Conflict-centered relationships are a key issue for addictive personalities. The low self-esteem, feelings of inadequacy and guilt that many people with addictive personalities suffer from creates conflict in relationships because they constantly make value judgments and comparisons with others.
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Jampolsky, author of "Healing the Addictive Personality: Freeing Yourself from Addictive Patterns and Relationships," explains that addictive personalities constantly compare themselves to others, have unrealistic expectations of others and make negative judgments based on their feelings of unworthiness and insecurity. Conflict ensues because the other person can never live up to the expectations set by the addict.
Since the addict may realize this on some level, they vacillate between self-blame and blaming the other, creating a source of constant conflict. Addictive personalities generally suffer from trust issues stemming from childhood and issues related to fear of abandonment.
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In his book, Lee Jampolsky discusses that these trust issues may have roots in the addict's desire to control every situation in his or her life. Their addiction may stem from a lack of love or a lack of security developed in childhood, and they may feel as though they cannot truly trust anyone but themselves. The addiction serves to mask this feeling, which usually finds its roots in feelings of fear and inadequacy. Because they can never truly control anyone's behavior but their own, the addict may have problems trusting anyone in their life, feeling that they will eventually be betrayed or abandoned.
The addict's inherent low self-esteem and feelings of inadequacy may lead to people-pleasing behaviors. They require swift and proper intervention to prevent things from getting worse. This kind of disorder also manifests in a variety of ways relating to objects and behaviors. For instance, persons with the condition may be prone to food, drug or alcohol addiction. They can also become shoplifters, habitual spenders, workaholics, or compulsive gamblers. The way that they are behaving tends to push people away.
All of these are not lost on them.
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They are aware that they are doing things in excess but they cannot make themselves stop. The shame and fear that they feel can really eat them from the inside.
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One of the key traits of people with additive personalities is that they usually cultivate conflict-centered relationships. Conflicts routinely occur because of their own unhealthy perception of themselves. They think that they are inadequate and they blame themselves for a lot of the problems around them. This low self-esteem pushes them to make constant comparisons with others.
Addictive Personality Relationship Problems
Addictive personalities project their unrealistic expectations on those around them. Since they set the bar so high, others are likely to fail in their eyes. They make value judgments and respond negatively not because of what the other person does but because of their own deep-rooted insecurities. Relationship conflicts occur due to the failure of others to live up to the lofty expectation set for them by the addicted individual.
Addicts know this on some level and this is why they have contradictory emotions. On one hand, they blame others for their perceived failures.
On the other, they blame themselves for being unreasonable and brewing conflict yet again. They need to realize that their miseries are largely self-inflicted. This means that the solution must largely come from within as well. They have the power to change their thoughts and actions through complete self-awareness.
Follow us at Calming Tide: Drug, Alcohol and Behavioral Resource for more articles on rehabilitation and recovery. The link between addictive personalities and the tendency towards conflict centered relationships was right on the money. I think the key is the need for drama, tension, adrenaline and attention.
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Compulsive behaviors, borderline and bipolar run in my family on both sides.