A troublemaker plants seeds of strife;
gossip separates the best of friends.
Proverbs 16:28 (NLT)
Over the years I have learned: Just as important as choosing good companions for the journey, it is equally important to avoid sharing life’s sojourn with “crazymakers.” Like the troublemaker in the proverb above, crazy makers plant seeds of strife wherever they go. They waste our time and suck us in to the black hole of their neediness. They passive aggressively pit people against one another and stir up dissension. In her book, The Artist’s Way, Julie Cameron nails it with her description of crazymakers:
- Crazymakers break deals and destroy schedules. They show up two days early for your wedding and expect you to wait on them hand and foot. They rent a cabin bigger than the one agreed upon and expect you to foot the bill.
- Crazymakers expect special treatment. They suffer a wide panopoly of mysterious ailments that require care and attention whenever you have a deadline looming.
- Crazymakers discount your reality. No matter how important your deadline or how critical your work trajectory at the moment, crazymakers will violate your needs.
- Crazymakers spend your time and money. If they borrow your car they return it late with an empty tank.
- Crazymakers triangulate those they deal with. Because they thrive on energy (your energy), they set people against one another in order to maintain their own power position dead center.
- Crazymakers are expert blamers. Nothing that goes wrong is ever their fault.
- Crazymakers create dramas – but seldom where they belong. Whatever matters to you becomes trivialized into mere backdrop for the crazymaker’s personal plight.
- Crazymakers hate schedules – except their own. If you claim a certain block of time as your own, your crazy maker will find a way to fight you for that time, to mysteriously need things (you) just when you need to be alone and focused on the task at hand.
- Crazymakers hate order. Chaos serves their purposes. When you establish space that serves you for a project, they will abruptly invade that space with a project of their own.
- Crazymakers deny that they are crazymakers. “I’m not what’s making you crazy,” they will say, “It’s just that … [add something else to blame].”
I have found that the path to increased levels of life, growth and understanding is often the one path that leads us directly away from a crazymaker.