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Fraught relationships with peers

This is a section of a longer paper. There is a roadmap for the entire paper, and you can download the PDF.


Those who exhibit SBCMB do not seem to be able to collaborate easily with peers. By “peers” we mean other people on the same “level” as them within their profession/vocation or their social circle.

It is true that those who exhibit SBCMB can sometimes be regarded as “leaders” in their professional field/vocation. However, their “leadership” style is normally a lone-operator kind of leadership. That is, they tend to end up as a sole leader of a loyal group of followers, or a tight-knit team of people who don’t seriously question their leadership, or a wider loose circle of fans who approve of what they do but do not deal with the person directly. They don’t tend to lead by genuinely working in partnership with peers, or by making compromises, or by fitting in with established teams or social groups of true equals.

This needs to be spelled out a little further, because those who exhibit SBCMB may often devote much energy trying to create new collaborations, or form new social groups with peers. However, these collaborations tend not to last in the long term.

Indeed, those who exhibit SBCMB tend to have frequent fallings out with peers, especially those who they are seeking to collaborate or join with. Each time a falling out happens, the person who exhibits SBCMB will be able to give plausible-sounding reasons why others are to blame. Those whom they are blaming will tend not to make a fuss, normally out of concern for the person and/or a desire not to cause needless complications. Nevertheless, after a while, it becomes clearer that it is the person themselves who is the common factor in a long-term and consistent pattern of fallings out with peers.

Note that this consistently troubled relationship with peers does not necessarily carry across to the person’s relationships with those whom they are clearly “over” in terms of influence or authority. Indeed, they can be very persuasive to those whom they are leading, at least initially. Similarly, they can also be very persuasive to those who are their “seniors” in some way, i.e. they often make great efforts to present themselves as victimised heroes to those whom they see as influential or authoritative or ahead of them in the field. We will return to this below.

Read the next section: Excessive reactions to praise and sympathy


Copyright © 2021 Lionel and Bronwyn Windsor

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To read the whole paper: Slow-burn crazy-making behaviours

Slow-burn crazy-making behavioursOnline: a roadmap for the entire paper Download the entire PDF

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