chapter 9

The A-E-U Technique

Highly Effective—But Scary

A-E-U Stands for Apologize, Empathize, Uncover. It’s an edgy (and slightly scary) way to cut crazy down to size.

This is not an approach I recommend if you’re emotionally fragile, or if you’re dealing with people who actively hate you and wish you harm. Even in the right circumstances, you need to use A-E-U with great caution. Think of it as the emotional equivalent of C4: highly explosive but brilliant for blowing up barriers.

One person who used A-E-U successfully was a middle-aged woman named Barbara. She’d contacted me because her family was in crisis and her marriage to her husband, Jeff, was breaking apart.

Barbara and Jeff’s daughter, a divorced and highly unreliable parent, had ...

Get Talking to Crazy now with the O’Reilly learning platform.

O’Reilly members experience live online training, plus books, videos, and digital content from nearly 200 publishers.