Some people need to be the star of the show, the object of attention, the center of the Universe.
Then, there are some chronically difficult people who absolutely demand that position most of the time. And, if you're not applauding, they say there is something wrong with you!
Whether they take center stage by being charming, or by being nasty doesn't matter to them as long as they occupy that space.
It's sad, when you think of it, that they need to be the center of the Universe. Sad that they are so needy for homage and outside adoration. It's downright annoying, though, when you try to live or work with them. Drama, drama, drama!
People with these traits fall into the category I call Hijackals™. I coined that term to describe people who hijack relationships for their own purposes while scavenging them for power, status, and control. They don't need any psychological-sounding labels because that only leads to a dismissive superiority. We need to talk about their behavior and how to deal with it.
These folks place a supreme and extreme priority on their own desires, thoughts, beliefs and wishes, and they demand that you follow suit. After all, why wouldn't you? Surely you have nothing more pressing to do than make them happy, meet their demands, or live up to their expectations.
Does this sound familiar at all? Is there someone in your life who is shocked and upset when s/he is not always Queen For A Day?
If so, your Hijackal will generally hold these seven things to be true:
- Life revolves around me, as it should. I am the center of the Universe.
- Empathy? Why would you even think that we share the same feelings when I am so distinctly superior? My feelings are the ones that matter.
- This conversation will get much more interesting if we return to talking about me immediately.
- Nothing is more important than my desires, my thoughts, my interests, my story, my wishes.
- Disagree with me and you'll wish you hadn't.
- If you want me to bother with you, give me attention, approval, and praise.
- It is my right to be overly-critical of you, and somewhat contemptuous because you are breathing my air!
Oh, yes, she can be charming, alluring, and magnetic. He can be amusing, engaging, and promising. But, only as long as the spotlight is shining in their direction. Turn it away or off, and things quickly become churlish, manipulative, and even nasty. They can turn on a dime, though. You know that.
If you find yourself with a Hijackal™ like this, recognize that the problem is within them. Yes, it makes a problem for you and between between you, but the problem is within them.
I'm Dr. Rhoberta Shaler, The Relationship Help Doctor. I specialize in working with the partners, ex's, and co-workers of chronically difficult people: Hijackals. If you have a Hijackal in your life, take advantage of the resources I have put together for you: blogs, videos, ebooks, and more at Hijackals.com
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This video "What Is A Narcissist?" is from an appearance on YourTango's Expert Panel.
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.