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- When you’re getting to know someone, it is hard to tell what they will end up like.
- High conflict people take advantage of this and trick you into thinking they are perfect for you.
- But when they know you are committed they turn into their true selves.
- There are three warning signs you should be aware of in early stages of relationships, which might indicate your partner is high conflict.
Dating is tough. There are so many different, harsh ways you can be dumped nowadays.
But you also have to be careful about who you date in the first place, because toxic, high conflict people have always been around.
The trouble is, these people are often hard to spot because at first they come across as someone charismatic, attractive, and affectionate.
In a blog post in Psychology Today, therapist Bill Eddy highlights three ways you can suss out whether the person you are dating is high conflict, and will likely cause you trouble later on. Eddy and his colleague Megan Hunter created a survey and asked people who ended up in relationships with high conflict people what red flags they missed in the early stages.
Here were the three warning signs they came up with:
1. Excessive charm
About 80% of the people who responded to the survey said they were swept up by their partner’s charm while they were dating. They said there was an “immediate spark,” but this evaporated once they had committed to the relationship.
“Charm doesn’t always mean that the person is an HCP, but it’s a surprising warning sign,” Eddy wrote. “If the person seems too good to be true, you might look deeper.”
2. Fake compatibility
Another way high conflict people seem too good to be true is how compatible they seem. On the surface it looks like they have a lot in common with their partners, when in reality they are probably just mirroring their victim’s behaviour in order to reel them in.
Once the victim is committed to the relationship, the high conflict person starts to show their true colours.
3. Intense Sexuality
Nearly 50% of the respondents said their physical relationships developed very quickly and intensely. It is common for narcissists to be sex addicts, or at least claim to be. While they are interested in targeting you, you will be the object of their affection. But once you make it known you are committed, they will seek their thrills elsewhere.
It is important to remember that these are just warning signs, and are in no way conclusive indicators that someone is high conflict, a narcissist, sociopath, or psychopath.
But it is a good idea to keep them in mind when you meet someone new, just because so many people fall for the same tricks and end up in abusive relationships.
“Ask friends and family what they think. Take your time and don’t believe that you can change him or her,” Eddy wrote. “The partner you really want to find will let you be yourself, and let you take your time to get to know them.”