Jay Connor's Reviews > Living Successfully with Screwed-Up People

Living Successfully with Screwed-Up People by Elizabeth B. Brown
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Jan 14, 12

Read in January, 2012

Alright, I'll admit it. This book title attracted my eye after spending the holidays with my extended family. Not that my family is composed of screwed up people. Far from it! But the clan, as a whole, was having difficulty dealing effectively -- "living successfully" -- with one difficult member. Many of the coping strategies were reactive and bordered on being as dysfunctional as the original underlying behaviors.

While this book does not transcend much of the "self-help" pablum: clarity of vision, become more proactive, etc., there we two very helpful tools which dramatically added to the overall value of the book. Fairly early on (page 44) there was a set of 20 questions which help clarify whether the problem was a truly toxic personality (on a scale of 1 to 20). This is a very helpful tool in determining where an investment of action will (or won't) be most effective.
The other insightful tool begins on page 139 and is a list of tactics used by and in response to screwed-up people.

While these tools, as the book as a whole, are focused on individual toxicity, there is good resonance with institutional and community dysfunction. That is to say, that you don't need to be suffering the slings of a particular person to find in this book important perspective and strategies for your broader sense of "living successfully."
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