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How To Avoid Toxic People: 5 Simple Secrets That Will Make You Happier - Barking Up The Wrong Tree

Emotions To Look For

  • Extreme emotions are signs of possible trouble: extreme charm, extreme love, extreme anger.
  • Someone that carefully controls their emotions until they lose it, then they become unrecognizable in their lack of control.
  • Other emotions to watch out for may be yours. Many people are emotionally manipulated without knowing it and end up in toxic relationships.

When you feel extreme emotions with someone you barely know, pay attention.

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How To Avoid Toxic People: 5 Simple Secrets That Will Make You Happier - Barking Up The Wrong Tree

How To Avoid Toxic People: 5 Simple Secrets That Will Make You Happier - Barking Up The Wrong Tree

https://www.bakadesuyo.com/2018/12/how-to-avoid-toxic-people/

bakadesuyo.com

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Key Ideas

People that cause grief

We all know a few people that cause grief, not merely because they have a bad day but because they have severe problems and are unwilling to change.

We can learn enough to recognize if someone is a "high-conflict person" and avoid them as much as possible.

High-conflict people (HCP)

  1. Narcissistic HCPs: They may seem charming at first but think themselves to be superior. They insult, humiliate, mislead, and lack empathy while demanding respect and attention.
  2. Borderline HCPs: They start out friendly but can suddenly change into being extremely angry. During this rage, they may seek revenge for minor insults.
  3. Antisocial (or Sociopathic/Psychopathic) HCPs There extreme charm is a cover for their drive to dominate others through lying, stealing, publicly humiliating people, physically injuring them, and sometimes murdering them.

While these are disorders and these people are suffering, mental health professionals would advise you to keep your distance from them, if at all possible.

Behavior Patterns Of HCP

Everybody has bad days or weeks. To tell if someone is a High Conflict Person, we can look for four traits of behavior.

  1. Lots of all-or-nothing thinking: When problems arise, it is their solution or no solution. They don't compromise or listen to different points of view.
  2. Intense or unmanaged emotions: HCPs become very emotional about their points of view. Their responses are out of proportion to whatever is happening.
  3. Extreme behavior or threats: They engage in extreme negative behavior that includes physical harm, spreading lies about someone else, emotional manipulation, or obsessive contact.
  4. A preoccupation with blaming others: They frequently blame other people close to them or people in authority over them.

Nobody is perfect, but if someone has all four traits, they almost certainly are an HCP.

Words To Look For

Each type gives clues if you pay attention:

  • Narcissistic HCPs: Words that indicate arrogance, entitlement, and a lack of empathy.
  • Borderline HCPs: They have victim narratives. You’ll empathize with them because their life keeps having extreme problems (but they’ll fail to mention they’re the cause).
  • Antisocial HCPs: They will lie more than they tell the truth.

All three will eventually display the blaming of others, all-or-nothing thinking, victim stories, and a desire to punish.

Emotions To Look For

  • Extreme emotions are signs of possible trouble: extreme charm, extreme love, extreme anger.
  • Someone that carefully controls their emotions until they lose it, then they become unrecognizable in their lack of control.
  • Other emotions to watch out for may be yours. Many people are emotionally manipulated without knowing it and end up in toxic relationships.

When you feel extreme emotions with someone you barely know, pay attention.

How you will most likely feel

  • With Narcissistic HCPs: You may feel stupid or inadequate. You may feel in awe and flattered that the person is spending time with you. 
  • With Borderline HCPs: You will want to yell at then to get them to stop behaving in some inappropriate way. 
  • With Antisocial HCPs: You sometimes feel a sense of danger just being around this person. 

Method for handling HCPs

If you are in a situation where you cannot avoid a high conflict person, use the 4-step CARS method.

  • Connect with empathy, attention, and respect. With narcissists and antisocials, emphasize respect. With borderlines, focus on empathy.
  • Analyze alternatives or options. Always deal with the problem at hand by presenting them with choices. It gives them the illusion of control, which will reduce conflict.
  • Respond to misinformation or hostility by being brief, informative (only information, not defensiveness), friendly and firm.
  • Set limits on high-conflict behavior. You can't just say 'no' without backing it up with boundaries. Your limits should come from an external source outside your control. "I'd love to do that, but my boss/spouse just won't let me."

Never trigger the deepest fear

  • Narcissistic HCPs fear disrespect. They act in such a way that people inevitably lose respect for them.
  • Borderline HCPs fear abandonment. They are a nonstop emotional that makes everyone run away from them.
  • Antisocial HCPs fear control, so they break every rule and often end up in prison.

SIMILAR ARTICLES & IDEAS:

Common errors when reading people

  • Ignoring context: Crossed arms don’t mean much if the room is cold or the chair they’re sitting in doesn’t have armrests. 
  • Not looking for clusters: It’s a consisten...

Trusting your instincts

Your first impressions are usually pretty accurate. But whether they are wrong or right, first impressions affect us in a big way and we are slow to change them.

You have to be willing to update them quite rapidly. 

Reading first impressions

  • Studies show that if someone seems extroverted, confident, religious or conscientious, they probably are.
  • We all pay more attention to pretty people, and so we tend to take the time to evaluate them.
  • If you want to know if someone is good at their job, watch them do it for 30-60 seconds. 
  • Funny people are smart: Effective humor production acts as an honest indicator of intelligence in humans.

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Narcissists

They have inflated views of themselves (they think they are better than they actually are).

They make fantastic first impressions. But the stuff that works for narcissists so well in the sho...

Don't deal with them

Narcissists lack empathy, they usually don’t work hard, and in a few weeks to a few months, they make the people around them miserable. And narcissism is very hard to change. So, if at all possible, just stay away.

Kiss Up Or Shut Up

Clinical psychologist Al Bernstein recommends you kiss up to them or at least keep your mouth shut until you can get out of there.

There’s this concept called “narcissistic injury.” Pointing out a narcissist isn’t all they think they are can be like pulling the pin on a grenade. A grenade you have to see every day of your life.

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Challenge Unhelpful Thoughts

Challenge Unhelpful Thoughts

Listen to your thoughts — but don’t necessarily believe them

They're suggestions, possibilities. But they’re not gospel. You can’t control what thoughts pop up, but you can deci...

Identifying Unhelpful Thoughts

  • Black and White ThinkingThere are heaping piles of nuance to most things.
  • Unrealistic Expectations: Cynicism is bad, but a little skepticism is essential. 
  • Selective Attention: If your brain is always looking for the negative, you’re gonna find it. 
  • Disqualifying the Positive: Sometimes we go into problem-solving mode and focus only on what is broken. 
  • Predicting the Future: “This will never work” or “They’re going to think I’m stupid.” You don’t know the future. So don’t act like it.
  • “Should” thoughts: It’s usually just an insistence that the world bends to your will and is a great way to amplify frustration.

Do More Stuff

Doing little positive things is better for happiness than occasionally bagging an elephant:

  • Enjoyable stuff
  • Achievement stuff: Defeat your goals in single combat and feel like a conquering hero
  • Meaningful stuff: Do volunteer work or just help someone
  • Physical stuff: Exercise. Not only keeps you alive, but it’s like miracle grow for your brain
  • Social stuff. 

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