This book How to Hug a Porcupine, by Dr. John Lewis Lund was recommended to me several years ago, and it really made a huge difference in my life. There are some relationships we can not run away from. Some people we can not just cut out of our lives. Plus, if there is a lesson you need to learn from that person, the universe will simply bring another person right back into your life till you learn that damn lesson… Awe one of the joys of life.
This book is mainly about different types of toxic personalities and the varying degrees of them.
The book teaches how to identify the porcupines and more importantly how to be around them without being “quilled”. The root of a toxic personality is that they are emotionally unhealthy.
If you are married to a porcupine, the book contains a great chapter on how to handle this. If you do not know if they are… there is a quiz you can take! How to Hug a Porcupine then goes over what you can do and how to make a plan to be able to have a healthy relationship with them.
Children can even develop toxic personalities and it is best to recognize them early on. There is a lot of good information on respect, responsibility and criticism.
The most important purpose in the book is how to teach you to “armor” yourself against toxic personalities. The bulk of handling these personalities, is working on yourself first. Toxic personalities have the ability to create toxic behavior in those around them. This is why it is important to identify if you are surrounding yourself with any of these porcupines. If you want more information on how to recognize the main five types, you can see the post Toxic Personalities for more information.
The book teaches you ways to “armor” yourself:
- Realistic goals
- Healthy expectations
- Healthy responses
- How to handle frustration
- Setting boundaries
- Let go of “pleasing”
- Staying in control of your emotions
- When is enough, enough?
- Having an exit plan
- Limiting interaction
- Leaving the room if necessary
In addition it has some amazing stories and examples, so you can fully grasp what you need to do. If you are the toxic personality and want to change, there are steps you can take. There is a whole chapter dedicated to just this.