14 Signs You're A High-Conflict Personality (And The Problem Is You)

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woman with a high conflict personality

The other day, I was at the store when I witnessed a woman make a scene over something insanely foolish. She called over someone behind the counter and squawked, “Can I talk to your manager?”

The manager, a poor teenage boy, came to the front and asked her what was wrong.

“The price of this fish is not acceptable. I want it lowered,” she said, in full seriousness.

“The price can’t be negotiated. It’s store policy, ma’am,” he said apologetically.

“Don’t ‘ma’am’ me. You’re insinuating I’m old. Who do you think you are? You overcharge for fish, and now you insult your customers?” she said, raising her voice.

“I’m sorry, but I can’t change the prices. It’s corporate policy,” he said, gesturing for her to keep her voice down.

“Well, do something, right now, before I call corporate,” she barked.

The dude looked like he was about to cry. At this point, a guy had to step in and tell her that she can go to another store if the prices were so unacceptable. She huffed, turned beet red, and left, her cart still in the aisle. People around us exchanged glances uncomfortably.

Ladies and gentlemen, this is what a high-conflict personality can look like.

RELATED: The Simple Test That Reveals If You Are A 'Difficult Person'

What is a high-conflict personality?

High-conflict people (HCPs) have a pattern of high-conflict behavior that increases conflict rather than reducing or resolving it.

Someone with a high-conflict personality isn't popular, even if they believe they are. No one wants to be around a bully who will browbeat them until they get their way. The way most people deal with HCPs is to roll over and avoid them.

A lot of high-conflict personalities know there’s something wrong with the way they handle problems. They may think it’s just an anger issue or that they are constantly wronged by society.

People who have high-conflict personalities actively go out of their way to bully, browbeat, and pick fights with others, often because it makes them feel better about themselves.

14 Signs You Have A High-Conflict Personality

The truth is that there’s a chance you may have a high-conflict personality and need to look for professional help in order to have normal relationships.

If you notice any of these signs, you may want to think about how you’re living life and the impact your love of conflict can leave on friends, family, and loved ones.

1. You pick fights with people for no good reason.

Stop doing this. No one wants to be around people who pick fights with them. If you know you’re doing this, you already probably have a suspicion that you might have a high-conflict personality. This should be confirmation for you.

2. Your love of getting in a fight isn’t about actually getting anything good — it’s about winning over another person.

This is really what it boils down to for a lot of people who have this personality issue. There are plenty of healthier, kinder ways to feel the thrill of winning. Have you tried racing? Boxing? Muay Thai? You can win without alienating people.

3. Your friendships seem to be short-lived.

The problem with being a high-conflict person is that your friendships suffer because your friends will eventually be worried about your wrath. The end result is that, after a fight (or ten), people end up distancing themselves from you.

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4. You have a major 'queen bee' streak in you.

If you are a high-conflict personality who is socially adept, you might end up turning into a real-life Regina George.

In these cases, you may have a stranglehold on your friends, but you definitely don’t have real friends. After all, real friends don’t fear one another, use each other, or feel like they can’t be real with one another.

5. People have called you a bully before — a lot, actually.

Though it’s somewhat rare, there are people out there who will call out high-conflict personalities for their bad behavior. If you regularly have both men and women call you a bully, tell you that your behavior is uncalled for, or tell you that you’re really aggressive, you need to take a good look at yourself.

6. You’ve been banned from restaurants, bars, salons, or grocery stores.

Generally speaking, these are places that you can only really get banned from if you make a scene, start a physical fight, or do some really atrocious stuff. If you have been banned from a number of places, you definitely need to rethink the way you do things.

7. You’ve given people you don’t even know an attitude over little things, like pushing your shopping cart an inch away from you or walking too slowly.

At this point, you either are trying to just actively ruin someone’s day, lack self-awareness, or are looking to pick a fight. Stop being a jerk and check yourself.

8. You expect to be treated preferentially and bully others if they don’t bend to your wishes.

This is also a sign that you may have Narcissistic Personality Disorder, but the fact is that it also tends to coincide with high-conflict personalities, too.

9. Your kids, parents, or spouse have told you that you’re being abusive and have cut off ties with you as a result.

If it’s gotten to the point that your own family no longer wants to speak to you, a high-conflict personality is only the tip of the iceberg.

This is one of those points in your life where you need to take a step back and look at yourself, what you did, and why you did it. Otherwise, you won’t have anyone left to turn to.

10. People have told you that you’ve got a hair-trigger temper.

If it gets to the point that people actually say you’re famous for your temper or your aggression, chances are that it’s a problem you need to confront. Being a hothead isn’t cool, no matter what you think you get out of it.

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11. You’ve actually faced legal or financial repercussions as a result of your arguments, threats, and temper.

This could be a sign that you have anger problems, a personality disorder, or a very conflict-prone personality. Either way, it’s something that should tell you that you might need professional help.

12. You’ve noticed that people are unwilling to introduce you to their friends because they 'don’t know how you’d get along with them.'

Though there could be other reasons for this, one of the most common reasons people would be so worried about introducing you to others is because they’re worried you’ll start arguing with their friends. Needless to say, high-conflict personalities tend to have a hard time networking as a result.

13. You always blame others for your challenges.

Nothing is ever your fault and the world is out to get you, so you feel like you must get them first. You blame others for your troubles and make them pay for it, even though your troubles are all on you. You also always see arguments as personal attacks and will aggressively blame others.

14. You have an 'all or nothing' mindset.

When high-conflict people set their mind on something, they can only have that one outcome happen, or all hell breaks loose. If you can't accept anything other than one outcome, you're making it difficult for people to engage with you.

Am I a high-conflict personality?

Based on the list above, if you have any of the signs mentioned, you may have a high-conflict personality. In all reality, if you notice people not wanting to be around you or trying to avoid being in your presence, you may want to check yourself.

If you can't tell whether or not you are a high-conflict person, there is a test you can take to find out for certain.

RELATED: 5 Personality Types That Cause The Most Conflict In Relationships

Ossiana Tepfenhart is a writer based out of Red Bank, New Jersey whose work has been featured in Yahoo, BRIDES, Your Daily Dish, New Theory Magazine, and others. Follow her on Twitter for more.