Demarcation in everyday life, how do I protect myself / Part 1

Part1: Increased need to communicate

Are you, like me, one of those people who have a strong need to communicate?

Well, if so, ask yourself whether you are also interested in what other people say. If not, then ask yourself why you are like that.
There are many ways to explain our need to communicate. We are social beings, interacting with and among each other. If all parties involved are doing well, then everything is fine. Some people have an increased need to communicate, and we cannot always avoid them and protect ourselves from them. My approach: first understand problematic relationships in yourself and others and then look for solutions. How are people wired who have an excessive need to communicate is the first question, to which I provide two different answers? There are, of course, many more reasons for our need to share. For the time being, I will confine myself to two personality traits that seem to me to be easy to explain this phenomenon.

Increased need to communicate in the histrionic form
This is a rather unpleasant personality trait, which In exaggerated form is defined as a histrionic personality disorder. The characteristics of these people are easily recognisable, extraordinarily self-centred and dramatically theatrical in the process. They seem somewhat phoney in their efforts to get attention, are overly emotional and stage downright squeaky plays to be noticed. Of course, these people want to manipulate, but not deliberately influence another person or within a social community. They do everything they can to stand out, to gain their need for attention, importance and affirmation.

If you want to take a closer look at these people’s behaviours and characteristics, you should read the ICD-10 classification and the DSM-5. Here I would like to pick out the seventh point of the DSM-5 for current reasons:

  • Is suggestible (i.e. easily influenced by other persons or circumstances).

I think we have a lot of easily influenced hysterical people, as the pandemic clearly shows. Trump has also demonstrated that and ever since social media has existed, people are impacted more than classical advertising did before. I love the term influencer. How sick is that – influencer has now become a profession! We, the great masses, are the stupid impressionable masses. What was that about deranged conspiracy theorists? They seek attention by any means necessary!

Histrionic people are often referred to as “divas”, these horrible creatures who continuously make an unbearable fuss about their person. Mostly they are older women who were once very desirable, famous and well-known as actresses or artists and are now no longer the centre of attention. Their character becomes obvious because they exaggerate their qualities to get what they used to get in abundance – general admiration and attention. Of course, some many men and women are also histrionic. In the case of divas, this trait is more visible and noticeable, which is why I have mentioned it here. So when I say here that histrionic people are easily influenced, they can be made to feel insecure quite easily. You can also court them excessively, admire them, make them think that they are exceptional, even divine. They will believe anything you tell them if only you idolise them in the process. They will also do many things so that you continue to love them above all else. Histrionic people are not evil in themselves, but they can be very annoying and unpleasantly eccentric. Dangerous are instead those people who recognise divas and manipulate them. But beware, histrionic people can be quite manipulative themselves, especially if they have their fans and groupies around them. There are enough dependent people who will do anything to be close to their idols.

Increased need to communicate in the narcissistic form
Narcissists are not very pleasant fellows unless they want something from other people they don’t know yet. They strive for power and influence, literally walk over dead bodies when they feel offended and are convinced that they are superior to others. Of course, they also want to be the centre of attention and admired. When they appear, everyone has to keep quiet, and they demand total attention to their person. They find themselves irresistible, attractive and likeable. They are born leaders and work hard to become one. No one works as hard as true narcissists to shine and get attention for performance. They love status symbols, and their relationships are very one-sided. A typical narcissist statement: “I get along well with myself and my partners get along well with me too.” Question: Have you asked your partners? Answer: “No, what for, I know that.”

As similar to the characteristics of narcissists and histrionics sometimes appear, the causes of their behaviour are entirely different. In narcissists, a self-esteem problem is primarily responsible for their behaviour. In histrionics, on the other hand, an unstable emotional component is decisive. I do not want to go into this further here. Sometimes both structures can be conspicuously present in one person. This is then anything but pleasant. If there is also a touch of borderline, then cheers. But what can you do to deal with such people?

Therapists do not have an easy time with histrionic personalities. They don’t have an easy time with narcissists either, let alone Bordeliners. So I would assume that non-therapists don’t have it easy in these cases either. My personal magic formula is:


If I have such people around me- and have recognised them, I should make it clear to my counterpart that I will not get involved in their games. This can be done very diplomatically without being insulting. I will present how to do this in the next post.

But what am I like?
Does it mean that if I have a great need to communicate that I am disturbed? I come back to my original question. Let’s introduce the term communication need. If I have a genuine and sincere interest in other people, if I am burning to know how they think, feel and how they live, if I am simply curious to learn a lot from them and also want to tell them about myself, then I am the most ordinary and healthy person of all. These social qualities are a treasure that we should cherish. Here, too, I have found two simple formulas for myself.

  • Healthy and unobjectionable= I am interested in you because I want to interact with you at eye level.
  • Problematic = I am interested in you because I need you for something.

Am I, therefore, disturbed if I am interested in someone because I need something from them? Of course not! But I should be clear about what I need and what the motivation behind it is. It depends very much on the setting in which I am interested in other people. It is quite clear that there is a different motivation in an employment relationship than on a personal level. However, in all cases, if I only want to get attention, feel power or superiority, abuse this person as an instrument, then I should think about whether I do not urgently need help. It is self-evident that such people hardly admit that they urgently need help. That’s why other people suffer more than they do. To prevent this, or rather to reduce it, my next contribution will be to write about demarcation.

Dieser Post ist auch verfügbar auf: German

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