Addicted to fights
Maintaining a relationship with a person addicted to conflict can be as problematic as it is dangerous. In many cases, we are dealing with someone who may be suffering from a personality disorder.
High conflict personalities in relationships make up a recurring and complex problem . Extreme behaviors, threats, constant arguments, outbursts of anger and suffering becoming that constant ingredient of the day to day. What should be done in these kinds of circumstances? Is there some kind of effective exit or strategy?
The truth is that the issue of high conflict is an aspect of recent interest in the field of psychology . The study of this type of personality began a couple of decades ago. Thus, one of the most prominent figures in the analysis and conceptualization of this trait is undoubtedly Dr. Billy Eddy, co-founder and president of the High Conflict Institute .
Something that points out in works such as 5 Types of People Who Can Ruin Your Life published in 2018 is that this tendency to conflict, anger, frustration and arguments is behind various personality disorders . It is important to consider that this fact can be highly problematic at the level of the couple's relationship. We analyze it.
Characteristics of high conflict personalities in couple relationships
Suddenly one day, we meet someone nice. Almost without realizing it, we fall in love with a kind and charismatic person who puts the whole world at our feet and who inevitably dazzles us. We start life with him or her and soon we realize that something is wrong. Disagreements , threats, criticism in private and also in public do not take long to appear .
No matter what you do or don't do, for these people everything will be hopelessly wrong. High-conflict personalities are behind a good part of cases of gender violence . Also of many labor disputes and cases of mobbing . In this way, there is something that we must bear in mind.
Many of these people who show a lasting pattern of dysfunctional interpersonal behavior may actually have a personality disorder. The Narcissistic personality disorder , histrionic or antisocial trait have the tendency to conflict.
Let us therefore understand how high conflict personalities are in couple relationships.
Poor emotional management
The behavior of these people is, on average, explosive. Life with them is like walking through mined territory, they get angry at the least and do it with a fit of anger, contempt and high negativity. They are figures with terrible skills when it comes to understanding and managing their emotions and this makes them process any situation or problem in an oversized way.
All or nothing thinking
The high conflict personality in dating relationships is defined by that all or nothing thinking and attitude. That is to say, in the day to day there are no shortage of expressions and threats such as "either you listen to me or you leave", "either you are with your friends or you are with me" , " well, if you are not comfortable, we will leave it and that's it" .
As we well know, living with someone defined by such a polarized way of thinking and acting is complex and painful.
Threats as a form of communication
Another recurring characteristic in the high conflict person is threat . In their form of communication, the use of coercion and that verbal violence that pleases and that leads the couple to a situation of constant suffering is common. In this way, something that is frequently appreciated are phrases such as "if you tell me that again, I will throw myself out the window", "in case you do that again, I will take our son and we will leave home forever."
Low resistance to frustration and projection of blame
The conflict addict is intolerant, a three-year-old child unable to assume that sometimes things are not as they want and wish. They live eternally frustrated and angry because the couple does not do what they or they expect and this generates a deep discomfort.
That external discomfort must go out into the external world in some way. And, usually, it is done through the mechanism of psychological abuse and emotional violation. This makes it frequent that they seek to blame their partner for anything, however unlikely it may be.
What can I do if my partner is a high conflict person?
Dr. Bill Eddy, an expert on this topic mentioned at the beginning, is a lawyer as well as a therapist. The conflict that this type of personality generates has a greater impact in couple settings and in work environments. According to him, it is important to know how to recognize this trait and act accordingly to safeguard our well-being. To do this, it gives us a series of keys. We analyze them.
High conflict personalities in couple relationships: action strategies
It is illustrative to know that about 80% of people with persistent high conflict personality may show some psychological disorder. As far as possible, it is advisable in all cases to guide the couple to seek expert help . Although, as we well know, it is not always easy.
- The essential thing in the first place is to be clear that we are not responsible for the discomfort of the person with high conflict. Releasing us from all blame or responsibility for your unhappiness and anger is a priority. Only in this way can we safeguard self-esteem.
- Don't try to change the person; you can not. What you can do is vary the way you respond to your partner. Set limits, be clear about what you are willing to tolerate and what not. Then act accordingly.
- Avoid taking their reactions strictly personal. In reality, this profile is in conflict with itself. Although of course, their way of acting violates the quality of affection and the bases of a happy relationship.
- We will ask for changes and stipulate a certain time to show progress. If it doesn't, we will make a decision.
High conflict personalities must be fully aware of the consequences of their behavior. No one can live with someone who attacks with the word, who sees problems at every moment and who, because he is at war with himself, leads others to battle. We all have a limit and if we do not perceive progress or wills, the best option is distance.
When we reason about a problem, we tend to use a simple and useful outline most of the time. This way of thinking is what is known as linear thinking.
Coercive persuasion is a cognitive mechanism that operates through false beliefs and misconceptions. It leads a victim to think that it is desirable and convenient to perpetuate the bond that he maintains with his aggressor.
In couple relationships there is always a certain degree of commitment and, of course, seeking the company of the person you love. However, some people have an excessive emotional dependence on their partners .