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Talking to Crazy by Mark Goulston

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chapter 13

The Fishbowl

Bringing an Irrational Person’sMirror Neurons into Play

Angry or hysterical people don’t bother me. Neither do bullies. And neither do silent types, because it’s easy for me to crack their shells and get them to open up. My own M.O. is to sit and listen calmly while these people talk their way back to sanity by openly venting their emotions.

Sometimes, however, I break with my M.O. and knock people out of their craziness by getting them to stop talking. Instead, I force them to speak with their eyes.

This approach, which I call the Fishbowl, harnesses the power of what I call mirror neurons. These brain cells fire both when you act and when you witness another person acting. And when another person is hurt or sad, these ...

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