• 5 Types of People Who Can Ruin Your Life

  • Identifying and Dealing with Narcissists, Sociopaths, and Other High-Conflict Personalities
  • Written by: Bill Eddy
  • Narrated by: Tom Parks
  • Length: 5 hrs and 45 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Release date: 2018-02-06
  • Language: English
  • Publisher: Brilliance Audio
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars (45 ratings)

Price: CDN$ 25.05

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Publisher's Summary

Some difficult people aren't just hard to deal with - they're dangerous.

Do you know someone whose moods swing wildly? Do they act unreasonably suspicious or antagonistic? Do they blame others for their own problems?

When a high-conflict person has one of five common personality disorders - borderline, narcissistic, paranoid, antisocial, or histrionic - they can lash out in risky extremes of emotion and aggression. And once an HCP decides to target you, they're hard to shake.

But there are ways to protect yourself. Using empathy-driven conflict management techniques, Bill Eddy, a lawyer and therapist with extensive mediation experience, will teach you to:

  • Spot warning signs of the five high-conflict personalities in others and in yourself.
  • Manage relationships with HCPs at work and in your private life.
  • Safely avoid or end dangerous and stressful interactions with HCPs.

Filled with expert advice and real-life anecdotes, 5 Types of People Who Can Ruin Your Life is an essential guide to helping you escape negative relationships, build healthy connections, and safeguard your reputation and personal life in the process. And if you have a high-conflict personality, this book will help you help yourself.

©2018 Bill Eddy (P)2018 Brilliance Audio, Inc.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Extremely useful for work and persona life!

Wow. I got this book on Audible for only $2.00, and I would have been willing to pay $20 if I had known how useful this would be. We have all dealt with people with high-conflict personalities at work and personally. When you can't avoid them, this book helps you identify them and approach them in a constructive manner. It is short, clear, and with very practical tips. Some useful points I learned included:
1. Characteristics of a high conflict personality: All or nothing thinking, intense emotions, extreme behaviour and threats, blaming others.
2. The interaction between HCPs and personality disorders.
3. Dealing with HCPs: BIFF - brief, informative, friendly and firm.
4. The CARS approach to working with HCPs: Connect with empathy, attention & respect, Analyze alternatives and options, Respond to misinformation and hostility, Set limits on high-conflict behaviour.

I will likely use the methods described in this book for the rest of my working life, although hopefully not often. I would highly recommend this book!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Kinda a waste of money

Repative, could be an article but is kinda just dragged out into a book

The guy reading it did a good job!

Nothing really of note was said

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Knowlege from this audible book can save you from these twisted people we all encounter.

I give five stars to this helpful #Audible1 Book. It’s format makes it easy to learn important points of dealing with these high conflict personalities. Some of these are counter intuitive, and are well illustrated with practical examples that will make your skin crawl. We all encounter these people in our lives. Now we can know how to deal with them in the least disruptive way for everyone. This knowledge truly is power

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#audible1. Very timely!<br />

Very glad I picked this up when it was on sale. Quite honestly, it would be well worth a credit.

This book describes High
-Conflict Personality Types and their likely behaviours with tips on how to deal with them. Notably, both Narcissistic personalities and Sociopathic personality types (quite often found together) are drawn to politics and other positions of power. Their ability to dazzle others by their confidence and charisma makes them especially dangerous; more so when they are indifferent to the suffering they may cause others. Their need for conflict is almost addictive as, unlike the rest of us, conflict calms them physiologically, rather than putting them in physical jeapardy. Hmmm, any real life examples spring to mind?
Yes, there are also other High-Conflict Personality types described in this book too, and I would urge readers to pay attention to these descriptions too.

All in all, a valuable reference book and one I shall listen to again and again.

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Interesting and educational

I would recommend this book to anyone who has to deal with High Conflict People in their life. I managed Unions for over 14 years and have had to deal with many High Conflict situations from negotiations to disciplinary meetings - up to and including dismissal. I have taken many courses on Conflict Management including - Dealing with Anger, Reframing, Mediation 1 & 2 among others. I found the descriptions of personalities of HCPs and their habits very accurate to my experience. I even learned about some habits from this book, whereupon reflection didn't realize at the time, what I was about to be dealing with. I have been slandered, threatened (including my life), had my reputation attacked and near the end of 14 years, was being ground down to fine powder emotionally. Which is why I was surprised at some of the recommendations in this book. The author on occasion recommends that you address HCPs and their negative supporters from time to time. I will agree that there are times you have no choice. However, I would recommend that you don't interact with them at all if possible. The only truly effective way to deal with these people is to completely cut them out of your life as soon as possible. Regardless of how I feel about the advice, you should give this book a listen. I have even added the W.E.B. - Words, Emotions and Behavior Assessment and the 40 characteristics of HCPs to my day planner for reference in the event I need it in the future.

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interesting book

in my lifetime I've met all of the personalities listen in the title. this book is like armor to help you deal with that opressive or passive aggressive friend, boss, family member. worth the listen
#Audible1

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Great Insight and Overview

I enjoyed listening to this audiobook. The narrator did an excellent job and the book didn't drag on. Through this reading I definitely learned more about the varying degrees of dangerous personalities.
#Audible1

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  • JGM
  • 2018-05-07

This book should be required reading.

Unfortunately, I found myself the target of Sociopaths too many times to count. I decided to buy this book in an effort to figure out why. This should be required reading for anyone that works with people. I learned that being sensitive, caring and vulnerable can make you a target but you don't have to be a victim. And any field can be rife with them, especially the caring professions.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Charles
  • 2018-04-17

A useful book that could use some guiderails

This book seems to be a mixed bag, but I am compelled to write about it because it has impacted me deeply - raising memories of experiences from my past that I would otherwise prefer be archived in my mind. Sorry Mr. Eddy, but it did indeed scare me as much as inform me.

Eddy's book concretizes in our minds a specific type of person that most of us has experienced to one extent or another. The "High Conflict" personality disorder that the layperson might just write-off as "crazy", "dishonest", "a drama queen" or even "just plain insane"...or more likely, "psycho".

The book is laid out as one would expect, with an introduction and some extreme examples of HCPs (High Conflict Personality), and quickly dives into how one might identify and, if necessary, interact with an HCP. For each of the five types, specific guidance is given for that type.

Finally, there is a section on how to avoid becoming a pawn (Negative Advocate) of an HCP, and a section on some HCP hypothesis and theory, involving evolutionary, psychological, sociological, and environmental possible causes of HCP.

Despite indicating earlier in the book that HCP is not a choice, the author then offers a very-much-needed section on self-awareness and empathy, as well as a "in a nutshell" checklist of emotions and behaviors to watch out for in ones self and others that might be indicative of a high conflict personality.

I'll address my concerns with this book first.

1. Eddy places a massive amount of power in the hands of his readers to diagnose family members, co-workers, and anyone else with a personality disorder. Virtually none of us (particularly those reading this book) is in a position to diagnose other people with mental disorders. Most people, myself included, need to be very aware that throwing around labels such as sociopath, narcissist, paranoid, etc tends to be dehumanizing and is often done by those who do not have the appropriate professional background to do so legitimately.

This book empowers the reader to make these judgements without necessarily having the appropriate background.

Example: Both my wife and I have cracked jokes about my "ADHD Moments". Both of us think we are pretty slick at pinpointing what pop-culture tells us should be an easy, harmless, surface-level diagnosis.

But a professional psych-eval indicated that my "ADD Moments" may just be aspects of my personality and my trying to multi-task mentally. I could have sworn otherwise.

If laypeople are so poor at objectively pinpointing a diagnosis such as ADD - how much weight should be giving our diagnosis of "Paranoid High Conflict Personality" in others?

Eddy does say that "HCP" is "not a diagnosis". But it is treated as such throughout this book, and most readers (myself included) wouldn't know what the difference is - we have neither the formal education nor the requisite background on an individual to make such a call.

2. Bill Eddy's examples seem to range in extremity. While the "Abusive, Histrionic Mother" and "Paranoid, Delusional (and armed!) US Marshall" seem like obvious examples of personality disorders, the descriptions of how to identify these disorders leave a lot of wiggle room. The book neglects to adequately emphasize the care and deliberation required in making the judgements it so empowers the reader to make.

Other identifiers make mis-diagnosis likely. "Behaving Badly" or "Negative Behavior" are very subjective, and just are not good markers for labelling someone. Some of Eddy's examples fall far short in this regard.

Is the person you are judging to be a HCP a teenager who is going through a tough time and trying to figure out who they are? Have they just gone through a particularly traumatic event? Did they just have a baby? Go through a divorce? Is it possible they they just have a different perspective than you, or their stakes are higher due to their situation in life? Is it possible YOU are being a bit too sensitive, and focusing on THEM too much?

Perhaps this is their first job out of college and they truly have a fundamental misunderstanding of how office politics work? Perhaps they are a new mother who is trying to understand an appropriate level of protectiveness for her children?

These are very delicate situations, and just like the HCPs we are supposed to be sniffinig out, the book doesn't care to differentiate. It seems "All or nothing" thinking and "blaming others" is "bad behavior" - unless you are righteously trying to sniff out "HCPs" everywhere you go. Eddy doesn't mention any studies delimited by age until at the very end, where it's mentioned in passing that the youngest group is 20-29!

This is irresponsible, in my opinion.

I know I have friends and family that have seemed, at the time, to be trying to engage in destructive conflict with me. But in hindsight I have often seen the situation to be based more on misunderstanding, or differences in circumstances at the time. Had I written these people off as HCPs, and not revisited the relationship with a different perspective, I may have missed out on a lot of value in my life.

Consistent patterns of manipulation, lack of self-awareness, and dishonesty seem to be hallmarks of Eddy's definition of an HCP, and I wouldn't argue that people exhibiting these attributes don't call for much empathy (a word that isn't emphasized in this book until the last chapter).

However, the book risks labeling healthy people who "stand out" as having a mental disorder:
-Do you sometimes behave in ways 90% of the population doesn't behave? HCP.
-Are you openly passionate about the things that are important to you? HCP.
-Do you have rigid, uncompromising principles? HCP.
-Does someone "act badly" or have "negative behavior"? HCP
-Do you exhibit "extreme behavior (By whose standard, Eddy doesn't say)? HCP.

Bill Eddy claims that HCP is not a "diagnosis" - but every sentence in his book says otherwise. He makes it a label that overrides the humanity of the person being labelled in every way. The overly broad, subjective, qualitative criteria presented here is not buffetted with appropriate caveats and warnings, until the end of the book, where empathy and self-awareness is mentioned in passing.

3. Labelling someone as "An HCP" denies the humanity of the person being labelled. In this context, "humanity" means the ability to learn and change...it means the ability to make mistakes...the ability to grow...the ability to make choices.

Bill Eddy's label of "HCP" becomes everything they are because of the way he uses the term. The person it is applied to no longer a person...they are "An HCP".

Eddy asks many questions...where did HCP come from? Is it biological or environmental? He leaves out more questions...what isn't subjective about one lay-persons HCP diagnosis of another human being? Unfortunately, for how firmly he hammers home the acronym, these questions remain unanswered.

It is easier of course, to write someone off when they are a label and not a person. However, as I have alluded to previously, your HCP may not be someone elses HCP - so perhaps some additional perspective and context and delicacy should be emphasized here.

4. Identifying "Who is an HCP" seems eerily like something that would appeal to an HCP. It is entirely outwardly focused. Identifying the mental health issues in others is entirely second handed, and reeks of an external locus of control.

In fact, I felt a little like an HCP as I scoured my memory for people who might fit the profile. While I certainly have experienced them, I find the temptation to focus on their behavior instead of my own a slide in the wrong direction.

Eddy insists that HCPs can't control what they are. And then he gives tips at the end for how to avoid HCP behavior in one's self. So which is it?

I would recommend a different approach - one that Eddy glosses over near the end of his book in the remarks on self-awareness. Rather than carrying around an "HCP Template" and holding it up to anyone that seems consistently troublesome to you, look inwardly instead.

What are your values? Are they identified hierachically? Do you view your relationships as sacrifices, or mutually beneficial partnerships? If you are unable to say no to people that don't make you "happy, better or money", then what do you need to change about yourself?

Focusing on one's own wellbeing in a healthy, objective manner is at least as healthy, if not healthier, than trying to diagnose others with mental disorders.

This type of philosophical self-awareness takes back seat in this book.

5.The author, Bill Eddy, seems to be on a marketing blitz in which he is desperately trying to get his terminology, particularly "HCP" into common usage.

I find nothing wrong with this, however I would more readily accept this term if it were more broadly accepted across the industry. It would make it feel less "Pop-Culture-ish".

That being said, here is what I appreciate about this book:

1. This book concretizes, for the lay-person, a name for the experiences we have all had: The Crazy-Ex, the Paranoid Drama-Queen at work, the Accusatory Casual Acquaintance, the Fender-Bender victim in a neck-brace, the perpetual Sexual-Harassment victim, the Infinitely Hurt/Sensitive Family Member, etc.

Anyone who has had to deal with the ongoing manipulation, destruction and invasiveness of someone who truly fits the extremes of this profile will instantly understand what this book is talking about.

This book gives it a name, and helps the lay-person conceptualize what would otherwise be hard to describe.

2. Eddy's advice for dealing with an HCP is spot-on. Basically "Find a reason outside of your control that necessitates spending time apart." I know this from experience, but I imagine this would be invaluable advice for anyone encountering this scenario for the first time.

Keep them at arms length. Don't get too involved with them. Show them respect, and keep anything from being personal. Unfortunately for me, it's too late to have learned these from the book. I learned the hard way, but I am pleased that my approach tended to be what Eddy recommends here.

He is absolutely correct that you should never tell an HCP that they are one. However, this should be common sense, of course.

3. Understanding how to avoid becoming a Negative Advocate was particularly useful to me, as a hands-on, empathetic personality who is drawn to action and opportunities to build relationships and add value. The book explains how anyone can be manipulated this way, and understanding this in advance can help one set the right boundaries up front when advocating for others - something many have to do as part of their job.

4. The context added at the end of the book...evolutionary and biological reasons that HCPs may indeed have NEEDED to exist...adds valuable perspective that should probably have been imbedded in the introduction and within each descriptive chapter on the types. Rather than portray this inhuman HCP as some kind of anomaly to be feared and avoided at all costs, this chapter brings us back down to reality.

In conclusion, one overarching demand can be made on all human beings, in my opinion- fidelity to obejctive reality whenever possible. That is, truthfulness in thought and action. HCP or not, a liar will turn your life upside down.

Perhaps it is intentional that Eddy leaves so much to the imagination...everyone reading this book is bound to notice that at least some of the loosely defined, qualitative HCP criteria apply to oneself. However, by the time ones mind reaches that point in the book, we are paralyzed in fear of making an "all or nothing" judgement, or facing the reality that we may not be like "90% of the population", or, god forbid, we might feel strong emotions about these thoughts, be passionate about our perspectives, assert them, argue with people we disagree with, stand up for ourselves, and otherwise do anything else someone might consider "behaving badly" based on whatever arbitrary standards they choose. Eddy does nothing to clarify the situation.

We may not all have psych degrees, but everyone should feel entitled to seek the truth and condemn and avoid those who obfuscate it. Distancing oneself from non-reality seems to be the ultimate goal for anyone in these positions, and in the end Bill Eddy's book helps perhaps a little more than it hurts.

Some additional warnings and caveats to the casual reader might benefit a second edition of this book and prevent some of the pitfalls that thinking in terms of "HCP or not?" might introduce.

10 of 14 people found this review helpful

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  • Michael Bon
  • 2018-10-11

Insightful and Informative

Bill Eddy added another piece to my self awareness puzzle. Thank you for your insight, experience, and hard work on this topic.

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  • Matthew R McGee
  • 2018-09-07

Complex Social Concepts in Plain English

I appreciate the format of this book. It is easy to follow and the topic: social interaction with difficult people, is presented in a clear, concise, and logical way. Some terms, used by author Bill Eddy, I had not heard before, but there definitions and contexts are made clear by the writing. Sometimes, when authors write about topics such as 'Narcissism' they get a little TOO creative with word choices and create terms that are hard to make sense of. Author Eddy steers clear of this barrier to maintain a high degree of clarity, even when discussing complex social interactions and motives behind these interactions. This book is for anyone who wants a little more insight into the occasional hostile person's beguiling behaviors. A listen or read of this tome could only be time well spent.

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  • Christopher Boe
  • 2018-08-27

Helps keep you vigilant

This book helped me keep vigilant when it comes to dealing with the unavoidable HCPs in my life. I am less stressed and more prepared.