Summary of Talking to Crazy

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Talking to Crazy book summary


8 Overall

9 Applicability

8 Innovation

8 Style


Psychiatrist Mark Goulston explains why some people act irrationally and helps you identify different modes of acting crazy. He shares proven psychiatric tricks and techniques for dealing with people who behave somewhat off the wall, but he carefully distinguishes between momentary irrationality and serious mental or emotional disorders (in which case, he says, enlist professional help). He provides a rich toolbox for the situations you can try to handle, if only to get through someone’s temporary outburst in the office. Some of his strategies apply to dealing with people in the workplace, while others will help you if a loved one behaves irrationally. Goulston’s career is rich in experience and expertise, even if a few of his examples seem somewhat removed from the real world, a little manipulative or even self-protectively callous. While never giving medical advice, getAbstract suggests his insights might be useful to anyone who leads or interacts with other people.

In this summary, you will learn

  • How to deal with people who act crazy,
  • How to determine an irrational person’s modus operandi;
  • How to “lean into crazy,”
  • How to apply the six steps of the “sanity cycle,” and
  • What other techniques you can use with people who seem irrational.

About the Author

Former FBI hostage-negotiation trainer Mark Goulston, MD, is a psychiatrist, consultant, coach and business adviser.



How to Deal with Someone Who Acts Crazy
Author and psychiatrist Mark Goulston drove home after a difficult day. Preoccupied, he inadvertently cut off a pickup truck. The driver of the pickup honked angrily at Goulston, who waved back. Still driving along in a mental fog, and less than...

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    Oren Adony 2 years ago
    I never tried to "lean into the crazy", I think this could work really well in some situations.
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    Veronika Vetter 2 years ago
    That was extremely helpful.

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