Porcupette Intervention: Not My Job

 I was wandering around a bookstore yesterday and the book pictured below JUMPED into my hands. 

How To Hug A Porcupine: Easy Ways to Love the Difficult People in Your Life


 An interesting title, always room for improvement on the journey, quick read, like “easy” in title although often a misnomer but what the heck.  Have found myself with too much time on my hands lately so why not investigate the care and feeding of porcupines. Looks funny.  Obviously, the sharp little rodent is used as the symbol for a difficult, defensive person.  We can all be difficult at times, some more than others.  

 Read it last night (it is not War and Peace).  I don’t believe it is “a powerful tool” as described in the foreward.  And while there are some pro duh points, there are far more cons regarding how we treat each other. Likening a problematic human to a porcupine, this book implies that the combative, defensive personality develops at the “porcupette” stage-when the porcupine is a baby.  At birth, the porcupette has soft, flexible quills.  In just hours, these quills turn into hard weapons.  Ok, I get it … scarred by childhood. Next. But next is bizarre. My opinion is that this innocent looking little book is a misguided strategy manual – a how-to-be-happily-codependent on- the-abusive -personalities-in- your-life map. I cannot imagine this is what the anonymous author meant to advocate. There are few tidbits that are acceptable; as for the rest, well, the advice is shocking, at least it is to me. 


  • Perpetual porcupines lead a solitary life.  They are loners.  They do have a soft side (underbelly) but that location is very difficult to get to.
  • The painful “quills” are the result of  bad experiences, fears, and failed relationships;  “quills” represent harsh words delivered in a loud voice.
  • “Keep a safe distance.” Really?
  • “Don’t be manipulated.”
  • “State your limits.”

I won’t bore you with all that appalled me on these pages, but here are the highlights(paraphrased); they are offered as survival techniques(!): 

  • Learn more about the porcupine and adapt your behavior.  Excuse me?  I’m not the one with the behavior problem.
  • Don’t take it (a quill fest) personally.  HAHAHAHAHA.
  • Use kind words when attacked.  Be prepared and plan ahead. This is scaring me.
  • Compromise.  Be the best you can be. Apologize. Be a good companion.  Now terrified.

I can’t stand this.  “Acknowledge your shortcomings, be a support system.”  And, interestingly enough, there is no chapter on “How to Hug a Porcupine”.  Instead of offering good behavior advice to porcupines, page after page essentially berates the friend, lover, parent, child of, rattling off suggestions for change and preparations for attacks. 

This book is a total and dangerous waste of paper.  

Just my opinion. 


4 thoughts on “Porcupette Intervention: Not My Job

  1. Oh, that does sound sick. I mean, that’s the kind of behaviour we want people to STOP DOING. The only way to deal with a “Porcupine” is to tell it to be nice, or get the f*ck away from me.

  2. Speaking as a reformed porcupine: the only thing that made me want to change was when I was in love and said loved one broke up with me because I was a jealous, angry bitch. I sat up and took notice.

    However, when a previous loved one forgave me for every outburst and stuck by me and loved me, I had no motivation for change. Looking back, I wish I hadn’t taken advantage of such a loving person, but without the impetus to change, I wouldn’t have. 🙂

    • Wanting to change and doing so, no matter what the impetus, is hard but wonderful work! Congrats that your personal rehab worked. Thank you for sharing this.:)

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