Cover of People Can't Drive You Crazy If You Don't Give Them The Keys

The title of this book was what won me over first – but that was only the beginning.

In Mike Bechtle’s book, People Can’t Drive You Crazy if You Don’t Give Them the Keys, he writes about how each of us can change our day-to-day crazy, hectic, drama-filled lives by giving us a different way to deal with difficult people. He pokes, prods and uses good clean humor to help convey his point.

In Part One, Mike helps us admit that we are stuck in a crazy world – but reminds us that a majority of people just have to be right – about everything! Knowing this he reminds us to focus on ourselves – no one else.

In Part Two, Bechtle continues with sharing the problems behind changing someone else. He writes about “firing our family” because family is closes to us and therefore pushes the greatest number of our boundaries. And if something is wrong, we help our family members – instead of letting them feel the consequences of their actions. But should we do this? Mike doesn’t think so: if we run to everyone we love in their time of need because maybe they messed up and then help them off the hook – they’ll never understand what they did – and might just do it again! Overall, Mike reminds us to not change others or fix others – again, it’s about focusing on ourself.

“Living in hope comes from seeing things the way they really are. It starts with checking our own perspectives before trying to influence the perspectives of others. It’s about changing from the inside out.”


“We can’t be the quarterback of another person’s life. But we can be members of his team, supporting and influencing him to become a better life player”

In Part Three, Mike talks about the ability to change ourselves. Much of what he shares concludes that each of us is hardwired in our DNA to act in a specific manner and although habits, attitudes and the like can change with hard work – our personality is our set point. Deep down, most of us feel that our set point is the only set point and we find it difficult to accept others set points because, well, how can they be their best living like that?!
This past summer, I was an IT Intern at Humana Inc. and one of the tasks we were posed with was reading Tom Rath’s, StrengthFinder2.0 and taking the assessment that went along with it (Read more about my strengths). Mike and Tom have a lot in common with their opinions. Both feel that as humans, we have a distinct set of traits (different for everyone) and we should focus on those strengths to help us grow as a person. That’s not to say that we can’t work to be better in the areas of life that challenge us, but it’s a life choice to focus on the strengths we each hold – an optimists way!

“Emotions are a gift from God that make our lives multicolor masterpieces. Without feelings, life becomes beige.”

In Part Four, Mike discusses how to prioritize relationships and goes even further to talk about when some of the relationships we have with others are not in our own best interests. He even shares ideas on how to best leave a relationship.

“There’s nothing good or bad, but thinking makes it so” – Shakespeare

In the final part of his book, Mike reminds us that perfectionism is not always the best policy. He states “being perfect becomes a way of avoiding the disapproval of others.” Because perfection is unattainable to us (as faulty humans), perfectionism has an incredible dark side – we will always be disappointed with our work and life because it will never be perfect.  He also gives a “relationship survival kit” to his reader. Reviewing the main points of his book he shares with us that we need perspective, people, boundaries, examples and encouragement.Bechtle’s book is spot-on. If you follow through…you’re daily dealings with crazy people may (over time) have slightly less of an impact on your everyday life.