basilwhite (basilwhite) wrote,

What a Comic Reads: Emotional Vampires, by Albert Bernstein

(x-posted standup comedylab comedyzone basilwhite)

I use index cards for bookmarks so I can keep notes as I go and tell people what I thought about a book. Here goes.

This book is a fun and useful romp through various personality disorders and starts with a little funny story that hits you with the realization of which friends and family members belong to the chapter you're about to read.

Useful too: each disorder lists how to protect yourself against people with this disorder and what you can do if the person with this disorder is you.

Me? I'm Antisocial. Words from the book to live by if you're Antisocial: Learn to endure boredom. Live by the letter of every law. Laboriously consider the effects of your actions. Avoid name-calling or raising your voice. Keep promises, and don't make a promise unless and until you're absolutely sure you can keep it.

As a comedian, I'm a little histrionic (NO SH*T BASIL) so I work to remember that performing does not exempt me from other duties like doing the laundry and making sure Mr. Whack-A-Mole stays in my pants.

HISTRIONICS TAKE NOTE: No matter what Morrissey says, we have absolute control and responsibility over when, where, how and how much we are affected by the expectations of others.

Other people believe that the expectations of others are a prison from which they can never escape. We call these people "teenagers" and "bad poets."

DEALING WITH PASSIVE-AGGRESSIVES: Prevention is the best strategy. PAs "feel chronically underappreciated," "and need more praise than other people. Figure at least four times what you'd need."

NARCISSISTS: The best way to sell yourself and your ideas is to pay "enough attention to other people to know what they're likely to buy." Also, do unto others as you would have them do unto you. I know, "If I'm not for me, who is? If not now, when?" Listen, pal. If you're only for yourself, what are you? An asshole. Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

How do you think your image will look years from now when your life is a long list of people who have left you? Maybe "paying attention to other people is directly related" to fulfilling your dreams. Every day, look for one opportunity to say "I'm sorry," and mean it. In any endeavor, do the hard part first. The better you get at doing things you don't want to do, the more life will give you what you want. There are a lot of smart people who want to be rich but aren't. The self-made practice the skill of getting good at doing what they don't want to do.

DEALING WITH NARCISSISTS: "Catch them being good and reward them."

GOOD GENERAL DEFINITION OF MENTAL HEALTH: "Perception of control, pursuit of challenge, and feeling connected to something larger than yourself." Sanest person alive? Evel Knievel.

DEALING WITH OBSESSIVE-COMPULSIVES: THE MOST POWERFUL TOOL IN THE BOOK. This was the one idea that I memorized and still use. The two sane responses to OCD behavior are the following. Pay attention!!!

1) Why are you telling me this?
2) What do you want me to do?

Oh, salvation. Puts the burden back on them for defining the outcome they want, which is where that burden belongs. Keep asking until their tantrum ends. That's what OCD is, one subtle tantrum after another.

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