Whether you identify as an outgoing, confident extrovert, ready to take charge and lead others in this life, or a quiet, reserved introvert that would rather curl up in the safety of your own home than spend time in a group setting – one thing is true. You will have to deal with other people in this life. From your next-door neighbor to the cashier at the grocery store, the chatty co-worker to the overly nosy family member. There is no avoiding the presence of others in our day to day lives.
Some of the people that you meet will be positive and uplifting, encouraging and supporting you throughout this journey. They may even motivate you to reach bigger and better heights than you believed that you were capable of on your own. There are others, however, that can be described as nothing short of toxic. Some people bring drama and conflict everywhere they go, living off the negative energies that they create. Unfortunately, you can’t always avoid these people entirely (your boss might have something to say if you refused to work with Susy in the mailroom) but by recognizing the high-conflict people in your life you can take the steps necessary to establish healthy boundaries and protect yourself from their influence.
Pay attention to these 6 warning signs that you are dealing with a high-conflict personality:
#1 – Perceived ‘Perfect’ Compatibility
Ok, time for a little tough love – While you are searching for someone that is highly compatible with you, even the best match will never be perfect. Healthy relationships will include some level of compromise and disagreement as you are two different, unique individuals. If you notice that someone is perfectly compatible with you in every way, there is a good chance they are faking some elements in the beginning to convince you to buy in.
#2 – Always on the Defense
If you notice that someone is constantly defending themselves at every turn, this could be a sign that they have a high-conflict personality. These individuals feel the need to be defensive because they turn every comment or question around, viewing it as a personal attack. You may have even been complimenting them, however, they will not view it that way. Try to remember that in these situations, this isn’t a reflection of you.
#3 – Mood Swings
These individuals have an incredible temper, and it takes only the smallest of triggers to send them flying over the edge. One moment your neighbour may be talking to you about your new lawn care service and the incredible job they noticed they were doing, and the next they are snapping at you, accusing you of believing you are better than the rest of the people on your block. If you have to walk on eggshells around them, this is definitely a sign of a high-conflict personality.
#4 – Highly Charming
When these people first meet you, they aim to draw you into their circle of influence. In order to do so they will often put on an incredibly charming front. They appear highly likable, winning over everyone that they meet. Once they feel they have fully drawn you in, a switch will flip, and their true personality will emerge. If you feel as though someone’s charm is completely over the top, consider it a red flag.
#5 – Go Big or Go Home
High Conflict individuals LIVE for the extreme. Everything that they do is over the top, viewed as highly dramatic. They jump to extremes with every statement, and view the world in black and white. For example, if they were passed over for a promotion at work, the might as well have been fired. This all or nothing mentality creates a great deal of conflict in every area of their lives, but that only works to further encourage them.
#6 – They Disagree Over Anything
You are going to have situations in your life where you disagree with others and need to stand up for your personal views. For example, if you are working with a team at work and you believe that the suggested approach isn’t the best for the company there is nothing wrong with standing up and voicing your concern. If, however, you notice that someone disagrees constantly, even if it has no impact on their life, this is a sign that they enjoy the negative energy that this creates.