Avett brothersJulia Cameron, author of The Artist’s Way and It’s Never Too Late to Begin Again explains how to spot—and remove—the crazymakers from your life.

Crazymakers are people who thwart the creativity of those they purportedly love. Crazymakers can turn up anywhere—they could be your spouse, your child, your neighbor, your boss. If you are involved with a crazymaker, you probably know it. All crazymakers share certain qualities:

  • Crazymakers break deals and ignore schedules.
  • Crazymakers expect the world to cater to their whims.
  • Crazymakers discount your perceptions.
  • Crazymakers spend your time and your money.
  • Crazymakers triangulate those they deal with.
  • Crazymakers are superior blamers.
  • Crazymakers create dramas—but seldom where they belong.
  • Crazymakers hate schedules—except their own.
  • Crazymakers love chaos.
  • Crazymakers deny that they are crazymakers.

Crazymakers can show up anywhere: They may be your former boss, your sister, your brother-in-law, your neighbor, your golfing buddy. You may be related to them by birth, by marriage or by choice. You might have worked with them. You may share a living space with them. You might never see them—and yet they drive you crazy over the internet and the phone. They may be dead, but still alive and well in your mind, second-guessing your every thought. Or you may realize—gasp—that you are the crazymaker. aqua eyes

Crazymakers thwart dreams and plans. Often they have an air of superiority. They cause their hapless victims to doubt themselves. They often capsize the best and most carefully laid plans. Particularly when it comes to money, crazymakers cause chaos. There is always some new agenda requiring cash. Crazymakers demand that others go along with their schemes. They deny common sense.

Crazymakers enlist mysterious others in favor of their antics. The beleaguered victim feels isolated and abandoned. The crazymaker demands, “Agree with me,” and, all too often, the other caves in, convinced by the crazymaker to go against his own good instinct. Life with a crazymaker is debilitating. It becomes a battleground with many skirmishes. Sarcasm and scorn are weapons the crazymaker employs with abandon. “It’s just so stupid,” the crazymaker may rail when faced with a sensible plan. The crazymaker undermines modest and steady growth, always looking for the “big deal”—the one that will prove the crazymaker right.

Few things are more distracting than constant drama in an intimate relationship; and yet, when we can pull back and see where our power and responsibility lie, we can act with courage and discernment, and we can rebuild our life—with or without that person in it—in a way that supports us.

Cool Mona Note: Part 2 tomorrow. So glad you are part of this crazy and vibrant Cool Mona Community.