Method For Handling HCPs - Deepstash

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."

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Each type of toxic people 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.

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  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.

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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.

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  • 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.

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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.

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  • 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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  • 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.

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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 short term proves lethal in the long term.

In job interviews, narcissists get results, but after three weeks people regard narcissists as untrustworthy. They make awesome first dates, but relationship satisfaction with them shows a big decline after 4 months. 

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  • 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 consistent grouping of actions (sweating, touching the face, and stuttering together) that is really going to tell you something. 
  • Not getting a baseline: If someone is always jumpy, jumpiness doesn’t tell you anything. 
  • Not being conscious of biases: If you already like or dislike the person, it’s going to affect your judgment. 

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Mindfulness
It involves paying attention to something while letting go of judgments and assumptions. Don’t try to change it. Instead, be open to the experience, regardless of whether you like or dislike it. 

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