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Talking to Crazy by Mark Goulston

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chapter 8

The Belly Roll

Putting the IrrationalPerson “in Charge” toDefuse a Tense Situation

In Chapter 1, I said that when you talk to crazy, following your own instincts usually won’t work. Instead, you need to act counterintuitively. And to bring that point home, I’m starting this section of the book with a strategy that’s totally counterintuitive—especially for men.

When you’re talking with an irrational person, your natural instinct is to try to take charge of the conversation. That’s because we typically think of dominating as winning and submitting as losing. And this is especially true for high-testosterone guys.

But if you try to dominate a person who’s in attack mode, that person is going to respond by going for your throat. You’re ...

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