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Talking to 'crazy'


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Table of Contents



SECTION 1 The Basics of Talking to Crazy

1 Understanding Crazy

2 Recognizing How Crazy Happens

3 Spotting an Irrational Person's M.O.

4 Knowing When to Talk to Crazy and When to Walk Away

SECTION 2 Facing Your Own Crazy First

5 Pinpointing Your Own Crazy

6 Keeping Your Own Crazy at Bay When You're Under Attack

7 Regrouping When Crazy Wins

SECTION 3 Fourteen Tactics for Talking to Crazy

8 The Belly Roll: Putting the Irrational Person "in Charge" to Defuse a Tense Situation

9 The A-E-U Technique: Highly Effective-But Scary

10 Time Travel: Getting an Irrational Person to Stop Dwelling on the Past and Focus Instead on the Future

11 The Eye of the Hurricane: Finding the Sane Inside the Crazy

12 Digging Down to Disappointment: Dealing with Emotional People Who Don't Really Mean What They're Saying

13 The Fishbowl: Bringing an Irrational Person's Mirror Neurons into Play

14 The Split Second: How to Handle an Irrational Person Who's Playing You Against Someone Else

15 The Three L's: Helping an Irrational Person Cope with Extreme Fear

16 The Butter-Up: Getting a Know-It-All to Behave

17 Executive Order: Getting a Martyr to Accept Help

18 Coup Contrecoup: Turning an Irrational Person's M.O. to Your Own Advantage

19 The Kiss-Off (and the Gentle Kiss-Off): Saying No to a Manipulator

20 Frenemies: Handling a "Toxic Deflector" at Work

21 I Know What You're Hiding: Getting a Sociopath out of Your Life

SECTION 4 Eight Ways to Deal with Crazy in Your Personal Life

22 You've Lost That Lovin' Feeling? Handling Your Mutual Crazy in a Relationship

23 Shock Absorber: Getting Through to an Emotional Partner

24 Copy Cat: Getting a Strong-and-Silent Partner to Talk

25 Child A or Child B? Going Through a Divorce Without Wrecking Your Kids for Life

26 "What's the Worst Thing for You?" Being There for a Parent, Partner, or Child in Pain

27 The Reconnect: Healing a Broken Relationship with an Adult Child

28 The Assumptive Close: Getting an Aging Parent to Accept Help

29 The Four H's and Four R's: Rebuilding a Personal Relationship After an Irrational Person Breaks It

SECTION 5 What to Do When Crazy Is Actually Mental Illness

30 Where to Turn When Crazy Is Above Your Pay Grade

31 How to Get the Person to Say Yes to Getting Help

32 What to Do if You Think Someone May Be Suicidal

33 Woulda, Coulda, Shoulda: Preventing the Next Sandy Hook



About the Author

Mark Goulston, MD, is a business advisor, consultant, coach, speaker, and psychiatrist. The author of Get Out of Your Own Way and other popular books, he blogs for Harvard Business Review, Fast Company, Business Insider, The Huffington Post, and Psychology Today; and he is featured frequently in major media, including The Wall Street Journal, Fortune, Newsweek, Time, CNN, Fox News, and the TODAY Show.


"You've met the bully, the manipulator, the victim, the know-it-all, the backstabber. Dealing with these personalities can drive you crazy--unless you employ Goulston's methods for dealing with them." --Jim Pawlak, Biz Books
"You've met the bully, the manipulator, the victim, the know-it-all...Dealing with these personalities can drive you crazy -- unless you employ Goulston's methods for dealing with them." - Hartford Business Journal
"Sometimes you read a book that is not only utterly riveting but also gives you useful tips for dealing with difficult situations in your own life." --Steemit
"Everyone's heard the expression 'you can't talk to crazy.' Goulston has discovered a way to communicate with them." -Lindsey Novak, At Work national columnist
Online MBA's 25 Best Business Books "[Goulston's]ideas are a bit counter-intuitive but they really do shift the dynamic and help people diffuse and disarm the irrational person leading to more positive outcomes." -- Online MBA
"Reading Talking to Crazy will enrich your life. It is a book of practical wisdom." --Parking Today
..".can help our work and personal life be less stressful, more productive and possibly save someone from doing something violent to themselves or others." --School Administrator
"Guidebook to dealing with the impossible people that cross your path. His suggestions can be put to work immediately. I know because I did. And they work." --Skip Prichard's Leadership Insights
..".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
..".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
..".we all deal with irrational people and situations. Talking to Crazy contains valuable insights into these types of important addition to anyone's library." --Banking Exchange
Earphones Award Winner from Audiofile Magazine
2016 Audie Award Finalist in Business/Educational
Audiobook Review: "In this entertaining audiobook, author Mark Goulston has compiled decades of his experiences as a psychiatrist to show how even a layperson can communicate successfully with the irrational people in his or her life." --Audiofile Magazine
"By giving readers the words and theories, Goulston elevates a good book into a great one." --Success Magazine
"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
"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
"I strongly recommend that you buy this will find it infinitely useful, no matter what profession or life situation you are in." --PCB007
"My only regret about this book is that I did not read it sooner, when it would have been very helpful in dealing with some 'crazy' situations." --Vancouver Business Journal
"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
"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."

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