In these relationships, you somehow lose track of yourself—acting like a maniac or feeling constantly uncertain—and you can’t figure out how or why. Looking back on past relationships, you know you haven’t always behaved this way, but in this particular relationship with this particular narcissist person, you get hooked every time.
Why do certain people have this power over us and make us feel crazy?
It’s like there’s always some edge we’re about to fall off or we feel constantly confused. People like this are called Crazy Makers. And dealing with them is maddening!
Not sure if you’re in a relationship with one or not? Keep reading to learn the characteristics of this frustrating behavioral pattern. Then, I’ll share some smart strategies for dealing with the Crazy Makers in your life.
How to spot Crazy-Makers
1. They’re nice on the outside, not so much on the inside
Crazy Makers hide their true identities by acting nice, altruistic, empathic, concerned and caring on the surface. When you first meet them, you’ll strike up an instant rapport and think they’re the nicest person ever.
Beware, however, because Crazy Makers shape-shift themselves into whatever you want to see, but only long enough to lure you in. Once you’re hooked, all things end up in arguments and your general emotional state becomes one of frustration and anger. Because they still strategically flash their “nice” side, you’ll continually justify your relationship with them and live in a world of confusion. It’s a cycle of feeling mad enough to leave the relationship only to then receive just a drop enough to lull you back in. Over and over.
2. Taking care of them is YOUR job
These people want a life full of fun, leisure and excitement and anything outside of fun is not their thing. They prefer for others (a.k.a. you) to handle all things boring or difficult. In other words they’re allergic to the words responsibility and/or accountability. Oh, and those who delay their gratification experience the full wrath of a Crazy Marker’s discontent. Remember, they’re not in relationships to contribute; they here to receive and for someone else to take care of them. They always want more than they give and they don’t really care how you feel about it.
3. They’re selfish
This is their central feature. Crazy-makers do not operate in relationships with an ounce of empathy or fairness. Their idea of fairness is them getting what they want exactly at the moment they want it. They feel entitled to it. They’re stubborn, opinionated, and unreliable and refuse to perform on demand (thought they expect you to do so). They are intentional in their desire to get others annoyed all the while acting as if everyone outside of them is overreacting. It is their world and you are just a visitor.
4. They are never wrong, EVER
Egocentric creatures that they are, Crazy Makers live in a world of complete distortion. They see themselves as victims of their circumstances. From their perception, they never make mistakes, are never wrong, and their motives are always of pure intent. They take no responsibility for their own behavior.
One of their more maddening qualities is their inability to distinguish important from unimportant matters. They argue over everything and nothing, often making the biggest fuss over the matters of least significance. Kicking up dust deflects their responsibility for the issue at hand and throws their victims off target. They’ll use anything to justify their anger while pointing the way you’re actually in the wrong. They only see certain “facts” and eliminate all other useful (or fair) information.
5. They throw tantrums
Wow do these people have tantrums down to a science, maybe even an art form. They make a ton of noise when not immediately gratified, often throwing around verbal threats, justifications and rationalizations for meeting their demands immediately.
Their other favorite way to throw a fit is pretending you don’t exist. They’ll ignore you as you speak, walk right by you, or make noise in one form or another until you either attack back (so they can blame you for your “anger”) or you give in, because it’s not worth the fight. Either reaction encourages the cycle because the Crazy Maker did get their way.
6. They irritate you “accidentally” on purpose
Crazy Makers behave in a covertly hostile ways so no matter how you react, you’re wrong. Driving you mad with their chronic forgetfulness, foot-dragging, lateness, withholding affection, and stubbornness is par for the course. They’re also fond of provoking with nonverbal behaviors such as: eye rolling, ignoring, sighing loudly, smirking, comments under the breath, sarcasm and deflection. Their goal is inciting you into a rage so you look at fault and they easily side-step responsibility.
To add insult to injury, Crazy Makers then offer insincere apologies feigning innocence with passive-aggressive phrases like: “All I said was…” or “I only meant that…” implying that you’re too sensitive or “taking things the wrong way.”
8. Nobody bosses THEM around (because they’re the boss, obviously)
These people get especially annoyed when others others try and tell them what to do. “I’ll do it in a minute…” and “Geez, I was going to do it; just relax.” are two of their more famous lines. They stall taking action until you’re so enraged you do it yourself. Or they react with anger and indignation when asked to cooperate or comply. They see any request as a demand and they view cooperating as submitting.
Chronic lateness is favorite strategy for re-establishing dominance if forced to comply. Crazy Makers recognize the opportunity to promise others a beneficial arrangement for all involved, knowing they’ll probably opt to disappoint everyone by backing out or showing up late (just because they can). They even train themselves to be sensitive to what other people want and need just so they can avoid giving it to them.
If you try to hold them responsible, they’ll simply deflect by saying, with false sincerity, “Sorry” or “I screwed up.” But they’re not sorry. They’ll turn around and make the same “mistake” over and over again. Soon their apologies become more offensive than the original assault.
Sadly, the thing Crazy Makers withhold most often is emotional support. Sometimes they defend the indefensible just to be difficult. They do not see other people as “people.” They see other people as subjects meant to serve their own satisfaction. They do not empathize with the feelings and needs of others.
So how do you handle a Crazy Maker if you’re dating one, employed by one, or in a family with one? Here are a few smart strategies to help:
- Keep your wits about you. Critical thinking skills are the most important thing you need in these relationships. Crazy Makers masterfully disconnect you from rational thinking. They distract, deflect and confuse to keep you off balance. So, if you feel confused, do not do or say anything until you have time to get clear. This is a life saver strategy. It sounds easy and simple, but it’s extremely difficult to do because when we feel taken advantage of, we resort to very primitive responses. Before we know it we’re defending ourselves.
- Don’t let them isolate you. Crazy Makers love to get you alone where no one else is around to question them. Always communicate with them via text, email or in public. Stay away from one-on-one verbal conversations. In public, getting up and leaving is an option. On text/email, reply in your own time. If a Crazy Maker isolates you verbally, they will Verbal warfare is their top skill soon they’ll trick you into saying more than you ever wanted to (and then they’ll use it against you).
- Listen to your gut. If you find yourself sharply veering away from your normal behavior, this is your first clue that you’re in a toxic dynamic. Listen closely. If you’re feeling or acting crazy, remember lost people get us lost. If you’ve been sucked in … face reality about that and stop the conversation and interaction with that person immediately. You do not owe them continued arguing.
- Get outside verification to your situation. They say a wise man has many delegates … explain the situation to someone you trust and ask for help reconnecting with the thinking part of your brain. Are you misinterpreting things or does this behavior, indeed, seem crazy to them, too?
- Do what they opposite of what the Crazy Maker does. If they argue, don’t argue. If they want excitement and drama, avoid being dramatic. If they ignore you in an effort to get you chase after them, don’t chase. If you remain boring, they’ll eventually leave you alone. Keep your thinking mind open and your mouth shut. Silence is often the best way to calm annoying people. What they want more than anything is your attention and they’ll run around, jump all over and bark incessantly to get it.
- Pick your battles: Never take action when you’re angry. Crazy Makers use your anger to flip you over and win. You’ll never convince them they’re wrong, so don’t waste time trying. Learn not to waste your breath.
- Ignore their tantrums. Their tantrums show up in MANY forms, so beware. The thing to remember about tantrums is they’re just making noise. They’re trying to irritate you and get under your skin until you do what they want. They’re provoking you on purpose so ignore their noise and call their bluff. Set contingencies like a 15-minute late policy; if they’re not on time, leave. If they yell; leave the room. If they play the martyr, don’t give them attention for it. If they ignore you to make you feel insignificant, don’t chase them.
- Never explain yourself. Crazy makers use misdirection and confusion to throw you off balance and put you on the defensive so you’ll begin explaining yourself. Remember, the more you say, the more ammunition you’re providing them to use against you. It doesn’t matter that you’re 100% right, Crazy Makers get a rise out of making you defend yourself before they go in for the kill. The more you talk the more powerful they feel. Crazy Makers love to watch people squirm. Because these people love attention, control and power, silence and not engaging in the conversation they’re provoking drive them CRAZY! One way to avoid these arguments is to stay with the current issue and use the language of “I would like to find a solution to today’s issue.”
Know that there really is no help for these character disordered people. They are stuck in their reptilian controlling brains causing chaos and drama wherever they go. Don’t take it personally, they’re this way with everyone. It is not unique to you, regardless of what they may say to make you believe you’re the only person they have issues with. Your best bet is to limit the amount of time spent around these people and/or get them out of your life, black and white. You will never change them.
The only person you can control is you!