7 Destructive Personality Types To Avoid

Photo Credit: JUrban

Do you know someone who is oblivious to how their personality traits negatively affect others?

Are you aware of how you affect others?

For most of us, we find it so much easier to identify and define the character or personality traits of others and find it more difficult to discuss our own traits. But I hope that this article will trigger personal insight and get you thinking about how you might be affecting other people.

This article will highlight 7 personality traits that can completely destroy a relationship.

One of the most difficult jobs therapists perform is the identification of negative behaviors, thought patterns, or personality traits. The very first meeting is when I typically bring out my “assessment glasses” and try to asses the person’s thought patterns, behaviors, and emotions to see how these things influence their lives. Some therapist also look for inconsistencies, arrogance or narcissism, self-centered-ness or kindness, and a host of other traits. Sadly, there are some people who are completely oblivious to how they affect others. They are also oblivious to the messages or vibes they send as well. As a result of this oblivion, their relationships suffer or completely fall apart.

Types of destructive personalities

I have listed a few personality traits that can negatively impact a relationship, especially if these individuals do not have limits:

  1. The “Type-A” personality: This personality often exhibits persistence, fervor, and sometimes even courage. These individuals know exactly what they want, believe they can achieve it, and will do whatever it takes to get it. When a person becomes so persistent that they disregard the rights, feelings, or thoughts of others, relationships begin to fail. A Type-A person who believes that all he or she must do is “fight” and “push” to get things (i.e., needed or wanted) is in for a rude awakening. You can’t just push through or knock doors down in life because you want to. Some circumstances are out of our control and we need to be okay with that.
  2. The arrogant personality: Arrogant people are often very weak and shallow. They typically have no awareness of who they truly are and sometimes believe they are fine just the way they are. In fact, research suggests that arrogance results from a low self-esteem and loss of identity. Arrogance may also demonstrate a person’s desire to have the skills they truly lack such as people-skills, confidence, humor, warmth, kindness, etc. Most people prefer humble and open people to relate to. No one likes an arrogant person.
  3. The “humble” personality: Humility is a beautiful thing, especially when it is genuine. It is a personality trait that I have admired for years in some of our most admirable leaders around the world. When I see someone showing humility I gravitate toward them because they seem to understand the key to life. However, some people are simply playing a game. For example, some people may claim”humility” in order to be accepted into a religious, cultural, or socio-economic group. Others may portray themselves as “humble” while secretly wishing to have more prestige, attention, or “fans.” The narcissist is often good at pretending to get what they want.
  4. The “go-getter” personality: I know a lot of people like this, especially those who are running their own businesses. Their fearlessness and persistence can be impressive. However, if the person does not understand when to pull back that persistent and domineering personality, they will likely lose a lot of people they once had on their side. No one wants to be connected to a person who treats others badly. This “go-getter” personality can actually be viewed by others as arrogant at times. People with this personality must be aware of how they are affecting others and how their persistence may be a big turnoff for some.
  5. The success-driven personality: The success driven personality is a “go-getter” and often very independent. This is great! However, the person who does’t take time alone for themselves, can’t spend time with family, ignores what is important in life, etc., is doing more harm than good.
  6. The people-pleaser personality: I am 50% a “people-pleaser” and want everyone to get along, be happy, and live in harmony. I am also partially (about 20%) a “go this way instead because I don’t want to rock the boat” personality. In other words, I try to avoid conflict. I hate it. People-pleasers hate confrontations, arguments, and disagreements. As a result, passive-aggressive behavior is likely to be a long-term pattern of behavior for this personality type. Although I would venture to say that I am not passive-aggressive, I have experienced people who are and it is terrible. Passive-aggressive people keep their thoughts and feelings to themselves while denying there is a problem. They may allow their anger to come out little by little, but they tend to hide it.
  7. The controller: This individual controls everything and may or may not own up to the fact that they crave and need control. Some controllers need to control in order to feel empowered, important, needed, wanted, or in control of the outcome of an action or decision. There may be an underlying fear in some cases. But for the most part, there is an underlying arrogance to feeling the need to control. Some controllers believe they are the only ones who can do what they do and do it right. This kind of personality can lead very quickly to divorce, separation, loss, or even estrangement. Controlling behavior can suffocate the other person in the relationship. When the person feels suffocated, they are likely to leave.


Personality traits that seem “positive” can be quite negative without proper boundaries. We have to be aware of how we come across to others and also keep our own eyes open to people who may fit these descriptions.

Next week I will talk more about personality. Visit me at my blog: blogs.psychcentral.com/caregivers on Wednesday, April 19th.