Never call out someone who has a personality disorder and never confront them. It will only escalate the situation. They will immediately see you as a threat. First: show them empathy, respect and listen. You may not tend to do that naturally with difficult personalities but remember they believe their story to be true and don’t think they have a problem. Secondly: never go back over the past. Move forward, present them with options and explain what you’d like to see happening. Third: respond quickly, briefly, and in a friendly but firm manner to any misinformation that they circulate about you. Finally: set limits to any negative, harmful behavior by using authority rules, codes of ethics or laws as leverage.
The actions and behaviors of someone with a personality disorder are repetitive and predictable. They don’t think they have a problem; therefore, they don’t see any reason to change or take responsibility.
It can be very stressful, disruptive, draining, gets them and you in trouble, creates conflicts, can be confusing, creates loss of motivation, and lowers your self-esteem. You may feel helpless. You can’t change the person. Remember, particularly in the case of a perverse narcissist or a psychopath, a toxic environment is more likely to have a negative impact on you, than you are to change it. The best practice is to move on and get out of the situation.
Abrasive people with the right coaching will get their defenses down and eventually acknowledge the pain they are causing and work on new skills. It’s more of a negative attitude than a personality disorder. On the other hand, a personality disorder is a mental problem that needs to be treated by specialists—and must be diagnosed and handled by a trained therapist.
Behind the tough demeanor, the abrasive leader is afraid of not being perceived as competent. When a person doesn’t give the abrasive leader what they want in order to excel, they will press for results, be impatient, critical, demeaning, insulting and even threatening. They have performance anxiety and will try hard to make others comply as a way to reduce their fear of failure and get back in control. They know their abrasive behavior is not working but they cannot understand what else to do. That’s when hiring a Boss Whisperer® is very helpful. It can help avoid other people’s increased anger and upset or formal complaints.
An executive specialized coach accredited to practice this specific coaching method designed for abrasive leaders. The approach is totally confidential between the leader and coach and is non-punitive. It is oriented toward the development of skills (efficient management, interpersonal communication, emotional intelligence, self-control) that are lacking and causing problems.
The need for specialists trained in the science and practice of coaching abrasive leaders is clear. Employers are desperately looking for solutions for dealing with technically competent (and thus valuable) executives, managers and professionals whose abrasive conduct results in organization disruption. The Boss Whisperer® program is perfect for this.
Abrasive leaders are high performing leaders, whose desperate need for performance and acknowledgement makes them insensitive to others. This can cause major distress and disruption in the workplace. Based on extensive research, this approach helps individuals quickly gain insight into the impact of their words and actions and develop non-destructive management strategies.
We all have moments of toxic behavior: my way or no way (narcissism); feeling left out (borderline); making things bigger than they are to attract attention (histrionic); impatient or rude with people who don’t deliver what we want (abrasive); taking advantage of the situation (sociopath). But this is not a personality disorder—which tend to be repetitive, predictable, and without awareness and self-responsibility. A toxic trait is a negative behavior that shows up once in a while but that does not define our personality.
Someone with a personality disorder very rarely changes. They can be assisted and treated to control some of their reactions and aftermaths and can be helped. Along with their loved ones, they can learn to cope with their dysfunction traits. However, the deep dysfunction and emotional deregulation remain part of the personality in most cases.
Sociopaths and psychopaths have more of a low or no consciousness, caused in part by a serious trauma from childhood that impaired the brain’s development or by genetics at birth that make the empathetic part of the brain numbed or absent. They very rarely, if ever, change.
Psychologists who specialize in various forms of personality disorders can help by doing one-on-one counseling. Some institutes provide clinical services to help people with personality disorders as well as counseling to their loved ones. There is also addiction group therapy, dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT) groups, psychotherapeutic support groups, and medication is often involved in treatment.
A personality disorder or high-conflict personality occurs because of both genetics and the environment that people are raised in. Some high-conflict personalities develop after an abusive childhood. Some occur solely due to genetics. Most result from a combination of both. Because of their lack of self-awareness, they cannot help themselves, and they do not experience what others do, making relationships very challenging.
Japanese psychology refers to a self-development approach and a natural way to mental health. It derives from two psychotherapies practiced in Japan: Morita and Naikan.
Morita therapy is part of a system of thought and action developed by a Japanese psychiatry professor named Shoma Morita, M.D. at the beginning of the century. Contrary to the Western belief influenced by Freud that we need to fix our emotions before acting, Morita believed that we can act from purpose and take constructive actions regardless of feelings. Most people find it easier to give in and let their feelings control their behavior much of the time, which eventually leads to failure.
In Morita, the client is allowed the freedom to feel, along with the responsibility to act properly. It is based on 3 principles: accept your feelings, know your purpose, and do what needs doing. Morita and Naikan methods were introduced in North America in the 1980s and adapted by Dr. David Reynolds as the two main components of an educational program named Constructive Living®. The success rate of Morita’s method is in the 90% range in Japan.
Naikan is a method of self-reflection developed by Ishin Oshimoto in 1953. Naikan is both a personal development method and a therapeutic technique. It is widely recognized as an effective therapy. It is used by various therapeutic and social organizations, working with schools and other institutions.
The Naikan method is the same for everyone and for all types of problems. The purpose of Naikan is essentially to learn to know oneself, through the examination of one's own behavior. This learning is done in a concrete way, by the memory of the scenes of our past life with significant people from 3 questions: what did I receive from...what did I give to...what problems did I cause to?
Abrasive people often have a commanding and domineering presence, and show little patience with others, in the workplace and often with family or friends. A major reason for their abrasiveness is that these personalities want to appear competent. They have a great deal of fear and can be threatening to others.
The individual with a personality disorder does not understand they have a problem; and they will see anyone as a threat if they are confronted and the conflict will escalate. Do research, turn to HR resource people, consult with your doctor, or rely on friends for support.
The most difficult is the psychopath because they change personality like a chameleon according to their prey and based on what they learned about them. However, the majority of personality disorders are difficult to identify if you are not familiar with mental disorders or haven’t been exposed to the specific toxic behavior. People with personality disorders may carry more then one. Most of these personalities also remain functional in daily life and may control their reactions in public. Generally, one sees the most dysfunction behind closed doors.
Once the charm effect is gone, they can be very disruptive, malignant, hurtful and even dangerous. It will affect your self-esteem and confidence, erode your enthusiasm, and your creativity, affect your health (stress, sleep, appetite, immune system), and impact your future. Many people who have dealt with the aftermath of harmful relationships with a psychopath may develop chronic immune diseases.
Something in the long-term patterns of behavior differs from what one might expect from a normal person. The pattern of experience and behavior begins by late adolescence or early adulthood and causes distress or problems in daily life and relationships.
Narcissism is a personality disorder. Psychopathy refers to a low or no consciousness personality type. A narcissist is going for a win. All that the narcissist wants is to win over their target in order to get what they want.
On the other hand, a psychopath is going for a kill: the annihilation of their target’s personality, finances, home and family, health, sanity, sense of worth, integrity, and future. Psychopaths are far more dangerous and prefer that they be seen as narcissists. The last thing they want is for anyone to identify them as psychopaths. They desperately want to avoid having their fake persona revealed. Nothing makes them angrier than to lose their grip on someone they’ve targeted.
Narcissists have no limits in asking—and empaths have no limit in giving. Often, it’s the super traits or qualities of the victim that put them at risk and makes them a target. Extreme generosity, super resourcefulness, tremendous tolerance will all attract the malignant narcissists and psychopaths.
A trauma in childhood can cause a repeated attraction and lack of discrimination which leads to bad choices. It is important not to be too open, too quickly.
Avoid being intimate too quickly. The person wants to know everything about you. They may have researched you already and will seem to understand you because they play off what they have learned. Sometimes they want to marry you immediately. They may actually be out of a job and need your resources to survive. They play the victim (abusive childhood, bad marriage, no friends) and it’s always because of others. They trigger your pity with a sad story. They cross boundaries really fast and easily. They brag about their great past and this is a red flag.
Keep your personal and professional information close to your chest. Don’t fall for someone who needs you (you are not there to save them), especially if you are vulnerable (lost a job, lost your partner or friend, separate from you children, etc.). Take your time. Verify facts. Be on alert for signs. If 90% of people won’t do what they do, then you have reasons to question their behavior. And if you’ve been in a dysfunctional family or relationship before, be sure you have healed your wounds.
Also be clear on how your super traits (over generous, understanding, resourceful) have put you in trouble in the past and get proper therapy to help with your inclinations before you date again. If you don’t make the effort to heal your own negative programming from the past, you will attract the same relationship over and over. Choose well. Psychopaths can sense you from a distance.
Take note of your observations. Establish boundaries and limits. Give yourself some free time. You are not there to save someone else. Seek professional help, if needed. Keep a healthy perspective of where you are and what you want to realize and be sure to protect yourself and your loved ones. If in danger, prepare your way out discretely, get support and leave.
Communication is conflicting when two people have different points of view. The conflict is an opportunity to clarify the situation and work out a better solution if approached in a constructive way.
It’s a pathologically harmful love relationship that puts you at risk. It generates love bombing, dependence and cognitive dissonance. Like a drug addict, you are attracted to someone who you know can destroy you even kill you. Psychopaths can simulate love but don’t feel love the way you do. They are looking for excitement and power and once they’ve taken everything from you, they can leave you overnight without a hint of remorse. It can leave you shattered, heartbroken, emotionally distraught and depleted for a good while.
Most women who fall for psychopaths have never had the experience of being with a psychopath or were not with them long enough to be affected by them. Even psychiatrists and psychologists who have been treating them for years still get caught by some psychopaths. They are so charming and hide their issues so well it’s very difficult for women to detect what’s happening, even after years of being with them. Psychopaths constantly wear masks. They take no pleasure in breaking down a weak woman. They go for strong women who believe they can cope with the maze and even believe they can help the psychopath change. These women are generally very successful in business and in their community. They are often independent, autonomous women who give generously and understand the plights of others.
A narcissist is an individual with a personality disorder who fears to be seen inferior and will want to win over anyone of interest to him. They feel entitled (rules don’t apply to them), superior, deserving of what they want, and they want it now. They have an overinflated sense of their achievements and talents. They lack empathy. They will insult, demean, lie, cheat, bribe, threaten, charm, blame, guilt, and play on the emotions and manipulate others to get what they want. It’s important to avoid humiliating them in public. They may not react instantly but will retaliate later.
A trait common to all personality disorders is that they have a significant and enduring pattern of distress or impairment. If they have too many of these traits, this is not a healthy sense of self, but a disorder.
They both have symptoms of impulsiveness and mood swings. But they are different disorders and have different treatments.
Borderline personality disorder involves a long-standing pattern of abrupt moment-to-moment intense mood swings (all good/all bad) triggered by conflicts in interactions with others that may last for minutes or hours.
At a deep level, those with a borderline personality fear abandonment, cling to relationships and transgress personal boundaries easily. They have emotional oversensitivity to interactions with other people. They are more likely to have had some type of trauma as a child. Long-term treatment (psychotherapy) is usually necessary.
A bipolar disorder is more serious, and defined by alternating periods of depression and mania that can last from days to months. Mood swings, not triggered by interpersonal conflicts, last for days, weeks or months accompanied by changes in sleep, energy, speech and thinking. Most people need lifelong treatment to keep the condition managed. This usually includes medicine.
The word sociopath is commonly associated with antisocial personality disorder. The antisocial personality is like a three-year-old who wants what he wants now. They abide by no rules or laws but theirs. Similar to the sociopaths they are known to be cold blooded and have no empathy or remorse. They may enjoy even hurting people. To that effect, both are different from the other personality disorders (narcissist, borderline, dramatic, paranoid) who will ruin your life, but don’t harm you on purpose.