Is your partner or ex making you crazy? Welcome to the land of the chronically difficult.
There are people who are usually perfectly reasonable but are having a bad day, bad week, or high stress. They are difficult … at that time. Then, there are people who are usually needy, righteous, disparaging, blaming, and manipulative.
If that describes your partner or your ex, you are experiencing that special breed: the chronically difficult person.
Sometimes, you just want to throw your arms in the air and scream, “Uncle! Enough already!” Right?
You say “white.” He says “black,” even when it’s clearly white. He just has to be right. He has to win.
You are talking about some small thing, like which movie to see, and she insists that it has to be the one she wants to see. Otherwise, you’ll hear: “You never consider my needs. You’re always trampling on my feelings. You are the least considerate man on the planet.”
Really? Weren’t we just making a decision for a movie on Tuesday night? How did it become so life or death?
This is the way it goes with chronically difficult people. And, they do it with most everyone. It’s not just you. Usually, s/he has difficulties at work, within their families, in community organizations. It’s not just when they are under stress, or having a bad hair day. It is most days—especially when they are not getting their way. That’s what makes them chronically difficult. I coined the term, “Hijackals™” for these folks.
3 Big Ways to Tell If You’re With a Chronically Difficult Person:
- S/he NEEDS to win in most moments. Chronically difficult people have a fragile sense of self. They need to win to keep their sense of self from shattering. They will fight to be right over the smallest, seemingly silliest, thing, because they simply cannot accept being wrong. Therefore, you have to lose. It’s sad, but true.
- S/he has a favorite game: Blaming. Chronically difficult people cannot be wrong, so you must be. Everything is your fault—except, of course, the good stuff! You are blamed for what you do, what you don’t do, how they feel, why s/he doesn’t have what they want, and for you not being a mind reader. Basically, for everything.
- S/he constantly overreacts. Because they live in fear of not winning or of ever being wrong, chronically difficult people over-react at the slightest hint that things are not going in their direction. This leads to BIG emotions being spilled: emotions completely out of proportion to the issue or incident. Resorting to yelling, screaming, crying or decrying in order to manage a situation and turn it to their favor is a frequent occurrence. Some are good at the long-term “deep freeze,” but most prefer the theatrics and drama of over-reaction.
Know first that these folks are not choosing these behaviors as clearly as you might think. These are old defensive behaviors they have honed to survive. They felt they had to.
They are not doing these things to put you in your place and show you who is boss. They are doing them from a deep-seated fear that, if they are not right, they might cease to exist. They truly are fighting for their lives, even when it’s about who failed to take out the garbage.
Are these three big indicators sounding at familiar?
Are you recognizing that all the thoughts you’ve had about things being your fault and how you must be a bad person may not be about you at all?
Are you tired of turning yourself into a pretzel to try to make someone like this happy—especially someone who is determined not to be happy, pleased, or satisfied?
If these three insights help you to understand what’s making you miserable in your relationship, then you know now that you need help. You really cannot see the patterns and change your mindset and behavior in effective ways without that help. You likely can see that.
Chronically difficult people make your mind spin. They leave you dangling in the wind while questioning your sanity. With relationship help, you can learn how to stop it now!