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Dealing with People You Can't Stand: How to Bring Out the Best in People at Their Worst
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Dealing with People You Can't Stand: How to Bring Out the Best in People at Their Worst

3.67  ·  Rating details ·  1,387 ratings  ·  162 reviews
With their 1994 international bestseller, Dealing with People You Can't Stand, Drs. Rick Brinkman and Rick Kirschner armed a civility-starved world with no-nonsense strategies for dealing with difficult people with tact and skill. Since then, cell phones, the Internet, voice mail, and other technological wonders designed to bring people closer together have only made it th ...more
Paperback, 226 pages
Published February 27th 2002 by McGraw-Hill (first published 1994)
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May 16, 2010 rated it really liked it
This book is a Manager Tools recommendation.

The concept of this book is pretty simple and straightforward: choose a person you can't stand, identify which of the 10 personality types mentioned in the book they most closely match, and follow the specific recommendations to immunize yourself against further annoyance. The 10 types listed in the book are:

1. The Tank
2. The Sniper
3. The Grenade
4. The Know-It-All
5. The Think-They-Know-It-All
6. The Yes Person
7. The Maybe Person
8. The Nothing Person
Jan 02, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: favorites
I originally picked this book up cheaply just because the title made me giggle, and I was curious. Little did I realise that this book is actually a hive of really genuinely helpful information!

My predominant use of the techniques described in this book was in running my World of Warcraft guild - what can essentially be thought of as a voluntary team of 25 people. If it's any testement to what I learned in this book, the guild became the most successful on our server, ran for several years, and
Semi-Academic Eric
This book might tend to solidify perceptions of people and thereby keep people in boxes. However, I found some of the communication tips to be helpful. We must be careful, though, I think, to not get stuck in perceiving someone as a tank or a sniper or other type. People change. Some mental constructs make it hard to change with them.
Sep 01, 2015 rated it did not like it
Couldn't do it. Life is too short and this book is too stupid.
Nathan Albright
Jun 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: challenge2017
In reading this book I was struck by a very powerful set of mixed feelings.  On the one hand, I could read in these pages plenty of commentary and tactical advice on how to deal with people who drive me to distraction, and it was without question a useful book on communication [1].  On the other hand, reading this book was painful in a sense, because it brought forcefully and unpleasantly humorous to light the fact that I am almost certainly to many people the sort of person who they cannot stan ...more
Supachai Chavitranuruk
Quite straightforward. Great words usage. Just perfect.

The 10 Types of difficult people are:

Tanker - Always pushy and ruthless
Grenade - Explode their feeling easily
Whiner - Like a screamer in LFD2
No Person - Always says "NO"
Yes Person - Always says "Yes" and "Okay"
Maybe Person - Decisive guy.
Sniper - Attacks by using one's weaknesses
Think-They-Know-It-All - Pretends to Know everything
Nothing Person - Have you seen him? "Haven't seen yet" answered, The Nothing Person
Know-It-All - A movable info
I liked the contents of the book, but the title is horrible and does not do the book justice. I would like to recommend the book to co-workers, but with a title like that it won't happen.

The author does a good job explaining the possibilities of how other's may be thinking in order to understand where they are coming from, e.g., the bully or sniper (my favorites). The author provided tips to work with difficult people from a variety of personalities.

Solid 4 Stars
Kevin Hogan
Nov 15, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Got this book as part of a class on the subject. It's well-written and the ideas are worthwhile.

I have found it useful, and believe I will continue to find it useful.

It will go on my shelf of business books that I keep at work.
Nov 10, 2014 rated it liked it
Tank (confrontational) - hold ground, interrupt attack, backtrack to main point, aim for bottom line; if you are wrong: admit mistake, state briefly what you've learned, and what you'll do to prevent from happening again

Sniper (hidden shots) - look at situation and backtrack, use a searching questions to probe what other is trying to say (insinuate), use tank strategy if necessary, bring up past grievances

Know it all (and you're to blame) - be prepared and knowledgeable, backtrack, meet their d
Cleopatra  Pullen
Aug 17, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
How to deal with people you can't stand is something that we all have to do at some time. Usually we resort to the same old strategies which have worked in the past, albeit on a different person who annoys in a different way. I had gone through my set responses to someone I have to work closely with, I was just becoming more annoyed so I opened this book and read.

This book puts people into groups allowing you to categorise the source of your annoyance and giving you tips on how to handle them. I
Mar 06, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
There are only 2 things I liked about this book. The description of 10 difficult characters, aka "People You Can't Stand": the Tank, Sniper, etc. the second was the coordinate compass of people's behaviors (passive - aggressive, task focus - people focus) and how it translates to their intent. The difficult characters embody the combination of the behavior and the unfulfilled.

I found the advice for dealing with some of the characters questionable
Marwa Ebeed
Nov 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It is a wonderful book, talking about different types of people .. Explain the way their behavior and reasons and how they think and how to deal with them, and it tries to help you according to your personality. The book has a lot of details that are very important and really influential in life.
Jul 31, 2009 rated it liked it
One of the best book I read for work.
Jonas Wouters
Mar 29, 2018 rated it really liked it
Good insights and useful information. Will definitely use this in the future if I struggle with dealing with certain people.
Chris Weatherburn
Aug 08, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Bridgett Ashley
Nov 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Sometimes the universe is telling you something. This book was chosen by my professional development reading group for this quarter's book. I'd never heard of it, but agreed to another member's recommendation because it sounded interesting. I always wait until a couple of weeks before we meet to read the book we've chosen, so it'll be fresh in my mind for the discussion, so I hadn't gotten around to reading it yet, when my manager decided to send me to a leadership workshop/conference. The confe ...more
Melanie Rippon
Sep 09, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
As with "Emotional Vampires", this uses humour and slightly exaggerated scenarios to illustrate the various personality types. Has a section on the various intents behind people's actions (get it done; get it right; get appreciation; get along with people); how the various personalities mesh with those intents and the behaviour that results when those intents are threatened. There is also a section on general communication skills that is useful for all scenarios not just dealing with problem peo ...more
Aug 06, 2019 rated it liked it
If you want to accommodate annoying people, this book will help you do that, but you will have to sacrifice a lot of energy and absorb a lot of their crap in the process. Basically you have to be the patient one and approach them on their own level.

This does not appeal to me, because annoying people make me angry and I'm not interested in learning how to cater to them, but how to punish them for getting on my nerves and/or discourage them from ever messing with me again. Unfortunately this book
May 31, 2017 rated it really liked it
I read this book years ago as part of my professional development in conflict management. I didn't realize at the time how much I would need this book to help me understand the types of behavior in people I respected around me when conflict would arise. The book was fun and informative, and I learned a few things about my own communication style as well as how to communicate with some really unintelligent arguments that always seemed to turn personal. When I was done, I handed the book off to my ...more
Sandy Samy
Unexpected book , little disappointing . It need someone who have alot of time n perfectly mature n willing to listen n solve all humans problem .
When u meet someone annoying in your work , u want him/her to do their job .. which might take a month n u will never see them again , u wouldnt want to spend a year to treat someone u wont interact or need them again anyway
Beside , in everyday life it is hard to have patience n perfection mentioned in that book
It isnt bad , it just need alot of hard
Cyndi Scheuher
Feb 11, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book describes 10 different types of behaviors that people go to when they are pushed into a corner. The ten behaviors are described in detail and allows the reader to find their “difficult person“ with in one of these 10. It also allows the reader to find their own behavior when they are pushed into a corner. The book then describes skills for the reader to use when dealing with a difficult person. I Found this book to be interesting. I have not tried to use any of the skills described yet ...more
Ryan Spear
Jun 09, 2019 rated it liked it
Recommended to me - I realize the risk anyone takes the in posting that they are reading this as those in their network are likely to ask “ am *I* one of those people?” The answer? Yes, absolutely. Each of us are someone’s difficult person.

Helpful tools - a little cheesy at times but good reminders about what I bring to my interactions with others and how I might bring out the best in them. The final section on modes of communication (in-person, phone, email) was a good reminder of the strength
Jun 14, 2017 rated it liked it
I enjoyed this book for the description of the personalities of awful people, most of them your supervisors at work, because I love to read about personality pathology. But the advice was a bit too wimpy for my tastes. He always advocated passive or non-aggressive solutions to everything. No doubt that makes more sense, but I am a pretty aggressive guy, even as I had towards old age. I never did calm down.
Jul 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: self-help
Simple is good, simple and accurate is better. So accurate that shortly after starting I couldn't believe they were describing my boss behavior with such proximity, I felt like they knew her personally or worked with her. Amazed, I kept listening with interest and really got very good information, some of which I knew already, but it gave me confirmation.

Very practical, accurate and fairly simple. Really got many helpul gems out of this audiobook.
Erik Talboom
Sep 21, 2017 rated it really liked it
I liked the methodical approach of the different types of behaviour and how to address each in evolutionary steps. This has helped me to learn more about my own behaviour and how I can change from the inside-out perspective. I can totally recommend the audio book, nice reading and fun to listen to while driving through traffic.
Nov 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books-i-own
I love this Book. Its not just for people who work in business, it's for people who breath, and have to deal with others, either co-workers, the public, or even family members. I plan on keeping this book close to me at work. Great tips and help for dealing with difficult situations, and for identifying behaviors I myself have exhibited and experienced.
Jun 02, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A practical-skills book for understanding difficult people (through the lens of "threatened intent"), using patterns of effective communication (people want to be heard and understood), and a catalog of specific strategies for 13 problem archetypes. Useful models and actionable ideas, you probably don't have to read all the illustrative anecdotes or the whole catalog of strategies.
Michael Sypes
Very good clear advice for a variety of circumstances.
The edition I read was from 1994, so was dated in that there's a lot more communication in 2020 that is not "in-person", so does not benefit from body language. You can't convey that in typed messages. I would hope that newer editions include advice taking that into account.
Jan 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: abc-titles
This book has great information about communicating with people in their many varied moods. I highly recommend it for anyone who deals with people - parents, children, spouses, co-workers, bosses, clients, etc.
Becky Jo
Jul 17, 2019 rated it really liked it
This was a really helpful book, provided language and understanding for what I was experiencing. I have always backed away from difficult people, but this book helped to learn new ways to be an example of how my daughters can deal with them differently.
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