How to spot high-conflict people before it's too late

Got drama in your life? Here's how to recognize the high-conflict personality instigating it and avoid playing into their hands.

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Here's a fast fact about high-conflict people: life is better when you avoid them. Bill Eddy, mediation expert and president of the High Conflict Institute, describes them not only as difficult but also potentially dangerous. So how can we avoid becoming a target in their path of destruction? First, you have to be able to recognize them, says Eddy. They tend to share these four key characteristics: a preoccupation with blaming others, all-or-nothing thinking, unmanaged emotions, and extreme behaviors. Once you know what you're dealing with—a textbook high-conflict personality—you can take measures to manage this relationship, whether it's at home, at work, or beyond. Eddy shares his matter-of-fact methods for withdrawing from these people or, if that's not an option, for how to resist their conflict lures and disengage from the drama. Bill Eddy is the author of 5 Types of People Who Can Ruin Your Life: Identifying and Dealing with Narcissists, Sociopaths, and Other High-Conflict Personalities

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Personality awareness: The key skill to dealing with high-conflict people

You need to have personality awareness to protect yourself from and deal with potentially high-conflict people on a regular basis without getting hooked by them.

Cover image of Five Types of People Who Can Ruin Your Life by Bill Eddy
Big Think Books

Could you become a high-conflict person’s (HCP’s) Target of Blame? If you’re not watchful and careful, yes. HCPs generally pick on people they are close to or people in authority positions. These close personal or supervisory relationships usually involve the types of people we’re inclined to invite into our lives, often without knowing much about them.

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