When an HCP also has a personality disorder…
Personality disorder or not, people with a high conflict personality (HCPs) have a pattern of high-conflict behavior that increases conflict rather than reducing or resolving it. This pattern usually happens over and over again in many different situations with many different people. The issue that seems in conflict at the time is not what is increasing the conflict. The “issue” is the high-conflict personality and how the person approaches problem-solving. With HCPs, the pattern of behavior often includes a lot of these four characteristics:
- Blaming others
- All-or-nothing thinking
- Unmanaged emotions
- Extreme behaviors
HCPs also seem to have personality disorders or some traits of these disorders. This means that they have long-term patterns of:
- Interpersonal dysfunction
- Lack of reflection on their own behavior
- Lack of change
Mental health professionals have identified ten personality disorders. Five of these have a tendency to become HCPs: those with narcissistic, borderline, antisocial, paranoid, or histrionic personality disorders or traits. This helps us understand why they stay stuck in conflict – namely because of two reasons: they don’t reflect on their part of the problem, and they don’t change. So, the conflict continues or gets worse.
Perhaps you know someone with this pattern. Someone who insists that you – or someone you know – is entirely to blame for a large or small (or non-existent) problem. If so, he or she may be an HCP and you likely have felt targeted by them and unsure what to do.
In this episode, Bill and Megan give an overview of the five types and why the ways we interact with them don’t work, and why you can’t get them to reflect on themselves.
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Links & Other Notes
- 5 Types of People Who Can Ruin Your Life: Identifying and Dealing with Narcissists, Sociopaths, and Other High-Conflict Personalities
- It’s All Your Fault: Managing Narcissists and Other High Conflict People
- It’s All Your Fault! 12 Tips for Managing People Who Blame Others for Everything
- All of our books can be found in our online store or anywhere books are sold, including as e-books and some in audio format.
Note: We are not diagnosing anyone in our discussions, merely discussing patterns of behavior.