People Can’t Drive You Crazy If You Don’t Give Them the Keys

Let me guess — you read this blog title, and you already have someone in mind, don’t you?

Crazy People

You have a crazy person in your life.  It might be an extended family member that drives you crazy.  It could be a co-worker or neighbor on a mission to make you miserable.  You might be married to that person — or related to them through your marriage.

They drop in, set your life on fire, and leave.  Somehow, they’re the one person who hijacks your emotions and holds them hostage.  Even when they’re not around, your emotions seem to be at the mercy of their next visit — and reeling from the shrapnel from your last encounter with them.

We think, “Don’t they realize how crazy they are?”  If we could just “fix” that person, everything would be better.

But we can’t fix other people.  We can influence them, but we can’t force them to change.

We can only make better choices about ourselves.

Crazy PeopleStrange as it may seem, other people are not nearly as committed to our happiness as we are.  And we’ll never escape having crazy people in our lives.

But we don’t have to be victims of their craziness.  Martin Luther said, “You might not be able to stop the birds from flying over your head, but you can keep them from building a nest in your hair.”

So, how do you influence crazy people?  How can we protect ourselves when they don’t change?  And how can we keep from controlling our emotions?

If you’ve been following this blog for the past couple of months (since we started), you know we’ve been focusing on practical, realistic strategies for healthy relationships with others — whether they’re crazy or not.  It’s all about thriving in our relationships rather than surviving them. (If you’re a new reader, check out some of the previous posts.)

If you’ve liked what you’ve been reading here, you’ll probably enjoy picking up a copy of People Can’t Drive You Crazy If You Don’t Give Them the Keys.  It’s my latest book, and today (October 1) is the official launch date.  That means it’s available through online bookstores immediately (I’ll put links below), and should start appearing shortly on local bookshelves.

In grocery stores, drug stores, Wal-Mart, airport bookstores and similar outlets, you’ll probably find it on the “inspirational” rack.  In Barnes & Noble-type bookstores, it will be in “self-help” or “relationships.” (If they don’t have it, they can order it.)

It’s available in three formats:

  1. Paperback – For us purists who love the feel of paper.
  2. Kindle – For the more tech-driven among us (Check out the rest of my website, and you’ll know that’s not me).
  3. Audio – For those who want to take me running with you, or have me talk to you when you’re in your car.

Here are some online links:


Barnes & Noble:

The first week of a book launch is the most critical for the long-term success of the book.  So if you’re interested, there are several things you could do to help that launch be successful — getting the book in the hands of more people who could benefit from it (including the crazy people in your life . . . )

  • Pick up a copy for yourself this week.
  • Pick up a copy for a friend this week.
  • Pick up a copy for the crazy person in your life.  They’ll think it’s about you.
  • Write a short review on Amazon and/or other online sites.  Few people actually do that, but it’s one of the biggest factors in whether a person buys a book or not.  (Don’t you check the number of reviews and how many stars it has when deciding?  I do!)  Often, the majority of reviews come from book critics whose post their reviews as part of their job.  So your quick input could be huge.
  • Spread the word.  Share it, post it, tweet it, email it.

You need to know how grateful I am that you’ve allowed me to hang out with you for a couple of months.  You can tell from my “bare-bones” website that I haven’t been putting a lot of energy into making everything pretty and shiny yet.  (I’m going to get someone to help me with that.)  I’m just enjoying the chance to have some dialogue with you, and value your input in shaping the direction of our discussions.  Let me know what’s on your mind, and we’ll steer it that direction.

Let me know what you think of the book – and let it stir up ideas for us to talk about in the future.

Enjoy the journey!

  • Hope Mucklow

    Thanks for a great read and practical advice on what I need to do differently in order to maintain my sanity. I want to be able to practice what I wrote in “Rojo, The Baby Red Panda at the Zoo”, but need tools like yours to do so.

  • Mike, I can’t thank you enough for this book. I keep picking it up, reading, highlighting, taking notes, etc! I desperately want to experience a drama-free life! And as you describe on pages 20-21, “Drama-free doesn’t mean getting rid of the drama or the people who create it. It means being free from its debilitating effects in our lives.

    Becoming free from the craziness of others … is about actually becoming different on the inside. .. where we actually become the type of people who have the inner strength to handle the craziness that people bring into our lives.”

    I am tired of having my emotions hijacked by the craziness of others! Thank you for helping me, Mike. This book is amazing!

    • Thanks, Cathy – It’s encouraging to hear your comments! Blessings on your work!

      (My apologies for the lengthy delay – will explain in next blog post)

  • Merryheart

    HEARD YOU ON WCRF last evening… I’m meshugina according to my loved ones. I’m working hard to be the wonderful me I KNOW I was created to be. Your message was from God’s lips to my ears! Thank you Jesus!!!

    • You made me look up the word “meshugina” – Yiddish for “Crazy Person.” I love it! Thanks for sharing . . . !

  • Pingback: Review: People Can’t Drive You Crazy If You Don’t Give Them the Keys : Searching and Growing()

  • Pingback: My Review: “People Can’t Drive You Crazy If You Don’t Give Them The Keys” by Mike Bechtle (A Revell Blog Tour) « One Desert Rose()

  • Jennifer So

    Hi Mike….My names Jennifer So and I’m the library director at EV Free. Interested in having a book signing/sale in our library? If so, please email me at… Thank you.

  • Kristen Habbestad

    Congratulations on the new book, Mike. I’ll look forward to reading it (actually, I’ll probably listen to the audio version) and will spread the word. Keep them coming…I appreciate your relevant topics!

    • Thanks, Kristen – I’m glad the publisher invested in an audio version. Thanks for your kind words!

      • Hope Mucklow

        Mike do you have a version in Spanish? If so, let me know where to secure a copy. Thanks.

  • Phil Dickey

    Looking forward to reading your book, and yes, I DO read reviews before deciding to buy something. I also write reviews, because I appreciate those that I have read. I hope to see you soon.

    • Anytime you post a review or rating on Amazon, you’ve just become that author’s BFF. It happens so rarely, but means so much. Thanks!

      • Hope Mucklow

        Amen Mike. Do you think Good reads is worth the time? If you have any other tips for me a “new bee” I would appreciate it. And thanks so much for all the help with my family with your work!