Have a manipulating boss driving you nuts?
Is a co-worker bullying you?
Do you have someone irrational or deceitful in your life?
You’ve tried explaining, tried rationalizing, tried…everything…and still, you get nowhere.
What do you do when you are talking to CRAZY?
“To reach irrational people, you need to know why they’re irrational.” –Mark Goulston
Enter acclaimed psychiatrist Mark Goulston with the answers. Mark’s new book Talking to Crazy: How to Deal with the Irrational and Impossible People In Your Life is a 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.
Recently, I asked Dr. Goulston about his exceptional new book and his practical observations and suggestions in dealing with difficult people.
We Are All A Little Nuts
We’re all a bit crazy because we all engage at times in non-rational, non-functional self-preservation (a.k.a. our identity). That means that when the reality of what we are dealing with changes, we will often continue to “do the same things over and over, expecting different results.” The reason for that is because in an increasingly specialized world, the areas in which we feel competent, confident and in control are increasingly narrow. That translates into trying to stay inside those areas rather than adapting to the new situation facing us. By the way, I don’t see “crazy” people as mentally ill. I have great compassion for and spent 30+ years treating people with significant mental illness, because they truly cannot stop acting the way they do until that mental illness – depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, ADHD, schizophrenia, etc. – is treated. To me crazy people are people who can control their behavior, but choose not to. In essence they abuse or take advantage of their relationships. They drive us crazy vs. being truly mentally ill.
I was incredibly moved by Mr. Harding’s story during your residency. What did this teach you?
It taught me not to jump to conclusions or be overly influenced by others before I gather all the information I can from the other person. That means patiently taking the time to truly understand and go to “their there” before I try to fit them into “my here.”
“The only normal people are the ones you don’t know very well.” –