The Fear of Being Ignored

Fifth of 11 articles on high conflict people in church. Previous article: Driven by Fear

Some high conflict people are driven by a deep, profound fear of being ignored. They fear not being seen. The are afraid they will simply disappear. Their motto in life would seem to be, “All the world is a stage.”

To compensate and protect themselves these high conflict people will do all they can to be the center of attention. They will tell dramatic stories with dramatic speech. They will be theatrical, seductive and draw attention to themselves. They are the life of the party.

Their motto in life would seem to be, “All the world is a stage.”

These people have generally superficial relationships, but often believe they are much deeper and more intimate than they really are. They rely on flirtatiousness and seduction to create bonds. They can be amazingly open and charming.

Their stories are persuasive on an emotional level, but lack detail, focus. They are often untrue. They willingly fabricate and lie for attention. They can be falsely persuasive as the victim of horrible abuse. They are very high intensity people with shifting emotions, few facts and little focus.

They can be excessively emotional given to fits of crying and rage.

They will present themselves as helpless and needy. They have difficulties focusing on tasks and making decisions. They long to be rescued.

All of this is used in hope that they will finally get the approval they long for. Ultimately they are self focused and self absorbed.

Pastors run the risk of being seduced by these high conflict people since they can be inappropriately sexual in the workplace and socially. They can also become the subject of a false accusation of a sexual encounter or relationship.

Pastors also run the risk of being seen as a savior by these people. They can be placed high on a pedestal of admiration and respect only later become a person of scorn since their needs of affirmation and validation are not met over time.

Pastors run the rusk of bending the rules for these people making themselves vulnerable to further demands of special treatment and exploitation. Unless handled with care, these people do not go away quietly when they are triggered. The make a scene and foster scandal.

Next Steps: Does this description fit the traits of someone in your life or church?

Are you vulnerable to their ploys? To their seduction, their neediness or their admiration?

Do you find them to be so charismatic, charming, delightful or attractive that you are bending your personal code for them?

Do you find yourself believing their stories hook, line and sinker?

Next Article: The Fear of Being Abandoned

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