high conflict woman in relationship

Defense Mechanisms of the
High Conflict Woman In Relationship

Part 2 of Traits of Borderline Personality Disorder in High Conflict Women

high conflict woman in relationship

Emotional Sensitivity In Women

In Part 1 of Traits of Borderline Personality Disorder in High Conflict Women we used a spectrum of emotionality to understand the role emotionality plays in women with high conflict personalities. We found that women whose emotionality was set at a very high level seemed to experience much more difficulty in their relationships than those with average emotionality.

We then went on to identify a second character trait often seen in high conflict women that when paired with the trait of high emotionality also seemed to have an influence on their tendency to enter into conflict. We discovered that many high conflict women also possess extreme sensitivity when it comes to the security of their relationships. In other words, they were extraordinarily concerned about their relationship bonds.

In Part 2 of this blog series we will be exploring the defense mechanisms used by the high conflict woman in relationship. We will also take a look at a form of psychological addiction to high conflict that helps us understand some of her more extreme behaviors. Before we look at the defenses high conflict women use to cover up their emotional sensitivities, let’s first find out who she is without these defenses.

The Woman Under The Defenses

The woman you may see on the outside is actually a very different person on the inside. Without her defense mechanisms to protect her, the high conflict woman in relationship is a fearful and emotionally upset person who doesn’t feel safe around her partner. She never seems to lose the feeling of vulnerability, the need for constant assurance, or the fear that her partner could take advantage of her because she lacks the courage to aggressively pursue her own needs.

She does, however, have a choice about how she wants to play the hand of cards she has been dealt.

1. She could decide that being sensitive and vulnerable in her relationship is not such a bad hand after all. It doesn’t need to be something she is ashamed of. She might even find out that there are plenty of people who share her sensitivity who manage to have normal relationships. Taking a cue from them she may realize that she could be comfortable in her relationship with a few adjustments such as asking for assurance when she needs it and paying close attention to her needs.

2. She can instead decide that sensitivity and vulnerability are qualities that she should feel ashamed of. She may come to the conclusion that if she ever shows her fear that her spouse may take advantage of her. She also may fear that if her mate knows how insecure she feels, she may be rejected or abandoned.

The Blame-Shifting Defense Mechanism

A high conflict woman is usually someone who has chosen the second perspective. Instead of accepting that she has feelings of insecurity when she is with her spouse, she may instead create a false front or false self. This outer personality will be the complete opposite of her real self. Afraid of becoming a victim in her own marriage, a high conflict woman may choose instead to victimize.

The defense mechanism that a high conflict woman in relationship uses to transform herself from what she sees as a weak and cowardly personality to a fearless, domineering and often aggressive persona, in this blog series will be called blame-shifting. Blame-shifting works by transferring personal responsibility onto another person.

We all use blame-shifting at some point when we want to get out of responsibility for something without having to feel guilty. We simply tell ourselves it was someone else’s fault. Blame-shifting can be easily used by a person who wants to cover up their insecurity. Let’s take a look at an example of how an insecure person might use blame-shifting to avoid shame over feeling inferior to another person.

John has insecurity from unresolved personal issues from his past and feels intimidated when he is around Steve, who compared to him seems very strong and confident. Feeling ashamed at having feelings of weakness, John re-frames the situation to make himself feel better.

He tells himself that the reason he feels intimidated by Steve isn’t his own insecurity. It is because Steve must be trying to dominate him. Otherwise he wouldn’t be feeling inferior in Steve’s presence. He has now successfully shifted the blame for his insecurity onto Steve. He soon finds he can use anger at Steve for dominating him any time he wants to avoid feeling weak and inferior in his presence.

When a high conflict woman in relationship does not want to admit to feelings of insecurity she also will decide that the insecurity is not her fault. She will convince herself instead that the reason she feels one down must be because her spouse is trying to control and dominate her.

When she feels fear of rejection she tells herself it is because her mate is planning to betray her trust. She will not be conscious that she is using this defense mechanism. She will simply be reacting to her thoughts and her emotions which tell her that her anger is justified.

Although it is helpful to understand blame-shifting in high conflict women, there is one more piece of this puzzle that we need to put into place. Let’s now take a look at what happens when the high conflict woman in relationship gets into the habit of blaming others to escape uncomfortable feelings about herself.

Addiction to Anger

When a person uses a behavior such as eating, gambling or blame-shifting to relieve uncomfortable feelings on a regular basis, they soon find that whatever behavior they were using to give them a boost no longer works to make them feel better. It only works well enough for them to just feel normal. They find that if they stop using the behavior altogether, they start feeling terrible. Blame-shifting to escape from negative feelings can quickly turn into what we might call an addiction to anger.

When people use destructive behaviors such as over-eating, gambling or anger at others to escape from negative feelings, things can turn very serious very quickly. A high conflict woman who becomes psychologically addicted to putting her spouse down to avoid feeling bad about herself may have started off being slightly controlling and critical. Soon she may find herself engaging in very extreme behaviors to keep her bad feelings at bay.

Although it is impossible to tell to what extent heightened emotional sensitivity, negative past experiences, or habitual use of defense mechanisms contribute to a high conflict woman’s behavior, knowing that these three factors play a part is enough to form a plan that lets us stop her from blame-shifting.

In the final installment, Part 3 of this blog series you will learn how to use the concepts we have talked about in the first two series to form a blueprint of the defense mechanism of a high conflict woman. This blueprint will show us one very important flaw that lets us disarm the alarm system which the high conflict woman uses to protect herself from feelings of relationship insecurity. Please join me in the next installment where you will learn a few techniques from the Nicola Method that let anyone disarm the defense mechanism of a high conflict woman.

Traits of Borderline Personality Disorder In High Conflict Women

Dismantling the Defenses of Female Relationship Insecurity

Reversing Emotional Dysregulation In Individuals With Traits of BPD

Marriage Entitlement: When Your Love Is Not Enough

If you would like to learn the Nicola Method so you can put an end to the high conflict situations you may be experiencing, click on this link to the welcome page of this website where you will find the resources you need.

If you want to try out some of the basic techniques of this method for free to see if this method is right for your situation, you can learn them from an intro guide flip-book here or a PDF version of the intro guide here.

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