My Review: “People Can’t Drive You Crazy If You Don’t Give Them The Keys” by Mike Bechtle (A Revell Blog Tour)


Let me guess — you read this title, and you already have someone in mind, don’t you?

You have a crazy person in your life.  It might be an extended family member that drives you crazy.  It could be a co-worker or neighbor on a mission to make you miserable.  You might be married to that person — or related to them through your marriage.

They drop in, set your life on fire, and leave.  Somehow, they’re the one person who hijacks your emotions and holds them hostage.  Even when they’re not around, your emotions seem to be at the mercy of their next visit — and reeling from the shrapnel from your last encounter with them.

We think, “Don’t they realize how crazy they are?”  If we could just “fix” that person, everything would be better.

But we can’t fix other people.  We can influence them, but we can’t force them to change.

We can only make better choices about ourselves.

Strange as it may seem, other people are not nearly as committed to our happiness as we are. In fact, sometimes they seem like they’re on a mission to make us miserable! There’s always that one person. The one who hijacks your emotions and makes you crazy. The one who seems to thrive on drama. If you could just “fix” that person, everything would be better. But we can’t fix other people–we can only make choices about ourselves.

In this cut-to-the-chase book, Mike Bechtle, communication expert and senior training consultant for FranklinCovey, shows readers that they don’t have to be victims of other people’s craziness. With common sense wisdom and practical advice that can be implemented immediately, Bechtle gives readers a proven strategy to handle crazy people.

More than just offering a set of techniques, Bechtle offers a new perspective that will change readers’ lives as they deal with those difficult people who just won’t go away.

People Can’t Drive You Crazy If You Don’t Give Them The Keys/By Mike Bechtle/978-0-8007-2111-4/$12.99/Paperback/208 pages/Pub Date: October 2012

Links to purchase Mike’s book:


Barnes & Noble:

Source for information.


Mike Bechtle: (PhD, Arizona State University) is the author of Confident Conversation. His articles have appeared in publications such as Discipleship Journal, Moody and Entrepreneur.

A frequent speaker and former minister of worship, Bechtle currently lives in California.

My Review:

What a practical book on dealing with people whose behaviors disturb your life!  Although there are people whose behaviors are out of the norm and they tend to drive you crazy, Dr. Bechtle recognizes that the problem isn’t 100% the other person.  You have choices to make in the process of dealing with them. Sometimes, (gasp), we are even part of the problem.

His chapter on How Relationships Work is an excellent groundwork piece to help you recognize healthy and unhealthy relationships and how to handle them, whether they are family, friends, co-workers, etc. And no, you can’t fire our family!

The biggest portion of the book relates to changing yourself.  The author emphasizes that your thoughts, feelings, attitudes, and behaviors need work on.  I really appreciate his chapter on Seven Keys to Unlocking Healthy Relationships.  This is, to me, the meat of the book.  You can’t buy the ‘ingredients’ listed, but by following the Word of God, they can become part of your life (many are the fruit of the Spirit).

When you get to the chapter on You Can’t Steer a Parked Car, hopefully you’ll have the empathy to try to understand why a particular person irritates you so much.  I, personally, do not believe most people try to make your life miserable.  Some have had difficult childhoods that make them struggle harder than you.

I do have a difficult time with the author calling these people in your life ‘crazy people,’ because it’s shaming.  As I mentioned earlier, some have had difficult childhoods and survived the best way they knew.  But I do agree that it’s not your job to ‘fix’ them. He is quick to remind us that you can’t change anyone but yourself, but you can impact others by influencing them.  Sometimes it works, other times it doesn’t. Nothing is guaranteed.  Pray for them, befriend them if you can, and leave the changing up to God.

This book was provided free by Donna Hausler of Baker Publishing Group (Revell) in exchange for my honest review.  No monetary compensation was received.


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