18 Signs Someone Isn’t Being Difficult But Is Struggling With Their Emotions

Sometimes, being with a friend or family member may seem like a drag, and it’s almost as if they do it purposely. However, this can just be a side effect of personality disorders they don’t have control over. Look out for these 18 signs to know if this is the case for you.

Immense Trust Issues

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The Cleveland Clinic explains that people with paranoid personality disorders (PPD) typically have trust issues. They always think someone is out to hurt or take advantage of them, so they hardly let their guard down. These trust issues are present even when it isn’t necessary, like not trusting the cashier when buying from the grocery store, for example.

Extremely Strict Routines

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Maybe this person has an obsessive-compulsive personality disorder (OCD). This is where he or she overwhelmingly adheres to rules, routines, or arrangements, even at the expense of themselves or others. An example is when they show obvious discomfort every time a spoon isn’t in a specific spot or when they frequently wash their hands after touching a surface, as the NHS explains.

Dependency Issues

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If you notice this person always relies on people for all their physical and emotional needs, then that’s a sign of a dependent personality disorder. There are usually also requests for reassurance from this person, which intensify during times of separation. Physical and emotional abuse don’t even turn this person away, either.

Feeling Like They’re Always Alone

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A symptom of borderline personality disorder is when someone always has the feeling of loneliness, even when with people. You hear complaints like “I am never loved” or “no one’s there for me when I need” even when they’re shown clear affection, and this can lead to impulsive emotional and physical outbursts.

Always Irritable

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Also a sign of a borderline personality disorder, this person may seem to always be angry and ready for a fight. There’s always some form of nagging about the most minor inconveniences, and a simple joke or mistake can be blown out of proportion.

Poor Self-Awareness

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Associated with borderline personality disorder is a difficulty or unwillingness to understand or accept oneself. There’s confusion about what they like and don’t like, which may spill over to difficulty setting boundaries or an inability to build a sense of self-worth.

Constant Self-Criticism

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You may also see this person constantly beat himself up for very fixable mistakes or talk down on herself for not achieving goals out of her control. While in some cases, this leads to perfectionist personalities, a complex like this can also lead to low self-esteem issues and even self-harm.

Binary Thought Processes

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“If she’s not here, she’s definitely outside there cheating with someone” can be a statement you hear from this person. They don’t understand the nuances of situations or never consider context while interpreting statements. As Healthline explains, “People with BPD usually have problems controlling impulses and often experience black-and-white thinking.”

Feeling More Important Than Others

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When someone constantly degrades people, feels entitled to always have their way, or inflates achievements to feel superior, then they may have a narcissistic personality disorder. You may see this person brag a lot, never admit he or she is at fault, or always expect special treatment wherever he or she may be.

Dramatic Attention Seeking

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If this person throws tantrums in public without cause, lies to get praised, or seeks compliments from others, you may be dealing with a histrionic personality disorder. Attention-seeking behaviors are also symptoms of borderline personality disorders, and they can manifest into narcissistic behaviors.

Zero Interest in Social Activities

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Consistent refusals to go out with friends, difficulty fitting in with peers, or even anxiety playing multiplayer video games point toward a schizoid personality disorder. You notice an extreme appreciation for solitude and difficulty interpreting the most basic social cues, as the Mayo Clinic says.

Extreme Belief in Superstitions

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Schizotypal personality disorders are characterized by odd, eccentric behaviors you don’t understand. You may see this person come up with and believe the most outrageous superstitions, or they often have an entirely different interpretation of reality from others.

Emotionless Disregard for Others

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So, what if this person doesn’t mind torturing animals, bullies anyone weaker than them, or outright commits crimes like theft and kidnapping? Then you have a sociopath on your hands who suffers from an antisocial personality disorder. Seek help with people like this (and we aren’t just talking about psychotherapy).

Two-Faced Behaviors

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Another sign of an antisocial personality disorder is exhibiting extremely distinct behaviors in different environments or with different people. For instance, this person may be extremely nice at work, even helping others finish up, but may go home to be a tyrant who’s abusive toward family or a partner.

Inconsistent Feelings

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One day this person shows you they love you, then the next day he lists out all the reasons he hates you or even tries to cause you grave harm. The Cleveland Clinic says inconsistent feelings or behaviors are a sign of histrionic personality disorders and are also associated with disorganized attachment styles.

Lack of Restraint

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When they get into a destructive rage, it’s never possible to make them stop. As a side effect of an inability to control emotions, this person may show zero self-control and impulsiveness when reacting to things they find offensive. There are also usually very bad consequences for them and the people around them.

Avoiding New Experiences

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If this person is never warm toward strangers and always tries to avoid environments they aren’t familiar with, then you may be dealing with someone with an avoidant personality disorder. Although they can still have good relationships with others, they avoid new experiences due to a fear of incompatibility, judgment, and rejection.

Never Maintains Relationships

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You may also notice that this person doesn’t ever maintain a long-term job or romantic relationship, or that this person is always in a feud with family and friends. This is caused by the culmination of all the behaviors explained above—narcissistic, manipulative, and emotionless behaviors that people (like you) find difficult to deal with.

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