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Talking to Crazy

Book Description

“Finally! The book that helps you deal with irrational, impossible people.” —Oprah’s Book Club 2.0

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.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
  2. Title
  3. Contents
  4. Acknowledgments
  5. SECTION 1: The Basics of Talking to Crazy
    1. 1. Understanding Crazy
    2. 2. Recognizing How Crazy Happens
    3. 3. Spotting an Irrational Person’s M.O.
    4. 4. Knowing When to Talk to Crazy and When to Walk Away
  6. SECTION 2: Facing Your Own Crazy First
    1. 5. Pinpointing Your Own Crazy
    2. 6. Keeping Your Own Crazy at Bay When You’re Under Attack
    3. 7. Regrouping When Crazy Wins
  7. SECTION 3: Fourteen Tactics for Talking to Crazy
    1. 8. The Belly Roll: Putting the Irrational Person “in Charge” to Defuse a Tense Situation
    2. 9. The A-E-U Technique: Highly Effective—But Scary
    3. 10. Time Travel: Getting an Irrational Person to Stop Dwelling on the Past and Focus Instead on the Future
    4. 11. The Eye of the Hurricane: Finding the Sane Inside the Crazy
    5. 12. Digging Down to Disappointment: Dealing with Emotional People Who Don’t Really Mean What They’re Saying
    6. 13. The Fishbowl: Bringing an Irrational Person’s Mirror Neurons into Play
    7. 14. The Split Second: How to Handle an Irrational Person Who’s Playing You Against Someone Else
    8. 15. The Three L’s: Helping an Irrational Person Cope with Extreme Fear
    9. 16. The Butter-Up: Getting a Know-It-All to Behave
    10. 17. Executive Order: Getting a Martyr to Accept Help
    11. 18. Coup Contrecoup: Turning an Irrational Person’s M.O. to Your Own Advantage
    12. 19. The Kiss-Off (and the Gentle Kiss-Off): Saying No to a Manipulator
    13. 20. Frenemies: Handling a “Toxic Deflector” at Work
    14. 21. I Know What You’re Hiding: Getting a Sociopath out of Your Life
  8. SECTION 4: Eight Ways to Deal with Crazy in Your Personal Life
    1. 22. You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feeling? Handling Your Mutual Crazy in a Relationship
    2. 23. Shock Absorber: Getting Through to an Emotional Partner
    3. 24. Copy Cat: Getting a Strong-and-Silent Partner to Talk
    4. 25. Child A or Child B? Going Through a Divorce Without Wrecking Your Kids for Life
    5. 26. “What’s the Worst Thing for You?” Being There for a Parent, Partner, or Child in Pain
    6. 27. The Reconnect: Healing a Broken Relationship with an Adult Child
    7. 28. The Assumptive Close: Getting an Aging Parent to Accept Help
    8. 29. The Four H’s and Four R’s: Rebuilding a Personal Relationship After an Irrational Person Breaks It
  9. SECTION 5: What to Do When Crazy Is Actually Mental Illness
    1. 30. Where to Turn When Crazy Is Above Your Pay Grade
    2. 31. How to Get the Person to Say Yes to Getting Help
    3. 32. What to Do if You Think Someone May Be Suicidal
    4. 33. Woulda, Coulda, Shoulda: Preventing the Next Sandy Hook
  10. Epilogue
  11. Index
  12. About the Author
  13. Free Sample Chapter from Just Listen by Mark Goulston
  14. Copyright