Monday, April 7, 2014

How to Hug a Porcupine

Title: How to Hug a Porcupine: Easy Ways to Love the Difficult People in Your Life
Author: Debbie Ellis (Contributor), June Eding (Editor)
Publisher: March 10th 2009 by Hatherleigh Press
Format: Hardcover, 160 pages
Genre: Self-Help

I work with a prickle of porcupines. I know, calling a group of porcupines a prickle is funny, but truly, that is what they are called to.

Some mornings maneuvering around this group is treacherous at best, so when I came across this book I thought it was a gift from above.

In easy to follow little snippets, the book spells out the background and ways to deal with the difficult and toxic people in your life. By no means is this a book that should be read in one sitting. The reader has to take each section, read it, digest it, possibly read it again and see how to apply it to the person or situation that they are currently dealing with.

I am a “confront the situation head-on” type of person, so the idea of sitting back and letting a porcupine run the show was way out of my comfort zone, but on a lovely spring morning I turned my office into a science lab. Little did my little porcupines know that they were now my guinea pigs.

When quills started fluffing up, I stepped back, let the porcupines bristle a bit, did not confront, did not interfere and just let them stomp and grumble – and you know what? It really threw them off; it took the wind out of their sails. Who knew that there was a way to do this without my feeling that I had to give up who I am solely to keep peace in the office.

I actually learned a great deal from this book. It may have gone against my grain, but learning how to deal with the difficult people in your life is so much easier when you see what is causing it and how to work around their stubborn need for control without losing too much of your own independence.

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