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Chronically Hurtful People and Self-Responsiblity


So, when you've identified someone in your life as a chronically hurtful person (CHP), what's the best way to proceed?


The Nourishing Company

Volume VI # 105             Copyright 2015             All Rights Reserved 



(Note: This is the last of the three-part series Roxanne Livingston has written for BetterHealthBytes readers on Chronically Hurtful People.  The first f(#103) answered, Why is this relationship so darn hard?"  The second (#104) dealt with the effect a CHP has on family members. This third and last one addresses our own best plan of action in the face of a CHP relationship.)


Solving Our Own Problems

U  nfortunately, when people have bonded with a CHP partner or parent, it is all too frequent that they will look to the one who has set up the turmoil in their life, the CHP, to be the one to stop or heal the pain. We want love and affection from those we love. This is normal reciprocity.


But looking to a CHP to do the corrective measures to heal any difficult situation is most often a dead-end strategy. It has a chance of success only when the CHP partner (or significant family member) takes actual responsibility, (not just verbal promises), for his or her part in the distressed relationship.

The CHP must have genuine good will toward the partner or family member, and be deeply committed to solving problems. Most importantly, he or she must deal with internal issues which have been so carefully avoided.

This entails hard work on the CHPs part, and sadly, CHPs are often so disconnected from their own authentic inner selves, and so dependent on their well-developed defenses, that committing to a plan of real change may never happen. CHPs do not see themselves as the problem in the first place, so getting the attention of a CHP may be a hurdle too large to overcome.

Once partners or family members of a CHP have accepted responsibility for themselves only, and have learned to listen to, care for, and respond appropriately to their own feelings and emotions, and have accounted for and repaired any unkind or hurtful behaviors on their own part, their lives improve. The process of learning to be responsible for meeting their own real needs apart from seeking sustenance from a CHP is freeing for partners or family members.

Sometimes, for whatever reason, financial, social, family ties, or other compelling influences, a person may chose to stay in relationship with a CHP, but hopefully will have learned how to detach and break out of any emotional dependency on an unavailable person, and will no longer be reacting from an unhealthy position.

I do not wish to minimize either the stress of being in a personal relationship with a CHP or the difficulty of extracting oneself emotionally from such a situation, which no doubt, has, or had, some very compelling enticements.


I recommend that people in these situations get good support and help from someone who validates their experience and can be a useful guide through what can be a painful process. (It may even be a bit challenging to find a therapist who understands what is going on, as CHPs, being expert at fooling others and expert at eliciting support, have fooled plenty of otherwise competent treatment professionals.)

If someone finds themselves going from one relationship with a CHP to another one, it is certainly an indicator that there is inner work to do with a competent professional, but anyone having survived a relationship with a CHP partner or parent or other family member needs support and a circle of loving others.



Editor’s note:  Once again, BHB wants to thank Roxanne for these articles. We invited her because we know she’s the real deal. She’s made chronically hurtful people the focus of her professional work, and come out  with the essential nuggets she shared in this series.  This life-saving information is available in more detail in her  book, Chronically Hurtful People: How to Identify and Deal with the Difficult, Destructive and Disconnected (  or


We suggest you get a copy and memorize what she’s discovered – it could save you a lifetime of pain and suffering (this is no exaggeration!) The three articles in this series offered you a taste of what you'll find. Pamela Levin, R.N., T.S.T.A


For more information see  
Roxanne K. Livingston, the author of
Chronically Hurtful People:
How to Identify and Deal with the
 Difficult, Destructive and Disconnected.


Tags: chronically hurtful people CHP's Abusive relationships difficult people narcissistic people self-absorbed people dealing with difficult people hurtful relationships relationships that hurt difficult bosses



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Tags: chronically hurtful people CHP's Abusive relationships difficult people narcissistic people self-absorbed people dealing with difficult people hurtful relationships relationships that hurt difficult bosses


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