There are times when you just have to cut to the chase and deal frankly with what is before you.
My wife is a psychologist, and has been trained to diagnose aberrant conditions. If the patient acts a certain way, says certain things, and so on, she might have such and such a condition. ‘She’s crazy’ could mean that maybe there is a chance that she has any of a number of possible conditions going on, indicate a need for further testing, and a possibility of a number of treatments. Or she might be normal.
That’s why I love business. We aren’t generally trained that way and are generally after a different outcome. We need to get results and sometimes we need to get them while working with crazy people. One of the managers I work with draws the distinction between ‘She’s crazy’ and ‘She Crazy’.
So, someone is difficult, exasperating, overly demanding, a little unusual, maybe a little high maintenance. The rule says ‘she’s crazy’. How could she demand such and such, doesn’t she know such and such, she should know better and so on. By the way, ‘she’ could just as well be ‘he’.
‘She Crazy’? There is no benefit of the doubt. The rules don’t apply. This is no momentary lapse, no slight pushing of the envelope under duress. She Crazy. It is not a possibility, it is absolutely clear. This is a habitual pattern of irrationality, drama, unreasonableness. We all come across them.
Anyone can deal with crazy short term, but what about long term? What if it’s a customer or someone firmly entrenched in the organization?
I am fortunate to be surrounded by very intuitive, experienced women who know well in advance what is coming down the pike and have very sharpened diagnostic skills. I love watching them deal with She Crazy. Here is what I have seen work, and it is brilliant when it does.
1. First, call it what it is. Look the brutal reality right in the face. She Crazy.
2. Next, decide what you will do and do it. Make your mind up about how you will engage, what you will say and do and then say and do it.
3. Be absolutely firm in your convictions and don’t steer off course.
4. Give that other person the space to be who they are and don’t attach a lot of energy to it. And don’t get any of it on you.
Because She Crazy.