An indispensable guide to understanding—and living or working with—people whose behavior leaves you frustrated and confused
We all have people in our lives who frustrate, annoy, or hurt us: workplace bullies, those who always claim to be right, or those with anxious or obsessive personalities. And most of us hurt others occasionally, too. Now, authors Dr. Helen McGrath, a clinical psychologist and professor, and Hazel Edwards, a professional writer, offer this highly readable, extremely practical guide to dealing with the difficult personalities we encounter every day—in others, and in ourselves.
Taking the American Psychiatric Association's widely used Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV-TR) as its starting point, Difficult Personalities helpfully outlines over a dozen different personality traits and types, detailing their common characteristics and underlying motivations. It also equips readers with numerous strategies for dealing with difficult behavior, including:
• Anger and conflict management
• Optimism and assertion training
• Rational and empathic thinking
• Reexamining your own personality.
Readers will also benefit from sections on making difficult decisions and maintaining romantic relationships. Perfect for anyone who has ever wished that other people came with a handbook, Difficult Personalities illuminates the personality differences that so often serve as barriers to cooperation in the workplace and harmony at home.
What do you get when a clinical psychologist (McGrath) and an experienced author of adult and children's literature (Edwards) team up to write a handbook for dealing with troublesome people at work or in one's personal life? You get a no-frills resource that is both easy to understand and highly informative. As with many such manuals, it's not necessary to read cover to cover (especially when the book's only shortcoming is its slightly repetitive tips and strategies) but, rather, to read the chapter about whichever personality causes stress in your life, from the anxious to the passive-aggressive, bullies, and narcissists. Whether the problem person is a chronic complainer, a fount of insults, or a perpetual martyr, you are guaranteed to find in-depth analysis, including what they do, why they do it, and strategies to help cope with that person in a positive, healthy way. The authors also have advice for people who recognize bothersome traits in themselves. McGrath and Edwards have avoided scientific jargon and created a handbook people can put to use immediately. There's nothing difficult about this book, except for the subject it gracefully explicates.