Don't Get Scrooged: How to Thrive in a World Full of Obnoxious, Incompetent, Arrogant, and Downright Mean-Spirited People

Don't Get Scrooged: How to Thrive in a World Full of Obnoxious, Incompetent, Arrogant, and Downright Mean-Spirited People

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by Richard Carlson

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Inside find helpful advice, such as:

  • Take a Vacation, Not a Guilt-Trip
    Don't Get "Should Upon"
  • Hades or Homecoming?
    Opt In- or Out-of Family Events
  • Quit Being Your Mother
    Ban Worry from Your Holidays
  • It's Not Daytona—You're Not Jeff Gordon
    Don't Try to Cook


Inside find helpful advice, such as:

  • Take a Vacation, Not a Guilt-Trip
    Don't Get "Should Upon"
  • Hades or Homecoming?
    Opt In- or Out-of Family Events
  • Quit Being Your Mother
    Ban Worry from Your Holidays
  • It's Not Daytona—You're Not Jeff Gordon
    Don't Try to Cook Tailgating Turkeys

Don't Get Scrooged is a jewel of a handbook on how to avoid, appease, and even win over the Scrooges who haunt your holidays. Whether it's the salesclerk who ignores you in favor of her cell phone, the customer who knowingly jumps ahead of you in line at Starbucks, the unnaturally irritable boss down the hall, or the in-laws who invite themselves (every year) for a two-week stay at your house, you will always need to deal with Scrooges, grumps, uninvited guests, sticks-in-the-mud, and supreme party poopers. Learning to handle them whenever and wherever they appear is not just optional—it's essential.

Editorial Reviews

During the holidays, our stress meters catapult off the charts. Everything goes wrong: Lines are long and slow; sales clerks negligent or downright insulting; road rage escalates; and, believe it or not, things get even worse once you get home. According to Don't Sweat the Small Stuff maestro Dr. Richard Carlson, there's no reason to lose our sanity during the season of good cheer. In Don't Get Scrooged, he lays down convincing guidelines for tranquilizing your holiday demons.
Library Journal
Designed as a how-to for handling holiday humbugs, this little book guides readers through the negativity that can ruin what is supposed to be a joyous time of year. Carlson (Don't Sweat the Small Stuff And It's All Small Stuff) offers humorous advice on dealing with crazy drivers, rude shoppers, threatening relatives, and more. His message throughout is to lighten up ("expect less, enjoy more"), go the extra mile ("forgive and forget"), and acknowledge that one can't avoid difficult people and situations ("give up and get on with life"). While the continual references to "getting scrooged" can be tiring, this well-written book is easy to browse and contains sound advice. Recommended. Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
USA Today
“Carlson is back this holiday season with advice - just in time to handle the relatives, rudeness and retail nightmares.”
Detroit Free Press
“Psychologist Richard Carlson offers lots of suggestions in his just-in-time book, Don’t Get Scrooged….”
Boston Globe
“Carlson offers us ways to deal with our extra-pressured existences… There’s good advice to be had inside.”
Richmond Times-Dispatch
“This is a smart little book full of advice based on sound psychology…”

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HarperCollins Publishers
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Don't Get Scrooged

How to Thrive in a World Full of Obnoxious, Incompetent, Arrogant, and Downright Mean-Spirited People
By Richard Carlson

HarperCollins Publishers, Inc.

Copyright © 2006 Richard Carlson
All right reserved.

ISBN: 0060758929

Chapter One

It's Not Daytona--You're Not Jeff Gordon
Don't Try to Cook Tailgating Turkeys

Here they are--another set of holidays, another set of packed roads and parking lots, long drives to family gatherings in bad weather, and impromptu trips to the market when your cocktail party runs out of cocktail weenies. Holidays mean hitting the highways, and highways and roads can be unbearably jammed from Thanksgiving to whenever the last New Year's Day partier straggles home. There is a stocking-full of reasons the Most Wonderful Time of the Year can put us on the road--and in a rage. The holidays should probably come with a "Don't drive or operate heavy machinery" warning label.

Anyone who's ever had an unfortunate encounter with an automobile knows they can do a lot of damage, especially when the people driving them just had a few drinks at their office party, or recently went to four toy stores looking for the only item their seven-year-old has asked Santa for, or have blocked their rearview mirror's view with a big fat box. Sharing the road with these drivers (I know you'd never actually be one of them) can be scary and challenging in normal circumstances, let alone when you're feeling hurried and harried, overbooked and overwhelmed.

Our highestpriority when strapped into metal and glass boxes traveling at high speeds is safety--not being right, not getting there first, and not teaching other people how to drive. So when someone's tailgating you, or you're navigating a four-way stop, or another driver near you is having trouble staying between the white lines, the safest thing to do is yield.

Too many people play games with tailgaters--slamming on the brakes, letting them pass, and then showing them how it feels by riding their bumper. But this is no game--it is life or death.

So yield, change lanes, pull over, and call the police, if you're really that heated. I mean this advice literally and figuratively. In case my symbolism isn't crystal clear, the preceding rules apply to the road of life as well as the road of . . . well, you know, the road. Giving turkeys a wide berth is often the fastest and safest way to arrive safely at your destination. You may feel momentarily scrooged, but at least you won't have scars and stitches in this year's holiday photo.

So here are your keys. Enjoy the holidays.

Take a Vacation, Not a Guilt-Trip
Don't Get "Should Upon"

They are so sneaky.

I'm talking about those insidious scrooges who present themselves as quiet, soft, concerned, and, on the surface, kind. They are the guilt-trippers, the people who, with a simple "Have you visited Joan?" or a quiet "I can't because I'm volunteering that day," make you feel guilty, persuade you to do what you don't want to do, and let you know that you should be doing something else, or something more. Ugh.

I just said that these people can "make you feel . . . ," even though I tend to avoid that phrase because I think it's important that we take responsibility for our own feelings and do as much as we can to avoid victim-think. But gosh darn it, guilt-trippers are so good at what they do that it's hard not to feel jerked around by them.

One reason they can so easily push our buttons is that often some tiny, deep-down part of us does wonder if we should be visiting Joan or volunteering at the soup kitchen (especially if we're playing tennis or going to a matinee instead). We all know that self-doubts are a part of everyday life.

So let's say you are up against a fully conscious, stone-cold, semiprofessional manipulator. When I'm in this position, I sometimes think of a bumper sticker I once saw: "I will not should on myself today." You might even try saying it out loud, with a smile on your face, to the person making you feel like crap.

Last year my family vacationed with two other families. I quickly realized that there was a guilt-tripper on this getaway. Everyone in his family seemed to easily agree on what they'd do when, except for Bill. I repeatedly overheard him pressuring his wife, sister, and kids to do the things he wanted to do by making it seem that they were things they should all want to do.

Now, this was Bill's vacation too, so he had every right to want to enjoy himself. But it was the approach he used to try to get his way. He didn't just say, "Gosh, I'm really interested in taking this tour. Any takers?" He whined, "I know you've all been there, but wouldn't it be great to be there together? This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Okay, I guess I'll just never see it."

Bill tried to make others feel sorry for him and guilty for depriving him. He did this to the point where they might not have been able to enjoy themselves unless they gave in.

Then I heard a beautiful thing. Bill's sister Judy said:

"Bill, you're acting obnoxious. We're all tired of being pushed around. We're going to do our own thing. You're welcome to join us if you can go with the flow and stop bugging us. If not, please just go and do your own thing. We all love you, but none of us want you around if you're going to continue to act like a three-year-old who isn't getting his way."

Consider the alternative: the family could have caved, had a lousy day, and resented old Bill. This way they didn't get their vacation scrooged, and Bill had the opportunity to meet his own needs and learn a little something about his behavior.

"Shoulds" happen, but you can send guilt-trippers packing.


Excerpted from Don't Get Scrooged by Richard Carlson Copyright © 2006 by Richard Carlson. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Meet the Author

Richard Carlson (1961-2006) is a bestselling author whose books include Don't Sweat the Small Stuff . . . and It's All Small Stuff; Don't Worry, Make Money; You Can Feel Good Again; and You Can Be Happy No Matter What. His books have been published in 35 languages in over 130 countries.

Brief Biography

Northern California
Place of Birth:
Northern California
San Jose State University, Pepperdine University; Ph.D., Sierra University

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Don't Get Scrooged: How to Thrive in a World Full of Obnoxious, Incompetent, Arrogant, and Downright Mean-Spirited People 2.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Meli_Green More than 1 year ago
When I purchased Don’t Get Scrooged, I was fooled by the title; I had really hoped this was going to be a collection of stories to tell me in funny way how to deal with the annoying, angry, and rude people that come out during the holiday season. Unfortunately it is not what this book was. This book is a collection of way to deal with those annoying, angry, and rude holiday people by just being passive, which is a solution. It just wasn’t what I thought this book was going to be about. Titles like, It isn’t Daytona-You’re not Jeff Gordon, not expecting to get the advice to let things go, following an awesome title like that. So sad to say not what I thought it was.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
That requires taking to doctor or therapy arranging dog walker or kitty litter care or on walker or crutches you will find extended family forgets you "friends" disappear the more you car pooled and play date and voluntered you are abandoned . your church may think they missed your obit. if suddenly widowed or divorced you are in limbo. poor service , write manager and and send carbon to headquarters and dont stop there again. wont help but discharges anger . Always no with no explanation if asked sniff and sigh