Surrounded by Idiots

Thomas Erikson


Rights sold

African languages; Yoruba, Igbo, Hausa, Kiswahilli - eGhota

Albania: Pema Publishing

Argentina: Lua De Papel

Australia: St Martin's Essentials

Azerbaijan: Qanan

Brazil: Editura Letramento (License to Intrinseca)

Bulgaria: Hermes

Canada: St Martin's Essentials

Chile: Planeta

China: Post and Communications Press

Croatia: Poetika

Denmark: HOI Denmark

Egypt: Sefsafa (Arabic)

Estonia: Varrak

Finland: Atena

France: Editions First/ Edu8

Germany: Droemer Knaur

Greece: Dioptra

Hungary: Central Médiacsoport

Iceland: Sogur Utgafa

India: Hindi, Tamil, Malayalam & Gujrati: Sanage Publishing

India: Marathi: Goel Prakashan Publishing

Indonesia: PT. Betang Pustaka

Israel: Kinneret

Italy: TRE60

Japan: Forest Publishing Co Ltd.

Korea: Booklog Company

Latvia: Zvaigzne ABC Publishers

Lithuania: Obuolys

Macedonien: Toper Dooel

Myanmar: Sarpaylawka

Norway: Gyldendal

Poland: Wielka Litera

Portugal: Lua de Papel

Romania: Litera Publishing House

Russia: Eksmo

Serbia: Vulkan

Slovakia: Motyl

Slovenia: Ucila

Spain: Planeta

Sweden: HOI & Word Audio & Månpocket (Paperback: Forum)

Taiwan: Business Weekly

Thailand: Amarin

The Czech rep: Albatros

The Netherlands: HarperCollins

Turkey: Koridor

United Kingdom: Vermilion

Ukraine: Folio Publishers Ltd.

United States of America: St Martin's Essentials

Uzbekistan: Yangi Asr Avlodi

Vietnam: 1980 Books


How to understand those that cant be understood.

Some people seriously state that they're surrounded by idiots. Some, oddly enough,  state this more often than others. And certainly we can find many different types of problems that exist without getting along. Some examples you might recognise; have you ever tried to reason with your partner but nothing went as planned? Or have you left a meeting in confusion with the feeling that you truly did not understand a single person in the room? And worst of all, some people never seem to understand what you are saying, no matter how clearly you express yourself. Little by little the idiots in our lives turn up here and there ...

But seriously. An established method to come to an understanding about others is to first understand yourself.  The definition of social competence is the ability to understand and foresee your own behaviours impact on the behavior of others. If this is true, the solution is all about self-insight. But to be honest - who has the time and makes the effort for profound psychological studies to get to know oneself? Going to therapy is in addition insanely expensive, and a fairly unreliable method.

Now there is a readable solution here in the book Surrounded by Idiots. The author Thomas Erikson describes one of the worlds most used methods to sort out the differences in human communication. It is a method that comes from the famous DISC profiles, that use a color scheme of red, yellow, green and blue as a base to describe different behaviours. It is written with lots of humor and gives the reader a steady guidance which makes the book practical. The focus is on usability and the methods described works every time you meet another person.

Some of the headlines:

How do I recognise a red, yellow, green and blue person?

The strengths and weaknesses of the different colors.

Body language – does it always look the same?

How should I treat a person who is not at all like me?

How does written communication work between different colors?

How do you give feedback to the different colors?

The contents of the book offers insights. You will understand what it means when one of your colleague's desk is more cluttered than others. You will know how to respond to your boorish boss who never seems to listen to your ideas, and learn how to get your silent friend to admit what she really thinks about your new sweater. Soon, you also know why the Prime Minister is like he is, and how the girl in the mail department should be dealt with when she tells you that there is no package for you. And you will radically reduce the amount of idiots in your environment.

People are of course not an exact science, but with the help of this knowledge lots of painful misunderstandings will be avoided. The method is described on a popular science based level, but describes specific communication styles followed by hands-on advice on how best to respond to each of them.

Said in all humbleness: You will be amazed at what happens after you've read the book.


297 pages


Link to Author's webpage:




Reviews in magazines:

”The book is incredibly rewarding and provides a lot of aha-moments. It gives you an instructive view into the different behaviors and how to handle these. The text is popular psychology but based on behavioral scientific research. The book is written in a fantastic vivid language and contains plenty of spot-on situations that you are sure to run in to when different colors are mixed. These situations have a high identification factor and are sure to make you laugh.
After having read the book you will be guaranteed to start analyzing friends, acquaintances, colleagues and start matching them to the color scheme. Just don’t forget to analyze yourself too. I warmly recommend the book to all people not dependent of profession. If you don’t read this book you’re an idiot! -Kvalitetsmagasinet


”The percentage of idiots in our surroundings will drastically be reduced if we learn to communicate better” – Dagens Medicin


Reader’s comments:

”Really a treat to read. Creates an understanding of other people – including yourself! We are different! We react and act different! It helps me evolve my social competence! 4/5. Marianne Ernhild through Bokus

”Now I can really understand why I am surrounded by a wide range of peculiar people. They don’t get it. And they are slow. The book is so instructive and also very funny. I laughed until my cheeks hurt. It came to very good use when a friend of mine tested the DISC method on me. I knew more about what it was about. This book will be a helpful tool for me in order to approach my surroundings a bit different. A bit more on their terms. Which – between us- will please them a lot.
Buy it!
Read it!
Learn from it!
Get entertained by it!”

Marie Vallée 4/5 through Bokus

”A very inspiring and instructive book about different personalities. Gives a great description of how bosses/ managers and other individuals can understand the personalities in a constructive way. Warmly recommend it!” Nelum Berglund 5/5 through Bokus

"The best book. Thank you for this book. I am a very red boss and now I know how to approach staff and customers. I see people in colors now!” 5/5 Åsa Sundström



Reviews from International readers:


"I definitely recommend the book! We've been putting people into different categories for a long time. This is a very entertaining and colorful way to do it. 4 out 5 stars!" - Mimmicita, LovelyBooks - Germany


”If you feel that you are surrounded by idiots, you should read the book from a Swedish consultant Thomas Erikson. It is a cheerful and educational piece of work. Surrounded by Idiots is not a serious psychological piece, but a light and entertaining book about how you can get along with different kinds of people.” - Johanna Hellsten, Rakentaja


Surrounded by Idiots is brilliant for all people interacting with other people and especially for people in executive positions. Erikson´s writing is easy to access, and he uses a lot of examples from daily life, that demonstrate the blue, the red, the green and the yellow ways of action.” - Sivistyksensivuraiteilla -blog


"The title takes it all! This book is about how different we are – which is not a big deal for the first sight, but could be an answer why we are having different moods, feelings and reactions to our surroundings. Absolutely useful, a must read. At the end, we get probably an answer that people are not as silly as we think." – Hungary’s biggest online magazine for women


"Erikson's book is a true mine of real-life situations with which each and every one of us can identify. By intertwining complex behavioral theories and situations we constantly find ourselves in, the author conveys his knowledge in an extremely convincing way ... Make sure to read this book - Scandinavia has gone crazy about it and it seems to be conquering the rest of the world." - Sensa, Croatia


"This book has become a world-wide phenomenon for a number of reasons, which will become clear to you as soon as you take a brief look at it. By reading it, you will learn a lot and have a great time. Is there more to ask for in life?" - Grazia, Croatia


"This huge hit from Scandinavia has set out to conquer the world and, judging by the readers' response, it does not intend to stop until it reaches the home of every modern man."  - Dnevnik (Daily News), Croatia


“A detailed essay rich in advices and anectodes. The perfect gift for a friend starting a new job or to flip through every time you don’t understand people around you.” - Donna Moderna, Italy


"You don’t have to be a life coach to read Surrounded by Idiots. It really works, try it for yourself!" – Zin Magazine, The Netherlands


"When guests see this book on my shelf, they start getting offended. =D Judging by the title only, so they shouldn't. Without further ado, it's a book about people. How to understand yourself and to understand others. Written for a wide range of readers, the information will be easy to understand. It's worth reading. This experience will not be superfluous." - Tishina, Russia


"If you like human behavior, communications, and thinking about better ways to interact with people at work or in your personal life, plus you’re up for a laugh, then this book is for you." @bookshelf_taylorsversion