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Portrait of a Crazymaker

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Maybe it’s me. Maybe it’s the recent full moon. Maybe it is the rapidly approaching All Hallows Eve.

Whatever it is, Crazymakers seem to be roaming around in droves these days. I’ve seen them online, in Vegas – just about everywhere I’ve been lately. Which is making me crazy – go figure.

I first read the word Crazymaker in one of my all-time favorite books, The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron. In it, she says that Crazymakers are addicted to drama and if there isn’t any around, they will create some – at someone else’s expense. They are walking storm centers, sucking energy from the people around them, only happy when all eyes are on them.

They are also VERY charismatic, often charming and incredibly interesting. Which is how we get sucked in.

In case you are unfamiliar with who or what a Crazymaker is, I’ll sketch out a composite for you. Then, the next time you are near one, you’ll know why you feel so crappy and you can RUN!

– Crazymakers cannot abide or respect a schedule – least of all yours. “What do you mean you can’t talk to me RIGHT NOW? I know I canceled our last two appointments but that has nothing to do with this.”

– Crazymakers expect special treatment. They expect free tickets and free coaching. They suffer from terminal uniqueness – terminal to you. They demand more than anyone else and expect their needs to be at the tip top of your list – especially above your own.

– Crazymakers discount your reality. No matter what boundaries you set or how important your project, a crazymakers believes the rules do not apply to them. “I know you said you needed to focus right now, but I just have this one question.”

– Crazymakers make others feel small. When faced with someone who has the success (in business or in life) they believe they should have and don’t, they proceed to find fault with everything about that person and his or her accomplishments.

– Crazymakers are expert saboteurs. Got a big presentation?  The night before, a Crazymaker will say “You look so tired. Do you think they will notice?”  “Everyone is saying that the way you are doing that will never work.” “I don’t know…..do you think it’s wise to buck the system?” “I’m telling you this for your own good.”

ACK! Never buy into a Crazymaker’s thinking. Never believe what they say. In fact, don’t even get into a conversation with one because they will masterfully reel you into their high-drama world.

Just RUN!

I’m betting you have some additions to make to the Portrait of a Crazymaker – which I really hope you will make in the comments. 🙂

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P.S. Don’t forget to enter The Great October Book Giveaway! http://bit.ly/winsomebooks

P.P.S. this is where I plug The Young Turk’s Cub Scout Popcorn Sale. He recorded a commercial & he calls all of his customers! http://bit.ly/YTPopcorn

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  • Mel

    Crazymakers also change their opinion quickly. Yesterday Client XYZ was the meanest person in the entire world and today they will be the nicest person the Crazymaker has ever met. Just an example, but I’m sure you know what I mean.

  • Mel

    Crazymakers also change their opinion quickly. Yesterday Client XYZ was the meanest person in the entire world and today they will be the nicest person the Crazymaker has ever met. Just an example, but I’m sure you know what I mean.

  • >jaw dropping<

    You just perfectly described a client. I had no idea there was a name for that, other than PITA narcissist.

    What can I add? Well, it's implied in the rest of the warning signs: They're completely incapable of taking responsibility for anything they say or do. There's always an excuse or an explanation (that they're going to share, even if you don't want to hear it). And while they might say "I know this [small aspect] is my fault," they wouldn't do anything differently given the chance.

    A Crazymaker is never wrong.

  • >jaw dropping<

    You just perfectly described a client. I had no idea there was a name for that, other than PITA narcissist.

    What can I add? Well, it's implied in the rest of the warning signs: They're completely incapable of taking responsibility for anything they say or do. There's always an excuse or an explanation (that they're going to share, even if you don't want to hear it). And while they might say "I know this [small aspect] is my fault," they wouldn't do anything differently given the chance.

    A Crazymaker is never wrong.

  • When I first encountered that term in an Artist’s Way group years ago, it was like the lights came on and the shades were lifted. Being able to identify the Crazymakers explains why the heck we feel so helter-skelter when we interact with them. Seeing crazymaking for what it is gives us permission to stop engaging in that dynamic. And if we ignore the “Danger! Road Out” signs and plow forward, well then we’re just as much the crazymaker, aren’t we?

    p.s.This is also a good checklist on how NOT to be a crazymaker. And to respect other people’s needs and boundaries. Thanks, Sarah!

  • When I first encountered that term in an Artist’s Way group years ago, it was like the lights came on and the shades were lifted. Being able to identify the Crazymakers explains why the heck we feel so helter-skelter when we interact with them. Seeing crazymaking for what it is gives us permission to stop engaging in that dynamic. And if we ignore the “Danger! Road Out” signs and plow forward, well then we’re just as much the crazymaker, aren’t we?

    p.s.This is also a good checklist on how NOT to be a crazymaker. And to respect other people’s needs and boundaries. Thanks, Sarah!

  • Amen! It is incredibly helpful to have this said by one of my favorite bloggers, Sarah.
    Like — really, you have to put up with this crazy-a$$ stuff? Ok, then maybe I can continue and deal too.

  • Amen! It is incredibly helpful to have this said by one of my favorite bloggers, Sarah.
    Like — really, you have to put up with this crazy-a$$ stuff? Ok, then maybe I can continue and deal too.

  • I term I use for the last descriptor is Dream Drainers…It was quite a reality check when I realized how this kind of person operated. I have also experienced that there are some who are truly unconscious of their sabotaging behavior and actually believe they are trying to be “helpful”. Where another breed is very aware of what they are doing and have developed very proficient manipulative skills. Knowing how to spot them and how to depersonalize their comments and behavior makes for alot less crazy… 😉

  • I term I use for the last descriptor is Dream Drainers…It was quite a reality check when I realized how this kind of person operated. I have also experienced that there are some who are truly unconscious of their sabotaging behavior and actually believe they are trying to be “helpful”. Where another breed is very aware of what they are doing and have developed very proficient manipulative skills. Knowing how to spot them and how to depersonalize their comments and behavior makes for alot less crazy… 😉

  • David John Shaw

    I’ve had two encounters with crazymakers over the past two decades and they came close to bringing me to my knees. I even had to go to the police about the second one who threatened to disrupt a musical we were putting on at my church. The less said about the first one the better though I am planning my revenge via a book project I’ve been mulling over for a couple of years now. Everything about the above description rings true. I’ve reread that chapter in Julia’s book quite a number of times. It’s ever so helpful.