You need relationship help if you recognize what's driving you crazy in your relationship in today's post. It means you are with a special breed: the relentlessly difficult person.

Sometimes, you just want to throw your arms in the air and scream, "Uncle! Enough already!" Right?

You say "white." He says "black," even when it's clearly white. He just has to be right. He has to win.

You are talking about some small thing, like which movie to see, and she insists that it has to be the one she want to see. Otherwise, you'll hear: "You never consider my needs. You're always trampling on my feelings. You are the least considerate man on the planet."

Really? Weren't we just making a decision for a movie on Tuesday night? How did it become so life or death?

This is the way it goes with a relentlessly difficult person. And, they do it with most everyone. It's not just you. S/he has difficulties at work, in their families, in community organizations. It's not just difficult sometimes under stress, or when they are having a bad hair day. That's what makes them relentlessly difficult.


  1. S/he NEEDS to win.
    Relentlessly difficult people have a fragile sense of self. They need to win to keep their sense of self from shattering. They will fight to be right over the smallest, seemingly silliest, thing, because they simply cannot accept being wrong. Therefore, you have to lose. It's sad, but true.
  2. S/he has a favorite game: BLAMING.
    Relentlessly difficult people CANNOT be wrong, so you must be. Everything is your fault--except, of course, the good stuff! You are blamed for what you do, what you don't do,  how they feel, why they don't have what they want--basically, for everything.
  3. S/he constantly over-reacts. Because they live in fear of not winning or of ever being wrong, relentlessly difficult people over react at the slightest hint that things are not going in their direction. This leads to BIG emotions being spilled: emotions completely out of proportion to the issue or incident. Resorting to yelling, screaming, crying or decrying in order to manage a situation and turn it to their favor is a frequent occurrence. Some are good at the long-term "deep freeze," but most prefer the theatrics and drama of over-reaction.

Know first that these folks are not choosing these behaviors as clearly as you might think. These are old defensive behaviors they have honed to survive. They felt they had to.

They are not doing these things to put you in your place and show you who's boss. They are doing them from a deep-seated fear that, if they are not right, they might cease to exist. They truly are fighting for their lives,  even when it's about who failed to take out the garbage.

Are these three indicators sounding at familiar?

Are you recognizing that all the thoughts you've had about things being your fault and how you must be a bad person may not be about you at all?

Are you tired of turning yourself into a pretzel to try to make someone like this happy?

If these three insights help you to understand what's making you miserable in your relationship, then you know now that you need help. You really cannot see the patterns and change your mindset and behavior in effective ways without that help. You likely can see that.

Relentlessly difficult people aka Hijackals®, can turn your mind in circles and leave you dangling in the wind.  With relationship help, you can learn how to stop it now!

I'm Dr. Rhoberta Shaler and I specialize in helping you to manage with a Hijackal, or decide to stay or go. If you're ready to get clear, set boundaries, and change your relationship, let's work together, in-person or online. If you have a #Hijackal in your life, or think you might have, get my free ebook, How To Spot A Hijackal, at Hijackals.com  Need help to know your next best steps?  If you would like more help, subscribe to my Tips for Relationships, and listen to my Podcasts. Start with an introductory session. Talk soon!

With a Hijackal or the ex of one? Join Dr. Shaler's Closed Group on Facebook if you want a place to talk and ask your questions:

Disclaimer: All advice, insights and suggestions made here are not to be construed as psychological or legal advice. Any actions you undertake as a result of reading any article, book, video, ebook or blog post from Rhoberta Shaler, PhD, are entirely your own. Having worked with individuals and couples for more than twenty-five years, she offers her insights and opinions for your consideration only.


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