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How to avoid, outwit, and disarm assholes, from the author of the classic The No Asshole Rule
As entertaining as it is useful, The Asshole Survival Guide delivers a cogent and methodical game plan for anybody who feels plagued by assholes. Sutton starts with diagnosis—what kind of asshole problem, exactly, are you dealing with? From there, he provides field‑tested, evidence‑based, and often surprising strategies for dealing with assholes—avoiding them, outwitting them, disarming them, sending them packing, and developing protective psychological armor. Sutton even teaches readers how to look inward to stifle their own inner jackass.
Ultimately, this survival guide is about developing an outlook and personal plan that will help you preserve the sanity in your work life, and rescue all those perfectly good days from being ruined by some jerk.
“Thought-provoking and often hilarious . . . An indispensable resource.”—Gretchen Rubin, best-selling author of The Happiness Project and Better Than Before
“At last . . . clear steps for rejecting, deflecting, and deflating the jerks who blight our lives . . . Useful, evidence-based, and fun to read.”—Robert Cialdini, best-selling author of Influence and Pre-Suasion
“If everyone had paid attention to the Stanford business professor’s best-selling 2007 management manifesto, The No Asshole Rule, there would be no need for a follow-up. Yet here we are.” —Esquire
“Sutton’s breezy writing style, combined with the wide array of anecdotes and stories from people who’ve written him about their difficulties, makes for an entertaining read . . . Consider that the physical book itself might be a solution to an a-hole at work. Much like the effect Sutton’s first book reportedly has had, simply leaving The Asshole Survival Guide prominently on your desk may send all the signal you need.”—SmartUp
“In this most-welcome sequel to Sutton’s best-selling The No Asshole Rule, the author turns from an organization-wide perspective to an individual one, outlining strategies for dealing with difficult people at work. Readers will shake their heads—both in horror and recognition—at Sutton’s real-life examples of egregious behavior. However, Sutton also shares true stories, provided by readers, of successful strategies for thwarting the bullies. The book’s thoughtful, well-ordered structure begins with the topic of determining how bad the problem is. Later, Sutton discusses how to graciously exit a bad workplace. If that’s not an option, then there are tricks for coping, such as the one shared by a West Point cadet who changed her perspective on her hazers’ behavior and came to think of it as ridiculous rather than hurtful. Numerous strategies are provided for decreasing exposure to jerks or mentally excusing oneself when this proves impossible. The final strategy Sutton shares is simply fighting back, while still weighing the consequences of doing so. At the conclusion, Sutton turns the mirror on his readers, urging them to recognize when they behave badly and to stop themselves from contributing to the workplace’s—and world’s—already too large population of assholes.” —Publishers Weekly
“Bob Sutton is very wise and very funny, AND he can tell you exactly how to handle the unfortunate reality that into every life a few assholes must fall. The Asshole Survival Guide is destined to become your go-to resource whenever you find yourself dealing with people who would treat you poorly.”—Susan Cain, New York Times best-selling author of Quiet
“At last someone has provided clear steps for rejecting, deflecting, and deflating the jerks who blight our lives. Better still, that someone is the great Bob Sutton, which ensures that the information is useful, evidence-based, and fun to read.”—Robert Cialdini, author of New York Times bestsellers Influence and Pre-Suasion
“No matter what industry or profession you work in, you will always encounter people who are unpleasant, off-putting, or downright self-centered. Thank goodness Bob Sutton has provided us with such a well-crafted guide for surviving these jerks. It is mandatory reading for anyone who strives to endure, escape, fend-off, and bring them down.”—Chip Conley, founder and past CEO of Joie de Vivre hotels, advisor and former head of global hospitality and strategy at Airbnb, and author of four books, including the New York Times bestseller Emotional Equations
“With humor, understanding, and comprehensive research—and an ah-ha moment on every page—this is a must-have for leaders and climbing stars alike, from the expert on the subject. Bravo!”—Marshall Goldsmith, author of the #1 New York Times bestseller Triggers
“This is the guide you need for handling the worst people in your life—and making sure they don’t rub off on you. If you’ve ever had a horrible boss, client, or colleague, this book is bursting with advice that’s often ingenious and always actionable. And if your world has been free of jerks, consider this an insurance policy.”—Adam Grant, New York Times best-selling author of Give and Take and Originals, and coauthor of Option B
“Assholes are like the weather—everybody complains about them but nobody ever does anything about them. Until, that is, Robert Sutton’s Asshole Survival Guide. Sutton offers a wealth of helpful, and dare I say wise suggestions about how to identify and deal with the assholes in your organization, or at least minimize the damage they do to the well-being and productivity of others. (I’d also suggest bringing it along to family reunions and PTA meetings.)”—Geoff Nunberg, University of California, Berkeley, author of Ascent of the A-Word: Assholism, the First Sixty Years.
“One of the biggest impediments to achieving a great workplace is assholes. Their behavior creates a hostile work environment that leads to decreased engagement, productivity, and employee loyalty. Bob Sutton has written a fantastic book that explains the severity of the problem and provides useful strategies for dealing with it.”—Paul Purcell, chairman and former long-time CEO of Baird, ranked fourth on Fortune’s Top 100 Companies to Work For and renowned for its long-time “no assholes” policy
“Reading The Asshole Survival Guide made me wistful. If only Bob Sutton’s book had been available to help me deal with the full complement of first-class assholes I’ve encountered in my 50-year professional life. No names shall be mentioned.”—Tom Peters, coauthor of the bestseller In Search Of Excellence
“First, The No Asshole Rule alerted us to the problem. Now, The Asshole Survival Guide offers the solution. This book is a contemporary classic—a shrewd and spirited guide to reducing our exposure and protecting ourselves from the jerks, bullies, tyrants, and trolls who seek to dispirit and demean. Now more than ever, with civility and decency under attack, we desperately need this antidote to the a-holes in our midst.”—Daniel H. Pink, best-selling author of To Sell Is Human and Drive
“As much as we try to avoid assholes, inevitably they appear in our lives. Bob Sutton gives us a menu of clear, thoughtful, and practical solutions for surviving and thriving in those painful situations. With cutting-edge research and real-life examples that are thought-provoking and often hilarious, The Asshole Survival Guide is an indispensable resource.”—Gretchen Rubin, best-selling author of The Happiness Project and Better Than Before
“It’s hard to know how to react to a jerk, so The Asshole Survival Guide is a godsend. Obnoxious behavior is a double whammy. First, you feel mad at the other person. Next, you feel mad at yourself for your response / lack of response. It’s being mad at yourself that is both hard to be aware of, and is most debilitating. With this brilliant and funny book, Bob Sutton saves you from fear, loathing, and self-loathing!”—Kim Scott, author of the New York Times bestseller Radical Candor, cofounder of Candor, Inc, and former executive at Google and Apple