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Old 07-21-2013, 07:12 PM
 
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I have a former friend who has exhibited certain behaviors. I'm trying to determine if there's a scientific term(s) to describe these traits or one term to describe this personality overall. Also, how did this person most likely end up like this, is this person capable of changing, and should they seek professional help? Here is what I've observed.

- Frequently portrays herself as a victim. Her friends, coworkers, relatives are all guilty of treating her badly. I suspect that a lot of these accusations are exaggerated in order to elicit sympathy.

- Frequently complains about things in her life (job, social life, weight, etc.) but makes little effort to change any of them.

- Displays insecurity. For example, will text someone she's dating, but when that person doesn't respond in a sufficient amount of time, will then accuse them of ignoring her, only to discover later that the person was just too busy to respond.

- Will be more than willing to accept help from others, but when those people need her help, she'll try to avoid being there for them.

- When confronted about her behavior, will walk away and isolate herself rather than discuss the matter, claiming the other person is yelling at them. The conversation can then only continue via email or text message. However, if you point out what she's done wrong, she'll accuse you of being mean and uncaring.

- Will frame many things in terms of herself, even when they don't really have to do with her.

- Exhibits big mood swings. One day, she'll be very cheery singing and dancing. Other days, she'll be depressed, unable to enjoy anything.

There's more, but these are the big ones. This is a serious question. I'm not just looking for a smart aleck answer.
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Old 07-21-2013, 09:23 PM
 
Location: Southwest Washington State
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Try googling narcissism and bi-polar to see if those descriptions fit her behavior. But if she has mental disease she needs a diagnosis from a mental health pro.

I might call her a narcissist but it might not be an accurate description, really.
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Old 07-21-2013, 10:29 PM
 
Location: In bucolic TN
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Among google-ing, try Borderline Personality Disorder. Mood lability, dependency, boundary difficulties. She may be a victim because she treats people poorly. All described behavior is ego syntonic, it won't change (she walks away from criticism, says persons are yelling at her), and it makes me curious why you maintain a relationship with this person. Looking to save someone?
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Old 07-22-2013, 12:57 AM
 
Location: Somewhere
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DennyCrane View Post
- When confronted about her behavior, will walk away and isolate herself rather than discuss the matter, claiming the other person is yelling at them. The conversation can then only continue via email or text message. However, if you point out what she's done wrong, she'll accuse you of being mean and uncaring.
Telling people what they are doing wrong usually doesn't take the conversation to a good place. People don't like to be judged. When we tell people "you are doing this wrong" we are placing ourselves at a higher level. Usually that implies we are not doing that kind of behavior, they are defective, we're not. That only adds fuel to the fire and usually nothing gets resolved. I recommend researching on communicating with people. Word choice can make a huge difference especially with people who feel misunderstood.
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Old 07-22-2013, 01:47 AM
 
Location: Canada
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She sounds self centered and insecure and unable to take responsibility for her actions or inactions.

Unless she's bipolar, I suspect she is simply a product of her upbringing. Poor parenting?

Of course, if the source of the problem is poor parenting, she's an adult now and that's no longer an excuse. I actively worked on understanding and overcoming my own insecurities when I was in my 20s.
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Old 07-22-2013, 05:09 AM
 
Location: Lexington, Kentucky
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Possibly she has a Martyr complex?

Martyr complex - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

But it's just as likely she is self centered and insecure.
It could be so many things, hard to know from just this little information.
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Old 07-22-2013, 06:05 AM
 
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Just off the top of my head (caveat: IANAT), any of the following would be good candidates:
  • narcissism/NPD
  • histrionic personality style/HPD
  • borderline personality style/BPD
  • co-dependence
My money would be on a histrionic style, but IANAT, and I don't have any specific information about the person in question. To further complicate matters, there's also a certain amount of co-morbidity among these problems.

How did she end up like this? We have no way of knowing. A DSM might provide some explanation, as might a textbook on abnormal/clinical psychology.

Is she capable of changing, and should she seek professional help? Again, we have no way of knowing. Does she see a problem in her own life, and does she want to change? Without that, she has no reason to change things or to seek help.

Kin Atoms makes a good point: If you find her so difficult, why do you still choose to have her in your life?
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Old 07-22-2013, 08:19 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kin Atoms View Post
and it makes me curious why you maintain a relationship with this person. Looking to save someone?
Quote:
Originally Posted by RockJock1729 View Post
Kin Atoms makes a good point: If you find her so difficult, why do you still choose to have her in your life?
I guess you both missed the first line of my original post where it says FORMER friend.
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Old 07-22-2013, 08:27 AM
 
8,519 posts, read 14,765,579 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sugah Ray View Post
Telling people what they are doing wrong usually doesn't take the conversation to a good place. People don't like to be judged. When we tell people "you are doing this wrong" we are placing ourselves at a higher level. Usually that implies we are not doing that kind of behavior, they are defective, we're not. That only adds fuel to the fire and usually nothing gets resolved. I recommend researching on communicating with people. Word choice can make a huge difference especially with people who feel misunderstood.
Part of being an adult is being able to handle criticism. Sure it's no fun to receive it, but can you imagine walking away when your boss is telling what you're doing wrong. Yes, there's a tactful and respectful way to tell someone whet they're doing wrong. But you also can't coddle them like they're a child. In her case, she walks away the moment you tell her something she doesn't like. That, to me, demonstrates a certain amount of immaturity.
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Old 07-22-2013, 09:46 AM
 
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Hi, Im new here and wandered over here to the psychology forum..As far as the concern about confronting his behavior, I would have to agree with sugah ray....pretty much most people that I know both personally and professionally become defensive to some degree, often to a large degree if confronted with their behavior. So, this particular trait in my experience seems pretty common for most people, and also falls back on the way in which the person confronts them, in other words much of the way people tend to react to criticism falls back onto the person who delivers the criticism. (iow, the problem *could * lie more with the person doing the confronting)

It doesnt necessarily sound like the friend has any type of disorder or illness, alot the issues are so broad and commonplace they could describe alot of people (insecure at times, complains, etc)..... the other thing is that it also has to do with your personal perception, and your perception of this friend can be colored to some extent by your own experiences and personality traits.

For example, I was raised in a way where being on time and sticking to a commitment was considered (as I think it should be) a very big deal. As an adult, I carry this expectation with me, and there have been times where I had a friend who was raised in a more easy going way that allowed greater flexibility for things such as changing plans after you have made them, and being on time for her means arriving within 25 minutes give or take, where for me it means arriving within 5-10 minutes of the time. We got into a couple arguments about my being disgruntled over this, as we both had differing expectations or perceptions of what is 'normal' or acceptable, etc. We both ended up making some adjustments in our expectations, more flexibility on my part, more responsibility on hers

Last edited by mondayafternoons; 07-22-2013 at 10:05 AM..
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