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Toxic People: Decontaminate Difficult People at Work Without Using Weapons Or Duct Tape Hardcover – 10 Sep 2007

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: John Wiley & Sons; 1 edition (10 Sept. 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0470147687
  • ISBN-13: 978-0470147689
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 1.8 x 22.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 638,205 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Product Description


provides an array of strategies that will help to decontaminate the most toxic person or situation in a non–aggressive way.   Personal Success June 2008

From the Inside Flap

The work world is full of toxic people whine and cheesers, backstabbers, steamrollers, zipper lips, needy weenies, and know–it–alls. Life is just too short to let difficult people drive you nuts in the office. If you want to decontaminate the toxic people in your workplace, this practical guide to office survival will show you how to do it before they suck the life out of you.

This enlightening guide gives you the skills you need to deal with toxic people. Stop doubting your own capabilities and sanity. Don′t let them win! Instead, use the survival tactics you′ll find here to turn ugly situations with toxic people into a tolerable day at the office without resorting to hostile or aggressive tactics.

In Toxic People, Marsha Petrie Sue offers unique and practical solutions for dealing with difficult people and the conflict and miscommunication they often aggravate. Using real–life case studies and real–world strategies, Sue shows managers and employees alike how to take personal responsibility for their work environment and take the lead in fostering teamwork, morale, and success. Take charge and decontaminate your office with:

  • Seven simple lessons for office survival

  • Six major types of toxic people and how to recognize them

  • Keys to identify the behaviors that drive you crazy and what to do

  • The right words to defuse situations and defang toxic types

  • Tips on recognizing lies and insincere behavior

  • Case studies and true stories on dealing with almost any toxic situation

  • Guidance on developing a positive attitude that rubs off on others

  • Tools to develop a dynamic, productive environment

  • And other skills and tips to keep you and your office conflict–free

Dealing with toxic people is a part of life, at work and everywhere else. Using the strategies, tactics, and real–world advice you′ll find here, you′ll learn to change the way you respond to their toxic waste and stop them from affecting your mood or your work. For happier teams, a happier workplace, and a happier you, put down the duct tape and the stapler, take a deep breath, and read Toxic People.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A. J. Sudworth VINE VOICE on 7 Aug. 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I cannot recommend this book enough. The title is a good start, the way you get offered break downs on the types of people personalities is great for the first time you take it to meetings (very difficult in those meetings not to smile as you recognise the types of behaviour on display)
There is a wealth of advice on how to work with this these sorts of behaviour without taking your sanity. I particularly liked offering people TLC..
In response to a complaint you just ask ' are you going to take it , leave it or change it? And whats your plan?
Trust me -it works !
A laugh our loud book with some very practical advice. The author runs her own website and seems happy to offer advice and help which is a nice bonus.
Want to avoid violence at work ? This is the book for you ..
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By E. J. Welton on 22 Oct. 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I bought this book after a search on Amazon. I'd recently started a new job and was struggling with a couple of difficult characters. It has provided useful insites into different characteristics. There's several chapeters I've read a couple of times and have definitely helped me when dealing with these people.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 24 reviews
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
Helpful ideas to implement 17 Dec. 2009
By liz - Published on
Format: Hardcover
I liked the categories of different kinds of people and what to say, and what to avoid. There are helpful steps to take with each kind of difficult person you might encounter -- it's a good roadmap. I also really enjoyed Understanding Other People:: The Five Secrets to Human Behavior (Volume 1)to help in these cases because it's a quick read that teaches how to observe your own behaviors. I like information that's useful so I can to learn how to deal with difficult people each day!
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
APPALLED - This book is based on copyright infringed material 4 Nov. 2012
By Isys - Published on
Format: Hardcover
I checked another reviewer's post that said that this book was plagiarized, and I did some research on the Internet. Try googling "Toxic People copyright infringement.' (This site doesn't allow external links.) I cannot believe that this "professional" had the nerve to steal from Dr. Glass's work word-for-word. Dr. Glass has a book called Toxic People that the material was taken from. Marsha Sue Petrie can't even think up a new name. Does she not have any creative juices? Why not just title the book, "Decontaminate Difficult People at Work Without Using Weapons or Duct Tape?" Talk about TOXIC PEOPLE!!!! Apparently Marsha Sue Petrie is one of them. I was going to write a good review, now I'm throwing away this book (if not burning it)!
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
toxic is smart and effective 29 Nov. 2011
By Jeremiah Filmdude - Published on
Format: Hardcover
I purchased a hardcover copy of this book in the hopes that I might learn a thing or two about the work environment I've just recently begun working in. I was constantly working jobs that required me to work alone, but the new office I work in is certainly a strange land filled with many kinds of human beings with different goals and motivations. I chose to check out this book because it seemed to shine a bright and bold spotlight down on my fellow (annoying) employees.

I read "Toxic People" quickly and effortlessly as each page continually kept my interest with all the truths it revealed that seemed so dead-on with my coworkers. I'm sure that I even fit some qualifications for some of the behaviors mentioned, but for the most part I try and be respectful in the workplace and don't have ulterior motives or envious eyes towards fellow employees. Marsha Petrie Sue does an immaculate job of exploiting these behaviors and how to (peacefully) combat the pesky people who so often flaunt them. The book also reveals seven very useful lessons for office survival (which I have used since reading and have been victorious), easy instructions on how to be more uplifting and positive in the workplace, and dozens of helpful tips and detailed guidelines on how to be more productive while still keeping the peace of a conflict-free habitat.

I only read it recently, but this book has absolutely changed my perspective (for the better) in the office. I've been keeping it in mind as I deal with snobs and egos who I come into contact with, and it's totally changed my interactions with them because now I know how to handle them. I've also been utilizing the tips on positivity in the workplace and have had great success, as I now have a much better outlook and days go by faster than ever. I definitely would recommend this book to anyone who wants to transform their job from being conflicting and torturing to something comfortable and painless.
17 of 23 people found the following review helpful
A Microscope and a Mirror 6 Oct. 2007
By David Rawles - Published on
Format: Hardcover
Just finished Toxic People. As an author, I commend Petrie Sue's rapid-fire style; her ability to get directly, yet thoroughly, to the point. As an avid reader, she captured my attendtion. It really was hard to put down. As an educator, I am pleased to see she used good examples which drive home her points. Though all the examples didn't resinate with me, she continually demonstrates she can illustrate her experiences and add life to her lessons!

As I read about the six types of Toxic People and how to deal with them I found gems on every page that will help me as I offer help to others daily. Her book is indeed like a microscope in that it allowed me to focus more closely on the toxic behaviors and the antidotes. I am much better armed to relate with others in my life who may be toxic.

Then it hit me ... Marsha was holding up a mirror for me to see my own (hard to admit) toxic behavior in certain situations. That hardly seems fair, that I should have to sit here and admit that I am sometimes the enemy. Ouch ... that hurts! As I made my way through the pages I learned a bit more about me and how others in my "we" are having to deal with me. I actually feel empowered now to discard some of my own toxic behaviors. Marsha says you can take it, leave it or change it. I am going to change a few things. That's the best recommendation I can give this book.
Thanks Marsha. I owe you.

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
By drlillianglass - Published on
Format: Hardcover
Marsha Petrie Sue not only had the audacity to call her book TOXIC PEOPLE, the same name as my best selling book written 13 years earlier. She also did word for word copying in her book TOXIC PEOPLE. She was sued in US Federal Court and lost the case and is now and will always be deemed a copyright infringer (Dr. Lillian Glass v Marsha Petrie Sue Case Number CV 09-08570-RGK (SHx). In essence she took someone else's materials and claimed it as her own.
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