There are a lot of manipulative people out there, and although it is human nature to want to get your way, there are some that don’t know where to draw the line. They are incapable of compromising and want their way at any expense to others. Any sense of remorse or the ability to apologize just isn’t within their capacity.

Throughout the years, I have had to help people extricate themselves from incredibly unhealthy relationships. There is an overwhelming percentage of the adult population that seems to lack coping skills when dealing with stress, and as a result they use others as their punching bags (verbally, physically, or both). I can’t tell you how many cases of addiction I have encountered throughout my years as a divorce lawyer, and thankfully as part of the additional training I pursued post-law school, I learned a great deal about various disorders, including high conflict personalities aka “HCPs.”

Bill Eddy has written many books about these personality disorders, and there is even a High Conflict Institute that disseminates information on how to deal with HCPs, which may be about 20% of our population according to some NIH studies. Of course these experts are way nicer than I am going to be here– these people are toxic, and as soon as your gut starts to tell you something is off, trust your instincts. We all have demons to conquer, but let me be blunt– some people have simply suffered too much trauma and may well be f–d up beyond all recognition. There is a reason “FUBAR” exists as a term, and we need to accept that not everyone can be saved.

While it is my job during the day to save people, off the clock I enjoy being around friends and loved ones that have their s–t together. Sure, we all have problems that come up, but some individuals are just constant problem accumulators. In my personal life, I no longer have any room left for FUBARs.

Unfortunately, not everyone can avoid dealing with these difficult people, in which case you need to start setting clear boundaries, which are meant to protect you. True FUBARs are going to interpret these boundaries as personal attacks. They may throw out ultimatums and create no-win situations, part of their classic routine. Ultimately, breaking away may be the only choice you are left with, and it will probably not be easy. But this is about you remaining sane and healthy– don’t let someone else control you. We all get to choose how to live our own lives, and setting boundaries is just part of making smart choices, especially with FUBARs.