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High Conflict Personality Traits: Surprising Early Signs in a Relationship

This is on the premise that people that suffer from high conflict personalities disorder cannot cover up their true self for more than a year before the traits start to manifest.

Bill Eddy and Megan Hunter of Psychology Today carried out an online survey over a couple of years for people who committed to partners with high-conflict personalities, (HCP), including moving in together, getting married, and having children.

Respondents were asked to reflect on signs or red flags they missed or ignored

Three key findings were found to be common or significant from responses of participants.

The three key findings are written here as reported by Bill Eddy in his blog post “Dating Radar”

1.  Excessive Charm

Nearly 80 percent of our survey respondents were swept up by the charm of their dating partner until they committed to the relationship. There was also an immediate “spark,” they reported. Then the charm and the spark evaporated. Charm doesn’t always mean that a person is an HCP, but it’s a surprising warning sign. If the person seems too good to be true, you might want to look deeper.


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2. Fake Compatibility

About 70 percent said that “extreme compatibility” was an early and compelling characteristic of dating partners who later turned out to be HCPs. At first, they would seem extremely flexible and adaptive; it seemed amazing how they shared the same interests. Later, it would turn out that this was fake compatibility for the sole purpose of winning their commitment, after which the shared interests would stop. Here are some examples:

3. Intense Sexuality

Forty-seven percent of the survey respondents said that this category fits for them. It was common for them to tell us how fast their relationships developed, especially physically. In many cases, they were willing to risk careers, family relationships, and positions in the community for the intensity of these relationships.

These are warning signs, not definitive and certainly not conclusive:

The caveat to these pointers is the fact that someone demonstrates one or combination of these traits does not make the person a future high conflict individual or mean they are covering up their true self, they are, however, signs spotted by respondents that are ignored but later manifests into dangerous recurrence conflicts.

Bill Eddy also advice that going into a relationship, it is important to hold off big time commitments like taking a lease together, moving in or getting married for up to six months to one year, this is on the premise that people that suffer from high conflict personalities disorder cannot cover up their true self for more than a year before the traits start to manifest.

 

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