Surrounded by Idiots: A pleasantly surprising guide to human behavior

Kaitlyn Pao, Staff Writer

Surrounded by Idiots by Thomas Erikson has a rather off-putting title, but, as the saying goes, don’t judge a book by its cover. It may have an insulting first impression, but none of its content is intentionally malicious. It is only honest, and maybe brutally so, but seeing an author write so freely is very refreshing. It has a fascinating writing style, as if Erikson is in front of you giving a lecture on the topic instead of reading words from a book. I typically don’t enjoy non-fiction, but the novel is told through personal anecdotes and entertaining quips that make the experience much more pleasant.

Throughout the book, Erikson explains four general behavior types that define how we interact with and perceive others. Reds are the commanding force in a room that can also be perceived as bossy. Yellows are optimistic and often the life of the party but can be seen as unnecessarily social. Greens are patient and friendly but keep everything bottled in until it all explodes. Finally,Blues are analytical and quiet, but often seen as boring or know-it-alls. As the book explores the positive and negative qualities of each color, it keeps its neutral yet enticing tone while teaching you how to deal with each of the different personality types.

Overall, Surrounded by Idiots is a wonderfully informative book and I would recommend it to all audiences, especially those interested in psychology. It is an excellent guide to simple psychological tendencies and makes for an interesting read. Even those who aren’t drawn to the topic should read it, for it proves a useful guide to communicating properly with each “color” of human behavior.