Difficult Personalities: A Practical Guide to Managing the Hurtful Behavior of Others (and Maybe Your Own)

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Workman Publishing, Jan 12, 2010 - Psychology - 304 pages
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An indispensable guide to understanding—and living or working with—people whose behavior leaves you frustrated and confused

We all have people in our lives who frustrate, annoy, or hurt us: workplace bullies, those who always claim to be right, or those with anxious or obsessive personalities. And most of us hurt others occasionally, too. Now, authors Dr. Helen McGrath, a clinical psychologist and professor, and Hazel Edwards, a professional writer, offer this highly readable, extremely practical guide to dealing with the difficult personalities we encounter every day—in others, and in ourselves.

Taking the American Psychiatric Association's widely used Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV-TR) as its starting point, Difficult Personalities helpfully outlines over a dozen different personality traits and types, detailing their common characteristics and underlying motivations. It also equips readers with numerous strategies for dealing with difficult behavior, including:

• Anger and conflict management
• Optimism and assertion training
• Rational and empathic thinking
• Reexamining your own personality.

Readers will also benefit from sections on making difficult decisions and maintaining romantic relationships. Perfect for anyone who has ever wished that other people came with a handbook, Difficult Personalities illuminates the personality differences that so often serve as barriers to cooperation in the workplace and harmony at home.


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Very enlightening. Good coping suggestions but also good information about what's happening in your body when emotions run away.


Title Page
What Are Incompatible Personality Traits?
Lets Get Organized or Go with the Flow?
Which Rules the Head or the Heart?
Builtin Flaw Detectors
Im Better Than You
I Have All the Power I Know All the Answers
The World Is Such a Dangerous Place
A Silent Nightmare
Everyday Predators Among
Strategies for Coping with Sociopaths
Making Decisions About Difficult Situations and Relationships
Rational and Irrational Thinking
Healthy SelfAssertion
Managing Your Own Anger and the Anger of Others
Managing Conflict

Getting on Top of Anxiety
Everything Is Under Control
Im Always Right
Dont Ever Leave
Youll Never Get
Finding a Good Psychologist
the Hurtful Behavior of Others

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About the author (2010)

Helen McGrath completed her undergraduate degree and Diploma of Education at the University of Sydney and her Masters degree and Ph.D at Monash University. She is currently an Adjunct Professor in the School of Education at RMIT University as well as a part-time senior lecturer in the School of Education at Deakin University. She also has a small private psychology practice in Cheltenham, Melbourne. Helen is a leading psychologist and educator with a particular interest and expertise in mental health, social skills and relationships. She is the author or co-author of 22 books for educators, psychologists and the general community.

Acclaimed children’s author of over 200 titles, Hazel Edwards is best known for her popular classic There’s a Hippopotamus on Our Roof Eating Cake.

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