Dealing With The Crazymakers In Your Life: Setting Boundaries on Unhealthy Relationships Paperback – Feb 1 2007
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"I devoured the Dealing with the CrazyMakers in Your Life book and am now reading every Harvest House title Dr. David Hawkins has written. The book is brilliant and so are his other titles, like When Pleasing Others is Hurting You. God really used CrazyMakers to confirm that I had taken the right steps in drawing boundaries in my life. So many times Christians think that being 'Christ-like' means putting up with all the garbage people want to throw at us, but if we don't stop the garbage-throwing then we're just enabling those throwing it. CrazyMakers really helps to define the different types of 'crazy makers' and then equips the reader with how to recognize them, set boundaries, and not take the bait these people throw out. Bottom line is, 'crazy makers' WANT to engage you in their dysfunction and well...make you crazy! Dr. Hawkins empowers his readers to be able to break free from those who are making them crazy. I will be carrying David Hawkins' books on my website and in the conferences where I speak as well as quoting him when I write. They're indispensable tools for anyone who wants to live a successful Christian life." --Debra White Smith, bestselling author of the Austin series and What Jane Austin Taught Me About Love and Romance
About the Author
With more than 35 years of counseling experience, David Hawkins, PhD, has a special interest in helping individuals and couples strengthen their relationships. Dr. Hawkins' books, including When Pleasing Others Is Hurting You and Dealing with the CrazyMakers in Your Life, have more than 350,000 copies in print.
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I am sharing the best parts of the book that I enjoyed.
Page 43 Don't feel, Don't hurt. Don't talk about problems.
This is the definition of a crazy-making world because our emotional well-being actually hinges on our ability to talk about problems, share painful and joyful emotions, and state clearly what we are seeing. To learn to be numb is the beginning of craziness.
A large part of the answer, for both the crazy-maker and for family members and friends, is to "come-alive", to turn on our "chaos detectors" and recognize when we are numbing ourselves instead of sharing our feelings. This includes regaining the ability to speak and rename the truth. We cannot do this if we are numb and entrenched in denial or if we are firmly enmeshed in the crazy-maker's world. Healing begins with the smallest step of awareness.
Page 46 The Egotist
One who immediately launches into a conversation about himself- the ones so full of themselves that they have little room for you. Having a balanced conversation with them is impossible. Talking with them can be entertaining, but at some point you begin to feel drained from listening to their larger-than-life accomplishment, In all their talking, they forget something critically important-asking sincere questions about you. That's because you are not really an important part of their internal landscape unless they can profit in some way. They are big, you are small, and they drain your energy with in satible demands. If you let them.
Page 62 Crazy makers...
(They are) people who consistently irritate and confront without taking responsibility or recognizing their limitations. They do not feel the impact or hurt caused by their chaotic obstinate behavior. Crazy-maker behavior ranges from being argumentative to being destructive. Depending on their lack of empathy, crazy-makers move by degrees from being difficult to being narcissistic. Totally self-absorbed, naricissistic persons marked by indifference and unconcern.
Aggressors use intimidation, anger, and perhaps even threats to gain control. They are experts at twisting your words, changing the subject, and heating up the conversation, all of which can make you feel very ucomfortable.
Page 64 "It's all about them!" Power is the overarching theme.
They prey on those who are weaker than themselves and bring them into their corner.
Page 97 Borderline Personalities...When they attack you...
Frantically, you defend yourself. And that is mistake number one. You have been hooked! You try to convince the borderline that what she is seeing, what she is feeling, what she is perceiving is wrong. But defending yourself does not work. Give it up.
Page 113 When anyone in a relationship is dishonest, the integrity of that relationship is compromised. The relationship becomes dysfunctional.
Page 116 Truth always sets us free. When we live in the truth we don't need to hide from anyone. We don't need to slink around in the shadows freaful of being exposed.
Deception breeds additional deception. They told lie upon lie, pointing the blame in every possible direction.
Page 118 I have worked extensively with aggressors. They often twist the truth to fit their needs at a particular moment. They use fear and intimidation to control others, and it often works. They employ deception and twist words to convince others not to look too closely into their lives or their motives. If neccessary, they use outright lies. At times, what they don't say is deceptive. These people are not willing to share any more of the truth than what they can use to their own advantage.
If you challenge an aggressor's thinking or behavior, you aren't likely to get the truth. Aggressors are not likely to own up to their deceptive ways. In fact, they are more likely to dig themselves in even deeper, using more lies to cover up the original deception. They may even attempt to turn the tables on you by accusing you of the very thing of which you have accused them. But if we open our eyes, we see aggressors for what they are-aggressive, self-centered, and immature. They are jerks! Aggressors are people we often choose to avoid-until we are caught in their net of deception and have no choice but to find a way to deal with them.
Page 127 Knowing that crazy makers are dedicated to deception is a powerful insight, but will be of little worth to you unless you use this knowledge to extricate yourself from their net. Bullies' attacks are not personal. Bullies yell at everyone. If you think about it, the attacks actually say more about who and what the Bullies are than they do about you.
Page 140 Unforgiveness in a relationship is like a cancer out of control. It is bitterness turned against another again and again. To be the recipient of unforgiveness is to endure agonizing form of crazy making. People who hold grudges are holding you hostage. You cannot do anything to make them forget the alleged wrong you have done to them.
An excellent read and absolute necessity for understanding CRAZY-MAKERS!
This book has three main sections:
1) Crazy-Making People -- helps identify the crazy-makers in your life and the various varieties there are. All crazy-makers aren't the same. Some are aggressive, control freaks who make you crazy through their agression. Others are sufferers who drive you up a wall by their inability to deal with anything in life and are the victim in every situation. Other types are also identified so you can get a handle on why these folks get to you and drive you nuts.
2) Caught in the Crazy-maker's net -- talks about how these people hook you into their lives and draw you into their dysfunctional world. Great section for making sure you don't get trapped with these folks in the future
3) Breaking Free -- how to set boundaries with these people and identify ways to get out of the trap of craziness. Sometimes you stay and adapt in a way that is healthy and sometimes the best solution is to leave.
All of this material is covered with a sense of balance that the reader has enabled this unbalanced relationship in some way and has a part in it. At the same time, the book doesn't in any way let the crazy-maker off the hook. They are responsible for their actions and need to reap what they have sown through their crazy, nutty behavior.
A couple of quotes from the book that really spoke to me to give you an idea of just how good this is:
"Crazy-makers are small on responsibility and big on blame. I call them "energy suckers." You know the kind-when you are around them you feel like your very breath is being stolen from you."
"While less likely to engage in blatant lying, sufferers have an incredible ability to twist the facts in their favor. No one struggles like they do. No one has it as rough. You couldn't possibly understand how horrible their life has been. In fact, according to them, everything works out perfectly for everyone else -- the rest of us are the lucky ones."
"They twist facts so they can blame others for their unhappiness, when in fact the sufferers themselves are the key contributors to relational problems. But this insight into the truth would require them to change."
If you only have time to read one book on the subject, this is where I would start -- more action steps on what to actually do. If you have time, I would recommend you read the other two books that I mentioned at the beginning of the review as well since they are a great combination.
This book is so helpful. I can now spot Crazymaker tendencies before they are a full-blown feud, and I don't "take the blame" for their bad decisions. I am so freed, I don't dread family get-togethers.
The author is also very candid about the mistakes he has made, making it clear that we all must accept responsibility for our choices.