Do you have someone in your life that seems hell bent on making your life hell?
Well, psychology may provide you with some much needed relief.
In my opinion one of the great contributions of psychology to our world is describing people who drive us crazy.
In fact, psychologists have gone to great lengths – and have studied for YEARS – these types of people and their dysfunctional patterns of behavior that are so darn mean.
There’s many labels they’ve come up with:
Narcissist. Sociopath. Psychopath. Borderline.
The fact that these labels and this research exists is great news to you and me. Not because I like labeling people. In general I absolutely don’t.
But it’s vital that if we’re dealing with someone who shows traits of a personality disorder, we know it.
It makes a huge difference to our understanding and how we deal with them.
Recently I was talking to an old friend of mine I hadn’t seen for years. He was going through a difficult divorce with someone who seemed to show traits of narcissistic personality disorder.
He told me that as they were dating and early in their marriage he knew something was off about her, but he figured “Everybody has issues.”
This is the way that many kind, caring, empathetic people think.
“Everyone has issues. So I should give this person I’m dating a break. Heck, I’m not perfect.”
No, no no…
This is a critical, common mistake – and the error in his thinking that cost him 10 years in a marriage that was doomed to fail. And now an ugly, bitter divorce that’s bound to drag on for the foreseeable future.
The 2 Types of “Issues” People Have
See, there’s 2 types of issues people have. And there’s a world of difference between them.
The first kind is the type of issues everyone has. Maybe we’re a little insecure. We’re habitually late. We don’t get along with one of our parents or siblings. We’re not great with money. Whatever.
These issues make us an imperfect person (welcome to the club), not a BAD one.
The second type of issues are what make people horribly mean and vindictive. And conniving. Manipulative. Emotionally and verbally abusive. Callous. Toxic.
In psychology these types of issues fall under what’s called Cluster B Personality Disorders. This is a group of disorders that include Borderline, Antisocial, Narcissistic and Histrionic Personality Disorders.
These are the types of issues that, if you see someone has them, you should turn, walk away and never look back. Because these people will make your life hell.
Sadly, many of us were never taught to look out for these kinds of bad behavior.
So we give them the benefit of the doubt.
We don’t want to be judgmental.
And they end up being one of the biggest challenges we face in our entire lives.
If any of this rings to you, here’s what to do now:
If someone in your life is driving you crazy, you should find out if they show traits of Narcissistic Personality Disorder. You can go take our Narcissist Quiz right here:
(While it’s for entertainment purposes only, it could shed some light on who you’re dealing with. And that’ll help you form a better strategy for dealing with this difficult person.)