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Coping with Difficult People

3.59  ·  Rating Details  ·  236 Ratings  ·  34 Reviews
Bosses, friends, family members, they've madeyour life hell -- until now! Based on fourteen yearsof research and observation, Dr. Robert Bramson'sproven-effective techniques are guaranteed to helpyou right the balance and take charge of yourlife. Learn how to:

Stand up to anyone --without fighting.

Blunt a sniper'sattack.

Get a clam to talk.

Cut off aSherman tank at the pa
Paperback, 240 pages
Published September 1st 1988 by Dell (first published 1981)
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Steven Peterson
Oct 15, 2009 Steven Peterson rated it liked it
There are some other books out there on the same subject. Some, like "Toxic Coworkers," may do the job even better. But this is still a useful volume. As the Introduction notes (page 1): "This is a book about impossible people and how to cope with them." Coping is the center of this work--how to deal with workers who are difficult to work with. The idea? (Page 7): "Coping enables you and the Difficult Person to get on with the business at hand." "Win-win" is the goal. Is the advice useful? Each ...more
I've been doing psychiatric counseling for a few years and I'm always looking for good resources, both for myself and as recommendations for the general public. This book sets the standard for the topic. I have two main issues for review: first for the general and then for the professional.

Bramson makes the point toward the end that this is not a "self-help" book in the sense of improving self image or self esteem. It is, as it claims, a guidebook for how to cope with difficult people in your l
Jul 02, 2008 Jerry rated it did not like it
I'm looking for a book on this subject that is interesting to read and doesn't bore me with anecdotes about people I don't care about. This book is a quick read, but what I got out of it could have been conveyed in 50 pages. If the subject has to be fluffed up to make a book, the writing needs to be much more entertaining. If you have a particular person in mind when you pick up this book, I'd jump right to the chapter devoted to them.
Jamie F
Oct 31, 2007 Jamie F rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Anyone that wants to improve dealing with difficult people
Good book with specific steps to deal with 7 different types of difficult peoople. A lot of the recommendations fit well with what I've learned in the leadership program at work, but instead of a generic approach for everyone, it gave specific steps for specific situations. It was worth reading if you have difficult coworkers or if you need to be prepared to deal with anyone! ;-)
Aug 28, 2015 Dawn added it
This book was really informative. I wish I had discovered it about ten years ago. I think it would have really helped me cope with some situations that should not have become so complicated and stressful. This book describes different types of people that prove difficult to handle and ways to cope. I think the most important thing I realized from this book is that the majority of people are not consciously difficult and half the trouble is how your reaction can escalate the situation if you empl ...more
Aug 15, 2010 booklady rated it liked it
Recommended to booklady by: Jane St. Clair
Helpful book to pick up when you encounter a person who is a particular challenge and you have to deal with them on a regular basis. Teaches techniques to de-emphasize emotional aspects and view the situation from a safe distance. Invaluable with certain people.
Kresimir Mudrovcic
Dec 02, 2015 Kresimir Mudrovcic rated it liked it
Book was literally OK, nothing more. Writer spoiled it with too many disconnected parts, I was missing some flow in the book. Also, there were too many personality divisions that created too many different things specific to some personality type to remember. Also there was not a single scientific or research backup for the recommendations. Overall, it is a good topic, but style of writing was a failure.
Jason H
Mar 18, 2016 Jason H rated it it was ok
This book is definitely all about what the title says: coping. Bramson gives some good overviews of archetypes you'll see in offices around the world, and even though the book is dated now (teletype?), the people we all work with are generally still the same.

The thing that bothered me the entire time was that he decided to write a book about coping with difficult people instead of a book about how to change those difficult people for the better, through training, self-awareness, etc. Maybe he's
Jan 30, 2016 Jill rated it liked it
Excellent practical advise for dealing with difficult personality types, including hostile-agressives, complainers, silent unresponsives, super-agreeables, negativists, and know-it-alls. I used this book in a leadership program, and had the opportunity to practice what I learned on a difficult employee - a classic "hostile-agressive sniper." The tips really worked!
Oct 03, 2015 Ita rated it it was ok
Shelves: non-fiction
This book had some good ideas but I didn't realise there were so many categories of 'difficult' people and according to the author they all need to be handled differently! This sounds too much like hard work to me, I will just keep treating everyone the way I like to be treated. this works for me most of the time.
Nov 15, 2014 Melinda rated it really liked it
I was assigned to read this book for a continuing education course. It is very concrete and gives great suggestions for how to react to the different types of difficult people in your life.
Zach Liang-
Jun 20, 2015 Zach Liang- rated it really liked it

is my review . partially read
Mar 25, 2012 Matt rated it did not like it
The edition I read was very old, published in the early '80s. I hope later editions have updated research.

RE: this edition, I found his choice of personality types to be accurate but I disagreed with some of his analysis of why these personalities emerge.

I think sociology and business psychology has come a long way since this edition was written. Anyone who has spent any time in college has likely spent time in a management class and thus examined the topics he addresses in this book, and probab
Mar 09, 2016 Janice rated it liked it
Read this books years ago when I was a counselor. It's okay.
Did not finish. The examples were not compelling and I just didn't feel pulled along through it. I much preferred Getting to Yes: Negotiating an Agreement Without Giving In.
Paul DeBusschere
Mar 02, 2016 Paul DeBusschere rated it it was ok
Somewhat useful, but the book is extremely dated for today's workplace. I found Dr. Bramson's examples either too contrived or too archaic in many chapters. Quite a few passages are, frankly, pretty dry reading for a subject which should be more engaging. Yawn.
Feb 25, 2012 Andrea rated it it was amazing
I read this book more than 10 years ago and am now re-reading it. It is a very quick read and is so helpful not only in work relationships but also personal ones. The primary take away is for one to focus more on their own reactions and coping strategies vs. trying to expect or effect change in a person who is difficult to deal with. I have recommended this to countless colleagues and friends. It is a small paperback, easily acquired on Amazon but buy it before it goes out of print!
Nov 27, 2010 Andy rated it did not like it
Maybe I'm looking for something with a bit more bite, that offers more practical solutions than, essentially, "grin and bear it". I wanted a work that dug under the personalities and got to the driving pathology. For that, I will have to look elsewhere. And if I may be forgiven for nitpicking, this work really suffers from a case of the cutes, with workplace personalities labeled things like "the clam" or "the sherman tank".
Dec 06, 2008 Nicole rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Anyone who dislikes their boss or someone they work with (and it only takes 1!)
Recommended to Nicole by: Alleruzo in Hospitality leadership
This book is exactly what the title suggests, how to cope with difficult people. The setting of the book is in the workplace or office, but the authors ideas can be applied to just about anywhere where there are people that you do not care for. Read about the various types of "difficult people" and learn how to deal with them and their habits/manorisms, etc. professionally and most effectively.
Sherry (sethurner)
Oct 29, 2008 Sherry (sethurner) rated it really liked it
I used this book with my high school communication class because it gives several good strategies for dealing with people who belittle, berate, and generally annoy you, other than telling them off or popping them in the chops. This was a novel concept to some of my students.
Sep 28, 2013 Jane rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-in-2013
I found this book to be easy to read and full of common sense advice. It also helped to look inward where my own thoughts and reactions may be contributing to a stressful situation. Highly recommended for anyone who wants to resolve a conflict in as positive manner as possible.
Robert Snow
May 27, 2013 Robert Snow rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Everyone has a boss no matter who you work for or what you do. Know how to deal with them and how to survive. A good book that not many people will read because most people don't understand what they're dealing with until it is all over and a new Boss takes over from the old.
Dave Lefevre
Feb 28, 2012 Dave Lefevre rated it really liked it
Shelves: howto
Very solid book even after 30 years. The basic types hold true. Some good ideas to build upon while the author keeps in mind that everyone is different.

I read this as a help with dealing with certain personality types that come up in customer service.
Paul Brandel
Jul 10, 2010 Paul Brandel rated it really liked it
A fine book on dealing w/difficult coworkers.The gives the types of
those troublesome workers and technics on dealing with those coworkers.
The writer also points out how we can be a difficult person too,and
to work on our issues.

Kylir Horton
Mar 01, 2010 Kylir Horton rated it it was amazing
Awesome book with very applicable and usable advice. I liked how straight-forward and realistic it is. I am planning on rereading this book to pick up on more of the details. I highly recommend reading this!
May 14, 2010 Faith rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-nonfiction
I didn't read the whole book, just the section on the type of co-worker I'm having difficulty with. I thought the author's insights were spot-on, and the strategies he suggested truly have helped me cope.
Jan 13, 2010 Charlie rated it it was amazing
Shelves: business
I liked this book, very practical. It seems to focus mainly on coping in the context of the workplace, but it is clear that the given techniques would work in just about any situation.
Aug 25, 2007 Leslie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone
I have a copy of this book at home which I review it every now and then. It is very helpful for when you are frustrated at work, and gives tips on how to deal with each type of boss.
Mar 28, 2015 Briánna rated it liked it
Pretty good book. Lots of interesting ways to deal with those horribly difficult people, now to put them into action. All in all, good book.
Mar 21, 2007 K.D. rated it it was amazing
In my line of work, I have to deal with all sorts of personalities. This book has given solid solutions for the "difficult" personality traits.
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