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How to Recognize a Chronically Hurtful
Learn to Regnize Them, Whether Before -
(or after!!) You Get Hurt.
Volume V #
72 Copyright 2014 All Rights
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Once again, BetterHealthBytes is
delighted to welcome guest author Roxanne Livingston, M.A., author of Chronically Hurtful People: How to
Identify and Deal with the Difficult, Destructive, and Disconnected.
Chronically hurtful people, or CHPs, are those among us who are
uninterested in the negative consequences their behavior has for others. A CHP in one's life may be a relative, a
colleague, a neighbor or any significant other. Actively noticing the following may help to avoid the hurt
that most often will result for anyone who attempts to have an equitable or mutual relationship with a
1. Image Trumps Substance.
A CHP may "look good" and do nothing, making promises and commitments that never quite
come to pass. CHPs are expert at fooling others and eliciting support. Their self-promotion tactics are many, and
take center stage over activities which genuinely serve the general welfare, or common good, no matter how it
appears on the surface.
2. Power and Control versus Love and
Winning at all costs, and staying "one-up" is par for the course. CHPs refuse to be
changed by another person, and tend to believe that personal gain in whatever endeavor is their birthright. In
private relationships their defenses will take precedence over the distress of their partner, often no matter what
the issue at hand. Power, not problem solving is foremost for a CHP.
3. A Lack of Reciprocity.
Any relationship involves reciprocal change. There is an innate sense of "fairness"
in most of us, whether consciously acknowledged or not. When this is violated, the setting of mutual goals or
problem solving ceases.
4. Drama and Excitement Instead of
The CHP sets up action to avoid his or her emptiness inside. This may include, lying,
stealing, cheating, causing "accidents", or whatever. Significant others may spend a good deal of time "putting out
the fires" set by the CHP in their lives.
5. Fear Based Actions
The CHP does not acknowledge his or her "dark side", or "shadow." He or she often
projects aggressive impulses on others and then feels quite justified in"striking back."
6. Ignores Interdependence
CHPs refuse to face their own dependency needs, and deny the help received from
others and social systems they have needed to have accomplished whatever they have accomplished.
7. Avoids Responsibility for Messes They
Even when irrefutable evidence shows error on the CHP's part, he/she will blame
others and make excuses. When push comes to shove, rather than taking full responsibility, CHPs will lapse
into a victim position, i.e. "I'm just a damaged person" or "I don't know why I am so awful", in an attempt to gain
advantage by eliciting support and compassion.
8. Demands Special
Rules don't apply to CHPs. They may become
righteously angry if someone cuts in line in front of them, but feel entitled to that behavior when the shoe
is on the other foot.
9. Saying and Doing Don't
The track record of anyone is important. For example, all
of us make mistakes. But "I'm sorry," without changes in behavior means nothing. Likewise, saying such and
such is a plan, or claiming to hold a particular value, and then behaving quite the opposite is common with a
Once one recognizes a CHP, the temptation is to want to "help" him or her see the
light, change, or whatever. However, the first course of action to take is self-care. CHPs don't see
themselves as the problem. They, however, cause problems for others and society.
For more information
Roxanne K. Livingston, M.A.is the author of Chronically Hurtful People: How to Identify and Deal with
the Difficult, Destructive, and Disconnected.
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