- File Size: 2721 KB
- Print Length: 272 pages
- Simultaneous Device Usage: Up to 5 simultaneous devices, per publisher limits
- Publisher: AMACOM; Reprint edition (July 10, 2018)
- Publication Date: July 10, 2018
- Sold by: HarperCollins Publishing
- Language: English
- ASIN: B0789W6FYX
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Not Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #13,649 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
Talking to 'Crazy': How to Deal with the Irrational and Impossible People in Your Life Kindle Edition
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About the Author
“By giving readers the words and theories, Goulston elevates a good book into a great one.” --Success Magazine
“…most conflicts in the workplace simply involve very difficult people who can make life miserable. Talking to Crazy offers much-needed guidance for those seeking a solution to these all-too-common conflicts.” --Soundview
“This is a great book for managers who know that some situations--a negative review, the announcement of organizational change--can bring out the crazy in anyone.” --Inc.com
“…explains why people act in unreasonable ways, giving insight in to the brain’s natural defense mechanisms and how to recognize an irrational person’s modus operandi.” --Industrial Engineer Magazine
“How can you survive all the cranks and impossible people that you daily have to deal with? Goulston describes their antics and how to deal with them in this delightful self-help book.” --San Francisco Book Review
“Common-sense advice and humor offered by Goulston…sheds light on mental health issues that are not discussed (but definitely experienced) in everyday life, especially in the workplace.” --Small Business Trends
"Finally! The book that helps you deal with irrational, impossible people." --Oprah’s Book Club 2.0
“Psychiatrist and power-blogger Mark Goulston presents the gift of his latest book to anyone who has ever dealt with bullies, whiners, manipulators, or screamers. Oh, wait, that’s all of us.” --Associations Now
"Talking to Crazy is a captivating, accessible guide to the many forms of 'everyday crazy' we face at work and in our personal lives." --TD Magazine
"…we all deal with irrational people and situations. Talking to Crazy contains valuable insights into these types of interactions...an important addition to anyone’s library." --Banking Exchange--This text refers to an alternate kindle_edition edition.
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Some parts of the book seemed oversimplifies, reduced to black and white.
As Mark Goulston explains, he experienced an epiphany years ago when he went to a meeting for estate planners who needed advice about helping families in crisis. "I expected the event to be a little dry, but instead, I was mesmerized. I found out that just like me, these people have to 'talk to crazy' every day. In fact, nearly every issue they discussed involved clients acting completely nuts...That's when it dawned on me that everyone -- including you -- has this problem. I'm betting that nearly every day, you deal with at least one irrational person...And that's what this book is all about: talking to crazy." That is, interacting with what he characterizes as "everyday crazy."
o They can’t see the world clearly.
o They say or think things that make no sense.
o They make decisions and take actions that aren’t in their best interests.
o They become downright impossible when you try to guide them back to the side of reason.
As I began to work my way through Goulston’s lively as well as eloquent narrative, I was again reminded of a scene in the Cheers television series when Frasier Crane, psychiatrist, patiently listens to Cliff Clavin, a mailman, babble on incoherently about the first Thanksgiving. "It took place between the ancient Egyptians and aliens from a distant galaxy." Eventually, Crane asks, "Cliff, what color is the sky in your world?" More recently, during the last holiday season at a party my wife and I attended, the host pointed out to several of us that very few penguins are left-handed. He was sober…and quite serious.
Goulston shares what he has learned about how to handle much more serious situations, situations that have potentially significant consequences if not resolved. "Maybe it's a boss who wants the impossible. Maybe it's a demanding parent or a hostile teen or a manipulative coworker or a neighbor who's always in your face." At one time or another, most people have encountered -- in an everyday situation -- a spouse or friend who screams at them, a child who says "I hate you" or "I hate myself," an aging parent who says "You don't care about me," someone at work who has a meltdown, and/or a supervisor who is a bully. These really are difficult situations that can be made even worse by an inappropriate response.
These are among the several dozen passages of greatest interest and value to me, also listed to suggest the scope of Goulston’s coverage:
o The Secret: Leaning into the Crazy (Pages 5-7)
o The Sanity Cycle (9-10)
o The Science Behind Crazy, and, Three Pathways to Crazy People (26-28)
o A Warning About Personality Disorders (37-41)
o Triangle/Silo/Triangle (58-59)
o The Eight-Step Pause (63-65)
o The "Oh F#@& to OK" Speed Drill (68-69)
In Sections 3-5 (Chapters 8-33), Goulston then focuses on
o Fourteen Tactics for Talking to Crazy (75-163)
o Eight Ways to Deal with Crazy in Your Personal Life (165-210)
o What to Do When Crazy Is Actually Mental Illness (211-252)
One of Goulston’s most valuable insights stresses the importance of following a process that is easy to chart but for most of us, very difficult to follow: “The Sanity Cycle”:
1. Recognize that the person you’re dealing with is unwilling and/or unable to think rationally/be reasonable in the current situation.
2. Identify that person’s mo0dus operandi – the specific ways(s) that person acts out their craziness.
3. Don’t take the craziness personally. Realize that it isn’t about you. Rather, it’s all about the person who is obviously very upset and probably angry.
4. Talk with the irrational person, leaning into the craziness by entering the other person’s world calmly and with an intention to be helpful.
NOTE: All of the major research studies (at least of which I am aware) indicate that during a face-to-face interaction, about 80% of impact is determined by tone o0f voice and body language; only about 20% (if that) is determined by what is said.
5. Demonstrate your good will, that you are an ally rather than a threat, by listening calmly and empathetically but NOT, I presume to add, in a way that could be taken as condescendingly as the person vents. Make eye contact and listen with attention and (yes) patience as well as purpose.
6. Help to guide the person to a more rational way of thinking. By letting off steam, they may calm down and appreciate the fact that you care and want to be helpful. These are the whats of the cycle. Goulston thoroughly explains the HOW of each of them.
“The majority of the techniques I teach in this book follow these steps (although there are variations, and you’ll sometimes veer completely off this path when you’re dealing with bullies, manipulators, or sociopaths). That’s because the Sanity Cycle is powerful magic.”
Mark Goulston is determined to do all he can to "heal the world one conversation at a time" and hopes that everyone who reads this book will be well-prepared as well as sufficiently courageous to "help make that dream come true."
I'm glad, however, that I overcame that resistance. Dr. Goulston presents an array of easily-understood tools to deal with the people in our lives that have gone a little sideways (or a lot sideways) in different situations.
Let's face it, we all have a little crazy in our lives, whether in terms of our own reactions to certain things or in terms of the people we have to deal with. Whether it's family, colleagues, clients, customers, kids, or the neighbor down the street, sometimes people are irrational.
What Goulston points out is that there are certain common factors within this irrationality, and once you identify the direction any given situation is heading, you can take action using his well-laid-out step-by-step suggestions.
And if you're at all introspective, you'll recognize yourself as well as your friends, family, and co-workers in the stories and examples Goulston uses. I found it refreshing to gain a better understanding of the neuroscience behind my and others' reactions along with the suggestions for how to make things better.
As a communication professional myself, I have a great deal of respect for Goulson's work. Simply put, IT WORKS. What he suggests isn't always easy, and it's sometimes counter-intuitive, but it's inevitably a whole lot better than continuing to struggle!
I am a fan of your books. I purchased Just Listen & How to get out of your own way. And love them both.
However, I cannot bring myself to finish this book since your format is all over the place. Please rehire the graphic designer who did you Just Listen book & reformat this book so it is easier for readers to digest the information.Just Listen is the best format book in the 3.
Books like this needs to be easy to view and read. Ideally use 1 font only for the paragraph. There are just too many fonts and too much use of big & small text. It is confusing to the eyes & the mind to follow through.
I will repurchase when the format is fixed. For now, I returned the book.
I wish I had this book 10 years ago. Creative solutions to relationships problems. And identifying my own crazy lies has life changing.
Top international reviews
We also promote people up through a team and then up to manager without giving any management training at all.
Years ago I worked for a UK company who had their own training centre and back then, in my twenties I got some of the most valuable training ever for which I am grateful and still use even though I am not a manager in my current role.
I also, and due to that training (as well as an emotionally abusive brief relationship - I found a way to get out by saying just the right words) never wanted to stop learning about people, body language and communicating effectively with difficult colleagurs.
An issue arose last week with a manager in my team who is not my boss. Two days later she came back at me again.
I did not react at the time but I had a few ideas on how to and what to do.
I read everything all about how my crazy affects me ( Mark is right, don't skip tghis part or you will really lose so much of the further info) all through all of the work situations and for one, one I am really pleased about is that the first step I had decided to take was the right one.
What I didn't know was this colleague's MO, nor how to follow my first step up.
I know how to now, or at least, have options to try which I believe will help but are also easy to remembet.
This is an easy read with really good scenarios which are easy to follow.
I heve given this five stars as it's fantastic for the one individual but also several more who I know I can use the guidance for.
There is still one thing missing for me. I have a colleague who is a manager but whom I need to manage in two ateas of my role who does not let me finish any sentence. She will accept a meeting relating to a deadline and delay it by half an hour repetitively so that it can string out over two full days.
I don't know hpw to deal with that yet. Perhaps the answer lies in Just Listen, Mark's other book.
I did finally find a solution: Divorce.
The approach of Dr. Mark Goulston to teach to control human behavior (including our own and of others) is straightforward. Each chapter of all of his books first presents a practical scenario of problematic human behavior and then comes the advice from the psychotherapist author.
After explaining the science of human behavior in the starting chapter "Recognizing How Crazy Happens"; Inside rest of the chapters the author present many practical scenarios and explain definite actionable advice.
I liked the book!