What makes it tough for you to be with your partner, husband, wife, or friend?
If you want to know if it is truly them, or do you exaggerate things in your head, there is an easy method to know if the person who seems to be causing you sorrow is actually in the wrong. When that difficult person isn’t present, what do others say? Are they likely to be the subject of vexing rants? If that’s the case, you can relax. It’s not your fault.
What are the basic, telltale giveaway behaviors of a “difficult” person?
Why would you want to determine whether someone is truly difficult, as opposed to the two of you just have some sort of a personality conflict? Well, probably the most common reason would be that it’s just satisfying to know that the problems you’re having with someone are not “all in your head.” Also, you may be seeking validation at this point. If you’ve been dealing with someone on a routine basis who has a high maintenance personality, you might have experienced a plummet in your own personal self-esteem. This is because, in order to keep a relationship with a difficult person going, you literally must put aside your own needs. Because as soon as you put yourself first, this relationship will fall apart.
That said, let’s take a look at common behaviors of “difficult” people, aka why they infuriate us the way they always seem to do.
Things difficult people do
The difficult person thrives on negativity. Emotionally healthy people seek peaceful relationships with others. They enjoy exchanging kind words. They encourage friends, congratulate others on a job well done where necessary. They are genuine, and for the most part, kind. Difficult people, however, may seem happiest after exchanging a surly word, or quite a few of them. They oddly appear to psychologically “wake up” and become more alert and lively after getting into conflict with someone else.
The difficult person seems to experience positive moods after making someone else feel bad. Your difficult friend or partner might be that person humiliating someone for the joy of watching them become uncomfortable. As a child, perhaps they pushed other kids around on the playground. Maybe the difficult person is that petty individual spreading gossip about others, either in person or via their smartphone which is unfortunately customary nowadays, and not so smart.
The difficult person always must have someone to bully. What does it mean to bully someone? A bully basically tries to intimidate another person into doing what they want. Bullies put others down to make themselves feel more powerful. If your resident difficult person uses domineering body language, a loud and forceful tone, and won’t take no for an answer, that’s considered bullying.
The difficult person emotionally manipulates other people. Emotional manipulation has to do with using other people’s emotions to control their actions. This behavior is rooted in the psyche from early childhood. A small child whose parents used a disapproving tone of voice, negative body language, and facial expressions, as well as blatant words of disrespect toward them during the formative years, will likely grow up repeating this behavior as it is a way that they were once psychologically controlled. This has been imprinted upon their psyche, and so now the only way to escape that feeling of being inferior that their parent impressed upon them is by inflicting it on others whom they encounter in interpersonal relationships.
The difficult person must “win” the argument at all costs. The most infuriating thing by far in dealing with a truly difficult person in your life is that they will literally never admit fault and they will never validate your emotions. This is how they manage to “win” – because you walk away feeling bad, and in that regard, they have emotionally controlled you which is just as good as winning the argument even though in an actual argument, nobody ever really wins.
The difficult person has a “my way or the highway” attitude toward people they are in close personal relationships with. An example of this might be that your difficult partner, spouse, family member, or friend has made the sudden decision to include you in some social plan. At the moment, you are tied up with a pressing problem that you were trying to solve or a task that you were looking to complete. In a healthy relationship, the other party would notice you in this situation. They might say something like “I see that you’re busy at the moment. How about when you’re finished with (said task), we can meet up and do (whatever)? I’d really like to spend some time with you.” A difficult person, however, would likely inform you that this is what is going to happen, and if you’re not ready, tough cookies. “My way or the highway.”