How to Solve Your People Problems by Dr. Alan Godwin
My mother recommended this book to me. I read a lot of fiction, but not so many self-help type books. But she found this book to be helpful in dealing with some difficult relationships and thought I might learn from it as well.
And learn from it I did. The book is divided into three main sections. First, there's a bit of practical information on conflict resolution. I didn't learn much new here, but the reminder was good and laid the groundwork for where the author was heading. The second section describes how to put those conflict resolution principles into practice with reasonable people. The author is making a distinction between reasonable and unreasonable people (whom he deals with in the third section).
This differentiation was new to me. To examine the way that someone handles life and conflict and thus see their behavior as reasonable or unreasonable and then to be able to respond accordingly... what a concept! I learned a lot from these 2nd and 3rd sections of the book. I re-examined my own tendencies towards reasonable or unreasonable responses. But most significantly, the book gave practical tools for dealing with others in each camp.
I have always been one to want to talk things out. I have always believed that if we could just talk long enough, go deep enough, get to the heart of the matter, we could reach a compromise or an agreement. However, this book asserts that there are times when dealing with unreasonable people when talking will only make things worse. Less talking, more action is needed. That action may look like boundaries, like avoiding discussions on hot topics, or it may look like walking away from the situation when things start to escalate.
I have already recommended this book to a few friends who have their own difficult relationships.
I found it to be a quick read but very insightful and eye-opening, especially if you are in the midst of a relationship struggle and are completely unsure how to get out of it!
Two thumbs up for How to Solve Your People Problems!