Talking To Crazy Book Summary By Mark Goulston

*This post contains affiliate links, and we may earn an affiliate commission without it ever affecting the price you pay.

Talking to Crazy is a top book that provides valuable advice on learning to empathize with and communicate with people who are in an unpredictable or irrational state.

Written by author Mark Goulston, the helpful guide discusses the notion that any person can have moments where they might act erratically, which is why it’s key to understand how best to navigate such situations.

Providing readers with time-tested strategies, this solution-focused approach acknowledges the underlying causes of such behavior so that it can be addressed in a meaningful way.

Talking To Crazy Book

Book Name: Talking to Crazy (How to Deal with the Irrational and Impossible People in Your Life)

Author(s): Mark Goulston

Rating: 4/5

Reading Time: 19 Minutes

Categories: Communication Skills

Author Bio

Mark Goulston is an expert in his field.

He has authored numerous bestselling books, including Just Listen and Get Out Of Your Own Way.

But he isn't just an author - he's also a psychiatrist, business advisor, and coach.

Goulston understands the struggles of those dealing with mental health issues, having worked as a psychiatrist for many years.

His expertise and advice have helped countless individuals manage their mental illness so that they can lead productive lives.

Furthermore, as a business advisor, he has provided invaluable advice to entrepreneurs who are looking to get ahead in their industries.

With his latest book, Talking To Crazy: How To Deal With The Irrational And Impossible People In Your Life, Goulston hopes to help people better understand why certain individuals behave the way they do and how to effectively communicate with them without resorting to violence or judgmentalism.

Understanding And Dealing With The Crazy Behavior We All Fall Prey To

Crazy Behavior

Sometimes it’s hard to control your emotions, and everyone has those moments where they act a little crazy.

But in Talking to Crazy, you’ll learn more about why this happens and how you can cope with this irrational behavior.

You’ll learn how to identify what triggers your own crazy behavior, how to handle someone who just won’t take “no” for an answer, and why sometimes craziness is too much for one person.

You’ll even find strategies on handling yourself when you’re feeling out of control.

It all comes down to learning ways to tackle that irrational behavior head-on and finding methods to cope with the craziness so you don’t have to feel overwhelmed or embarrassed by your own actions in moments of turmoil.

With the right knowledge and skills, you can learn how to better manage yourself through trying situations – something everyone should strive for!

Acknowledging Your Own Craziness Can Help You Deal With Crazy People

We all have moments in which we act irrationally or feel out of control – including ourselves.

If we can recognize and accept that everyone is capable of acting crazy sometimes, we can begin to form better solutions to deal with it.

It’s important to understand that when we talk about “crazy”, we are not talking about mentally ill people who unfairly get that label attached to them.

We’re talking about periods of irrational behavior which can manifest in a variety of ways.

For instance, somebody might behave in a way that suggests they have a distorted view of reality; or perhaps their refusal to listen to reason tips the scales into craziness; even saying nonsensical things or acting against one’s own interest can be seen as crazy.

The first step towards solving any issues related to this kind of behaviour is admitting our own craziness and having the courage to empathise with others who may find themselves in similar experiences.

This understanding can help us remain calm and sympathize rather than resorting to screams and irrational reactions when dealing with difficult people.

Being able to take a step back also allows us to start figuring out what triggered the person’s insanity, so that it may be addressed sooner and more constructively.

We should accept that everyone – even our own selves – has moments of craziness, so that these chaotic episodes don’t lead the situation further astray.

Keeping this idea at the core will help us gain insight and develop better solutions moving forward.

How To Communicate With A Crazy Person Without Driving Yourself Nuts

When a person is acting irrationally, it can be difficult to respond.

We have all been in that situation before, and it can be hard to remain calm.

The key thing to remember is not to try and argue with them – arguing rarely helps.

Instead, try to work out what is the trigger for this person’s craziness.

It might stem from events in their past, and identifying those can help you understand why they may act the way they do.

Once you know why someone has gone off on a crazy tangent, then you can start coming up with ways to help them stop or at least tone it down.

One way of doing this is by trying your best to empathize with them.

Put yourself in their shoes and imagine what made them so upset or angry.

When we sympathize with another person, even if it isn’t rational our brains are able to process things better – thus helping us communicate more effectively during these tricky moments.

By taking the time to identify the triggers and empathise with the person when they enter into ‘crazy mode’, we can help slow down their actions and eventually get through whatever issue they are facing more easily.

How To Keep Calm And Diffuse Crazy Behavior

Crazy Behavior

When it comes to talking to a crazy person, the most important thing is to understand why he’s behaving that way and not get sucked into a power struggle.

People who act out often want to feel in control, and so the best approach is to cooperate with the person rather than trying to overpower him.

One strategy for defusing a volatile situation is to let them keep any control they may be striving for.

This may seem counter-intuitive but if you allow them to stay in charge, they will likely be less driven towards continuing their crazy behavior.

Another approach is to show empathy by apologizing or saying things they might have been mad enough to say in the first place.

Undercutting their need in this manner allows both parties involved to move on faster.

In addition, it’s also important to establish clear boundaries when speaking with someone who may exhibit erratic behavior.

For instance, make sure they know that you will hang up immediately if they continue shouting on the phone.

By doing this you’re communicating that their actions have consequences – this may prevent them from acting out again in future.

So remember: don’t ever engage in a power struggle with a crazy person and instead try empathizing but set boundaries firmly but respectfully when needed.

Don’T Let Temporary Craziness Destroy Your Relationships: Tap Into Someone’S Inner Sanity

When dealing with someone who is in a state of craziness, the best thing to do is remind them of something mundane.

This presents an opportunity to connect with their sane inner self.

As opposed to engaging with the crazy wrapper, try talking to the saner version that exists underneath – this will help calm them down and restore order.

It is also important that when a crazed individual begins lashing out and making negative comments towards you, try not to take it too personally as they often don’t mean what they say in such a confused state.

It can be tempting to run away from the situation but it’s important to recognize that it’s a temporary issue and if given time, things should go back to normal.

This way, you will gain insight into how the person behaves when they are not pushed over the edge which can be constructive for both of you moving forward.

So don’t shout at the crazy on the outside but seek out the sane one on the inside; this could prove key in restoring relationships strained by periods of craziness.

How To Deal With Manipulative Crazy People: Be Clear And Compassionate

Crazy people often try to manipulate others as a means of fear, disappointment or even anger.

They may try to drive a wedge between two parties because they feel refused, or badmouth someone else in an attempt to change the response from “no” to “yes.” This can be especially true for those who are afraid of getting refused for help, or those who have been rejected when asking for help in the past.

The key is dealing with manipulators in a gentle yet clear approach.

Point out that their reactions are overblown and remind them it is alright to safely ask for help without fear of being denied.

Let them know that you are there for them and will check-in regularly so they don’t suffer in silence.

By doing this, you can also provide them with guidance to express their emotions while still getting their point across.

How To Deal With The Crazy Know-It-Alls And Sarcastic People In Our Lives


When talking to ‘crazy’ people, you may encounter a type of crazy person who exhibits narcissistic and/or sarcastic behavior.

The key in dealing with these individuals is to catch them off guard with unexpected behavior or comments.

When it comes to people who act narcissistically, the best way to address their need for control is to boost their ego further by agreeing with them and lending validation to their superior feelings.

This will lessen their need to act superior or condescending towards others.

The same tactic also works on those exhibiting sarcastic behaviour: throwing the sarcasm back at them will grab their attention and rattle their cage a bit.

For example, if your boss makes a sarcastic comment about your abilities, jokingly throw the comment back at him and see where it goes from there.

By catching narcissistic and sarcastic people off guard, you can often then talk to them in a sane fashion rather than engaging further in the craziness.

How To Protect Your Relationships From Crazy Behavior

No matter how badly your relationship is ending, you must always respect and cooperate with your partner for the sake of your children.

Divorces can be a difficult time for all parties involved, but it’s essential that couples who have children together remain respectful to each other during this process.

Talking to Crazy book emphasizes the importance of protecting the mental health of your children by refraining from heated arguments or engaging in custody battles over the child.

Rather than harshly tearing each other apart, couples should focus on establishing boundaries and being supportive in order to continue playing an important role in their child’s life.

By being supportive partners during these sensitive times, not only will you protect yourselves from unnecessary stress and drama, but you’ll also give your child the best chance of recovering unscathed during such a trying period.

And if ever you feel tempted to start an argument or engage in a custody battle, remember that it is always best for the individual that should come first — your kid!

Encouraging Dialogue Through Open Communication And Repeat Exercises To Connect With A Shut Down Partner

When a loved one shuts down and won’t communicate, it can be hard to know what to do.

Fortunately there is a strategy you can use that might help: try to voice the thoughts your partner may be having, even if they don’t or won’t say it.

By voicing their thoughts, you are showing that person that you understand how difficult and overwhelming negative feelings can be.

This open dialogue can also help them break through any walls of silence that have been built up as a result of bottling up those feelings.

Additionally, saying aloud difficult feelings in a safe space helps create an opportunity for healing and resolution between both parties.

It’s also useful whoaling and resolution between both parties.

It’s also useful to ask your partner to repeat the thought after you express it- this shows themthat you really care about them and want to make sure they are included in conversations they tend to avoid due to fear or discomfort with voicing their emotions.

Understanding How To Support Someone With A Serious Mental Illness

Mental Illness

Sometimes, you cannot be the person to coax a loved one out of their period of craziness.

Instead, a person with a true and serious mental illness will require professional help if they are to get better.

It’s important to remember that they need more than just temporary irrational behavior managed, and it can be hard to convince them to seek the help they need.

When it comes to dealing with mental health issues, there are different types of professional assistance available.

From medical-oriented psychiatry which specializes in stabilizing the patient, through psychotherapy sessions for long-term coping and problem solving, counseling for shorter yet frequently occurring issues and mentoring for motivation during recovery; these all ensure someone can receive the assistance needed.

It’s also incredibly helpful if you are able to listen and empathize with your loved one rather than trying to handle this situation alone.

Establishing a strong connection is key in being able to understand why they’re feeling certain ways backed up by staying agree with them in an attempt show that you’d probably behave similarly too should you were in the same place in life as them.

Wrap Up

Overall, in the book “Talking to Crazy” the key message is that anyone can go through moments of craziness.

When faced with a crazy person, try not to get into a power struggle with them and instead stay respectful and try to empathize.

Help guide them to talk about their thoughts if possible and be mindful of your goal of finding sanity while they feel upset.

If mental illness is present then encourage professional help instead of attempting to fix it on your own.

In terms of actionable advice, the book recommends keeping focused on the left eye of a person in ‘crazy mode’.

This is because looking at the left eye taps into their right brain hemisphere which is more emotional, allowing you to form a better connection and keep on track with maintaining sanity during venting or intense emotions.

Arturo Miller

Hi, I am Arturo Miller, the Chief Editor of this blog. I'm a passionate reader, learner and blogger. Motivated by the desire to help others reach their fullest potential, I draw from my own experiences and insights to curate blogs.

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.