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Explains in easy-to-understand terminology, the behaviors of people with personality disorders or with traits, particularly blaming, irrational and impulsive behaviors.
This is Bill Eddy's book filled with lots of practical methods for handling High Conflict People (HCPs) in any setting, including neighbor disputes, workplace conflicts, family battles, with strangers, etc. HCPs target those close to them and people in positions of authority, so in this book Bill focuses on what to do when YOU are the Target of Blame—and how to avoid (or prevent) being one for long. It is organized around 12 key Tips (5 Do’s and 7 Don’ts), that simplify large concepts into small, easy-to-remember phrases when you’re under the stress of a high conflict dispute. This book is for the general public, so you can give it to anyone. The book includes a lot of his latest thinking and reading about the brain, personality development, interesting cases, and the importance of Negative Advocates on a community’s culture of conflict. It also has (of course) a cartoon for each chapter, from Peanuts, Dilbert, and The New Yorker. Bill goes beyond the information in his previous books, which focused primarily on HCPs in legal settings. He explains the four most common High Conflict Personalities (Borderline, Narcissistic, Histrionic, Antisocial), with an emphasis on understanding their High Conflict Thinking—and why it is so contagious. Once again, he gives numerous examples—some real, some fictional—to demonstrate the very predictable dynamics of high conflict disputes. High Conflict People seem to be increasing in today’s conflicts worldwide. As Bill says: “The issue’s not the issue; the High Conflict Personality is the issue.” So prepare yourself by reading IT’S ALL YOUR FAULT!
No, it’s not just your imagination—more and more people in the workplace today have high-conflict personalities. Co-workers, clients, even bosses are behaving in narcissistic or bullying ways, choosing targets and then placing blame on them, treating them with disdain, or otherwise acting in aggressive, inappropriate ways. Some go so far as to spread damaging rumors, harass, or directly sabotage their targets, among other extreme behaviors. These are not people who are just having an occasional bad day; these are people who display a repeated pattern of high-conflict behavior. And they aren’t just difficult; they are the most difficult of people. They can make your life at work stressful, frustrating, and extremely challenging. The good news is that their behavior is not about you—it’s about them. What’s more, you can learn strategies and techniques to deal with them more effectively at work. Based on Bill Eddy’s high-conflict personality theory, he and co-author, L. Georgi DiStefano, expertly define the problem so you can recognize potential high-conflict people (HCPs) in your own work life. They describe the key characteristics of HCPs and the typical behavior patterns of five main types of high-conflict personalities. Then they walk you through their proactive approach for minimizing conflict and keeping interactions with HCPs as peaceful as possible. You’ll learn about—and see examples of—how to use a simple, proven four-step method to help calm HCPs, analyze your options, respond to hostility, and set limits on extreme behavior. While you cannot ultimately change someone else’s personality, you can adapt your own behavior and respond to the person in different ways that make things better at work for yourself, the high-conflict person, and your organization.
People with high conflict personalities (HCPs) clog our courts as plaintiffs with inappropriate claims against their personal "targets of blame," and as defendants who have harmed others and need to be stopped. Everybody knows someone with a High Conflict Personality. "How can he be so unreasonable?" "Why does she keep fighting? Can't she see how destructive she is?" "Can you believe they're going to court over ______?" Some HCPs are more difficult than others, but they tend to share a similar preoccupation with blame that drives them into one dispute after another—and keeps everyone perplexed about how to deal with them. Using case examples and an analysis of the general litigation and negotiation behaviors of HCPs, this book helps make sense of the fears that drive people to file lawsuits and complaints. It provides insight for containing their behavior while managing and/or resolving their disputes. Characteristics of the five "high-conflict" personality disorders are explored: Borderline Narcissistic Histrionic Paranoid Antisocial Bill Eddy is a lawyer, therapist, mediator, and President of the High Conflict Institute. He developed the "High Conflict Personality" theory and is an international expert on the subject. He is a Certified Family Law Specialist and Senior Family Mediator at the National Conflict Resolution Center. He has taught at the University of San Diego School of Law, is on the part-time faculty of the Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution at the Pepperdine University School of Law and the National Judicial College, and lectures at Monash University in Australia.
We live in an age of rapid change and instant communication. We also live in a Culture of Blame and Disrespect... Has anyone ever told you: “It’s all YOUR fault!” “You should be ashamed of yourself!” “You’re a disgrace to your _________________!” [family][community][country][team][profession][party][you fill in the blank] “What’s the matter with you? Are you crazy? Stupid? Immoral? Unethical? Evil?” And then were you told everything that’s “wrong” with you and how you should behave? It’s Not About You! Let’s face it. Most of us have said something like this when we “lost it” – hopefully not too often. But some people communicate this way a lot! It’s helpful to know that their personal attacks are not about you. They are about the blamer’s inability to control himself and solve problems. When people repeatedly use personal attacks, I think of them as “high-conflict people” (HCPs), because they lack skills for dealing well with conflict. Instead of sharing responsibility for solving problems, they repeatedly lose it and increase conflict by making it intensely personal and taking no responsibility. They are the most difficult people, because they are preoccupied with blaming others – what I call their “targets of blame” – which may include you! They speak Blamespeak: Attack, defend – and attack again. I wrote this book to help you respond to anyone who tries to engage you with hostile emails, texts, Facebook postings, vicious rumors or just plain difficult behavior. But before I explain how to write a BIFF response, I want to give you a brief understanding of how HCPs think. To deal with them successfully requires a shift in how you think about them - so that you know what not to do, as well as what to do. Your BIFF responses will be better if you know this. HCPs have a repeated pattern of aggressive behavior that increases conflict rather than reducing or resolving it. It may be part of their personalities – how they automatically and unconsciously think, feel and behave – and they carry this pattern with them. They tend to have a lot of: - All-or-nothing thinking (one person is all good, another is all bad) - Unmanaged emotions (exaggerated anger, fear, sadness – out of proportion to events) - Extreme behavior (yelling, hitting, lying, spreading rumors, impulsive actions, etc.) - Preoccupation with blaming others (people close to them or people in authority) To HCPs, it seems normal and necessary to intensely blame others. They can’t restrain themselves, even though their blaming may harm themselves as well. When problems and conflicts arise, instead of looking for solutions, HCPs look for someone to blame. They think that it must be all your fault or else it might appear to be all their fault – and they can’t cope with that possibility for psychological reasons. They become preoccupied with blaming others in order to escape being blamed themselves. But you can’t point this out to them, because they become even more defensive. To HCPs, conflict often feels like a life or death struggle. They feel that their survival is at stake, so that they often show unmanaged emotions and extreme behaviors – even in routine conflicts or under normal pressures. You don’t need to figure out whether someone is a high-conflict person. If you suspect someone is an HCP, just respond more carefully and understand that the person may have less self-control than you do. BIFF responses are a good method for coping with HCPs – and you can use them with anyone!
"High conflict people have predictable patterns of behavior and there are predictable ways to manage most of them once you understand their personalities ... The purpose of this book is to explain the HCP theory and key actions to consider in handling any type of HCP dispute. The focus is everyday disputes -- neighborhood, workplace, family -- but the ideas can be used with anyone in any type of conflict"--P. 5 of Introduction.
Blame abounds! People confront us at work, the store, and online. Nerves get on edge. We get stuck blaming others for anything that goes wrong. With high-conflict people increasing in society, the twenty-four-hour news cycle, and social media, we hear constantly about the worst behavior. The temptation is to react and blame. Instead, consider using the simple methods taught in this book for getting them out of the past and away from blaming everyone else. Get them to quickly focus on the future, take responsibility, and contribute to finding solutions to problems—including those they created themselves. When people complain and blame you, you don‘t need to defend yourself or respond with anger. Just calmly say: ―So, what‘s your proposal?‖ and focus on teaching the simple three-step method explained in this book. This method will help you stay calm and confident, while earning the respect of those around you—even those who want to blame you! And blame is abundant these days! Every day dozens—if not hundreds—of people confront us at work, at the store, in our communities, and online. Nerves get on edge. Look around; more and more people seem to blame others for anything that goes wrong in their lives. With high-conflict people increasing in society, with the 24-hour news cycle, and with Twitter, Facebook, and the Internet, we are constantly barraged with stories about the worst behavior of people and a plethora of terrible incidents every day. The strong temptation is to react and deflect blame back on them. However, this just feeds the problem. This book lays out a simple, proven method to shift the conversation from the past and blame, to the future and problem solving. The method is extremely effective; we have seen it work over and over again—many times in just 30 seconds. What‘s more, almost anyone can use it—it just takes practice, and this book offer lots of examples to help you get started.

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