 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Mar 12, 2012 8:45:58 AM PDT
Rhubarb says:
Excellent review. Thank you for your thoughtful insights and for the referrals to Glasser and Metcalf. I was particularly struck by your suggesting that the question, "Do you want to have a relationship with the person...?" That is a critical first question, because subsequent actions may take very different paths, depending on the answer. And ceasing the confrontation until the other person has calmed down? Absolutely.

Posted on Feb 14, 2013 8:10:09 AM PST
Annie M. says:
I just want to say thank you for the referrals at the end of your review.

Posted on Oct 13, 2013 1:31:38 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Oct 13, 2013 1:32:42 PM PDT
G. Wallen says:
I am most thankful for your insight. Not only do you point readers in a helpful direction to works that do give answers, but you are, like me, totally againt labelling a person. Calling someone screwed up is the authors opinion. What I need to know is, for instance , mediation when someone is enraged for the wrong reasons. I do think the books you recommended may very well be the information I have been looking for to solve a recent case at my club.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 13, 2013 1:01:45 PM PST
M. Bruce says:
I do not agree with this review at all...If you read the book you will find in Chapter 4, "Get Off the Fence", which totally addresses whether it is healthy for you to stay in the relationship or leave. She gives you a lot to think about. Page 55..." You must determine whether you are going to live in the tension that now exists, ignore the problems, compromise, or leave---a crossroads. She talks about what you should tolerate, and what you expect to gain if you choose to stay in the relationship.

As far as referring to that person as a "SUP"....well, sometimes a spade needs to be called a spade, get over it! Or to put it nicely, "a rose by any other name is still a rose."

Posted on Jan 17, 2015 1:29:31 AM PST
Merryheart says:
P Crichton: The title of the book is Living successfully with screwed up people. So the author is assuming the readers consider the people with whom they have diffficulty to be screwed up. This is evident in the question you cited as out of place. So she's not labelling the difficult person; she assumes you are. Unless you can post a reference where the author specifically states something along the lines of: Let's face it, you're living with a SUP, I see nothing to back up your assertion that she is labelling these people.

As to the "questionable" advice you quoted, most of that is quite sound. As a counsellor to people with dysfunctional behaviors and their families, I would often give similar advice --and it worked. The question to the person who becomes enraged during a confrontation may be very helpful if delivered in a calm manner after the rage has subsided. And I see nothing in the quote you gave to indicate the author meant anything else, though she could conceivably have made that more clear.
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