Impossible to Please: How to Deal with Perfectionist Coworkers, Controlling Spouses, and Other Incredibly Critical People

Impossible to Please: How to Deal with Perfectionist Coworkers, Controlling Spouses, and Other Incredibly Critical People


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Everyone knows someone who is impossible to please, critical, judgmental, picky, and stubbornly closed-minded. These are symptoms of a disorder called obsessive-compulsive personality disorder (OCPD), but it’s common for people to have subclinical levels of some or all of these qualities. Most of the time, it’s best to avoid the difficult to please person, but what happens when he or she is a close family member, coworker, or even a spouse? It’s still possible to maintain a positive relationship with the right tools. Impossible to Please, written by the authors of Toxic Coworkers, is a manual for dealing with these difficult people without sitting through stressful arguments, vicious insults and attacks, and passive-aggressive behavior. It empowers readers to take charge of the relationship and regain their dignity and confidence in interactions with these individuals.

This book features specific strategies that are immediately effective when conversing with critical people and explains how readers can respond to unfair blame without becoming angry or overly defensive. By setting boundaries, improving communication, and asserting themselves, readers learn to deal with the impossible to please in romantic relationships, friendships, family, and work relationships.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781608823482
Publisher: New Harbinger Publications
Publication date: 11/01/2012
Pages: 192
Sales rank: 590,839
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.50(d)

About the Author

Neil J. Lavender, PhD, is professor of psychology at Ocean County College in New Jersey where he also maintains a private practice. He is coauthor of Toxic Coworkers. Neil, who is also an avid blogger, resides in Beachwood, NJ.

Alan A. Cavaiola, PhD, is a professor and member of the graduate faculty in the department of psychological counseling at Monmouth University. He is also a licensed psychologist and clinical alcohol and drug counselor. He is also the coauthor of Toxic Coworkers.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments v

Introduction 1

Part I Understanding Controlling Perfectionists

1 Controlling Perfectionism Explained 9

2 The Controlling Perfectionist as Romantic Partner, as Parent, and in the Workplace 25

3 How the Controlling Perfectionist Has Affected You 41

Part II Practical Strategies

4 Recognizing What You Can and Can't Do 55

5 Setting Limits and Boundaries 69

6 Establishing Better Communication 85

7 Handling Controlling Perfectionists in Romantic Relationships, Family Life, and Friendships 111

8 Handling Controlling Perfectionists in the Workplace 143

9 Seeking Qualified Professional Help 165

References 181


Neil Lavender lives in Beachwood, NJ. Alan Cavaiola lives in Fair Haven, NJ.

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