Why People Drive You Crazy

Including those crazy-makers we call our kids. Image: Karyn Van Der Zwet

Have you ever wondered why some people can’t get anything done and others can’t relax?

Why your kids react so differently to the same parenting methods?

Why some babies are calm and others hard to console?

Why your behavior changes around certain people?

Why getting along can be so difficult?

Why People Drive You Crazy: Part One: A Fresh Look at Temperament is the book for you. Karyn Van Der Zwet spent the last seven years poring over psychology, anthropology, physical health, and neurology trying to find out what provides each one of us with a sense of well-being. The answers she found dismantled many commonly held beliefs we rely on to parent our children and relate to each other.

Karyn distills this information into short and insightful sections in her newly released book, the first in a series. She explains temperament, personality, and different reactions to stress. The bulk of the book has to do with understanding and succeeding in our relationships with different temperament types.  Throughout the book she uses her own categories for four main temperaments: Owl, Hare, Butterfly, and Tortoise. I tend to shy away from such divisions, but I notice these names are easily remembered and quite useful. I’m mostly Owlish. Now I know why I clam up around Butterfly types and become frustrated by bossy Hares. More importantly, I see situations that I normally blame on myself differently and, thanks to hundreds of hints Karyn shares, have more constructive ways to deal with them.

This no-nonsense book is platitude-free and packed with practical tips. I think it’s particularly useful for parents. It’s not an overreach to say this is the sort of book that helps us make childhood better for our children. As Karyn notes in the first section,

Sometimes, people drive us crazy because their temperaments are different from our own. It is common to attribute certain behaviors to flaws in character, which are actually normal and uncontrollable biological reactions based in temperament. Sometimes we see behaviors in another, which reflect our own internal state or temperament. If we learned these behaviors were unacceptable or undesirable then, too, we may find the other person irritating…

Temperament is not destiny. If parents manage their children’s temperament well, the more extreme aspects can be modified and the children can, eventually, learn to manage their temperament for themselves.

The Kindle version is only 99 cents. For one week only, get 15 percent off the paperback price of $7.40 using this code created for GeekMom readers: PPPFHC2F

 

GeekMom received an advance copy for this review.

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Laura is the author of a poetry collection titled Tending and Free Range Learning, a handbook of natural learning. She lives on a small farm notable only for its lovestruck goose.