If someone displays these 7 behaviors, they’re a difficult person to spend time with

We all have people in our lives, but sometimes those individuals can be more challenging to be around than we’d like to admit.

You might look back on your interactions with a particular person and struggle to recollect moments of ease or mutual enjoyment, leaving you questioning if the relationship is worth the stress or not.

How do you know if the person in question is truly difficult to spend time with, or if it’s just the normal ups and downs that come with human interaction?

After careful observation of my own relationships and those of my friends, I’ve compiled a list of 7 behaviors that might indicate you’re dealing with a difficult person. If these strike a chord, it could be time to reassess your approach or perhaps your entire relationship.

1) Constant negativity

We all have our moments of pessimism, but there’s a difference between occasional bouts of negativity and a consistent pattern of dark clouds.

If someone in your life seems to always focus on the worst-case scenario, always sees the glass as half-empty, or frequently criticizes others, they may be a difficult person to spend time with.

This consistent negativity can be draining, leaving you feeling deflated and stressed after spending time with them. It’s not just about having a bad day; it’s about a regular pattern of negative thinking and behavior that can be harmful to your own mental health.

2) Excessive agreeableness

I don’t know about you, but there’s something about an excessively agreeable person that always turns me off. It feels as if they’re just putting on a facade to maintain a positive impression. 

You see? When a person consistently agrees with everything, it could be a sign that they’re not genuinely engaging with you or the conversation.

They might be withholding their true feelings or thoughts to avoid conflict, creating a one-sided dynamic that lacks depth and authenticity.

This excessive agreeableness can make it challenging to establish a genuine connection or have meaningful discussions.

Over time, the lack of authenticity can breed resentment and frustration. It’s not about wanting disagreements; it’s about valuing honesty and genuine engagement in your interactions.

3) Always the victim

If someone in your life constantly portrays themselves as the victim, blaming others for their problems and refusing to take responsibility for their actions, they can be challenging to spend time with.  

A study from 2020 proposes that a tendency to feel like a victim could be a result of a personality trait called “Tendency for Interpersonal Victimhood (TIV).”

This trait shows up in different types of relationships and involves four main behaviors: wanting others to see and acknowledge you as a victim, feeling morally superior to others, lacking empathy for others, and constant negativity. 

Look! I understand that people with a victim mentality stems from exposure to traumatic childhood experiences and we should show empathy instead of avoiding them.

But there’s no denying that being in a relationship with these people can feel like a never-ending uphill climb.  

4) Constant interruptions

Communication is a two-way street, but some people seem to have a penchant for turning it into a one-way road.

If you’re dealing with someone who consistently interrupts or talks over you, it can make your interactions with them incredibly frustrating.

This habit not only disrupts the flow of conversation but also gives the impression that they value their own thoughts and opinions over yours.

Did you know that in some cultures, interrupting someone while they’re speaking is considered highly disrespectful? Yet, in fast-paced environments or competitive industries, it’s often seen as a sign of assertiveness.

Nevertheless, when it becomes a consistent pattern, it can make you feel unheard and undervalued.

5) Chronic lateness

Life happens, traffic jams happen, and yes, even the occasional forgotten alarm happens. But when someone is perpetually late to every meeting, dinner, or event, it starts to feel less like an accident and more like a blatant disregard for your time.

Chronic lateness can be a clear indicator that someone is difficult to spend time with. It’s not simply about them being disorganized or forgetful. It’s about the lack of respect for other people’s time and the assumption that others will always accommodate their tardiness.

6) Excessive charm

Charm can be a delightful quality, making someone more attractive and engaging. But when it’s used excessively or manipulatively, it can actually be a red flag, according to Dr. George Simon, an expert on manipulators. 

If someone in your life is excessively charming to the point where it feels insincere or calculated, they may be difficult to spend time with.

This excessive charm can be used to divert attention away from their less desirable traits or behaviors, creating a smokescreen that’s hard to see through.

This behavior can lead to confusion and distrust, making interactions feel like a game rather than genuine connections. It’s not about distrusting charm; it’s about being aware when it’s used excessively or manipulatively.

7) Relentless criticism

Constructive feedback can be valuable in helping us grow and improve. However, when someone in your life provides relentless criticism without any positivity or encouragement, it can quickly become exhausting.

If someone consistently focuses on your flaws, mistakes or shortcomings, they may be a difficult person to spend time with. This constant criticism can undermine your confidence and make you feel like you’re walking on eggshells around them.

This behavior can hinder not only your self-esteem but also the overall health of your relationship with this person. 

Recognizing and addressing difficult relationships

Dealing with challenging people is just a fact of life. Yet, picking up on the cues and learning how to handle these connections can truly shape your everyday experiences and overall happiness.

It’s important to keep in mind that branding someone as ‘difficult’ isn’t about passing judgment. Instead, it’s about recognizing how their actions affect you.

If being around someone consistently brings about feelings of exhaustion, stress, or discontent, it’s a definite indicator that the relationship might be posing more challenges than it’s bringing joy into your life.

In some cases, you might be able to address the issue directly with the person. Open and honest communication can sometimes lead to better understanding and improved behavior.  

But what if open dialogue doesn’t work? Or if the person in question isn’t receptive or doesn’t see a need for change? In such situations, it might be worth considering if this relationship is beneficial for you. 

Ava Sinclair

Ava Sinclair is a former competitive athlete who transitioned into the world of wellness and mindfulness. Her journey through the highs and lows of competitive sports has given her a unique perspective on resilience and mental toughness. Ava’s writing reflects her belief in the power of small, daily habits to create lasting change.

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