A simple rule: don’t engage crazy


The other day, I was telling a friend a story.  I said something along the lines of, “And I wasn’t going to engage because one of my rules is Don’t Engage Crazy.  You often can’t ignore crazy (because, let’s face it, the reason the person gets crazy is so that they are not ignored.) but you can certainly not engage crazy.”  And my friend stopped and said, “You have a rule to not engage crazy?” 

“Absolutely,” I said.  Because the truth is that if you engage crazy, your life is about to get hijacked.  And I don’t do hostage taking.  Nope, not at all. 

Except for, of course, the reason I was telling my friend this story was because I had accidentally– though I knew the warning signs were there– engaged crazy after avoiding it with this person (not my friend but another person who I don’t know all that well because I have been avoiding what I thought might be a malestrom of craziness if I plugged in) for more than a year.  I had dodged and dodged and dodged crazy and then stepped right into it when I wasn’t suspecting it.  And it blew up in my face.  Because that’s what crazy does.  Explodes. 

I called myself out on the carpet after it happened.  I licked my wounds, and then I reminded myself, “don’t engage crazy.” 

Now, let me be clear.  This kind of crazy is the crazy making crazy.  The drama making, hysterical making crazy.  Not the a little left of center crazy which I have to be honest, I have a big heart for.  What I don’t have the heart for is the escalating, name calling, accusing, maddening, pot stirring crazy.  You know the kind. 

That’s my public service announcement today:  Don’t Engage Crazy. 

You do not deserve to be taken hostage.

Originally posted on May 10, 2010.

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7 responses to “A simple rule: don’t engage crazy”

  1. PJ

    Love it!!! Brilliant advice – especially for all readers of twitter 🙂 There’s a lot of crazy getting bandied about out there that I’d just love to set straight. But I do know better. And now I have the best phrase to remind myself why I just mustn’t go there!!

  2. Mylene

    Love love love it! I’m a first reader, and I love how crazy fast talk it seems, it was like you were just there talking to me, trying to give me as much information as you could….just like I try to do so many times….but maybe it’s just me and my bad english?!?! lol, I’ll enjoy reading you more for sure!

  3. Jillian

    “And I don’t do hostage taking. Nope, not at all.”


  4. Yvette

    lol Love this.. SO… Im making t-shirts ;-D

  5. Christina

    a friend once told me “don’t wrestle with a pig; you’ll just get covered in sh!t, and the pig likes it.”

    manY times i’ve caught myself starting to engage crazy and stopped myself by internally yelling “WOMAN, YOU’RE WRESTLING WITH PIGS!” i’m grateful to have new vocabulary for the same idea to employ when talking myself down from the crazy-engaging ledge.

  6. Kip DeForest

    Rosie, I love this rule! Wish I’d heard it long ago! Also love the “wrestling with pigs” idea! Good advice on both counts!

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