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About Bill Eddy
He provides seminars on mental health issues for judges, attorneys, and mediators, and seminars on law and ethics for mental health professionals. He has taught Negotiation and Mediation at the University of San Diego School of Law and serves as adjunct faculty at the National Judicial College and Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution at Pepperdine University. His articles have appeared in national law and counseling journals. He is the author of several books, including Dating Radar, BIFF: Quick Responses to High Conflict People, It's All Your Fault! 12 Tips for Handling People Who Blame Others for Everything, Don't Alienate the Kids: Raising Resilient Children While Avoiding High Conflict Divorce, High Conflict People in Legal Disputes and SPLITTING: Protecting Yourself While Divorcing Someone with Borderline or Narcissistic Personality Disorder.
Bill has been a speaker in over 25 states, Canada, France, Sweden, England, Greece and Australia. He has become an authority and consultant on the subject of high conflict personalities.
Bill obtained his law degree in 1992 from the University of San Diego, a Master's of Social Work degree in 1981 from San Diego State University, and a Bachelor's degree in Psychology in 1970 from Case Western Reserve University. He began his career as a youth social worker in a changing neighborhood in New York City and first became involved in mediation in 1975 in San Diego.
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Protect Yourself from Manipulation, False Accusations, and Abuse
Divorce is difficult under the best of circumstances. When your spouse has borderline personality disorder (BPD), narcissistic personality disorder (NPD), or is manipulative, divorcing can be especially complicated. While people with these tendencies may initially appear convincing and even charming to lawyers and judges, you know better—many of these “persuasive blamers” leverage false accusations, attempt to manipulate others, launch verbal and physical attacks, and do everything they can to get their way.
Splitting is your legal and psychological guide to safely navigating a high-conflict divorce from an unpredictable spouse. Written by Bill Eddy, a family lawyer, therapist, and divorce mediator, and Randi Kreger, coauthor of the BPD classic Stop Walking on Eggshells, this book includes all of the critical information you need to work through the process of divorce in an emotionally balanced, productive way.
Turn to this guide to help you:
Predict what your spouse may do or say in court
Take control of your case with assertiveness and strategic thinking
Choose a lawyer who understands your case
Learn how e-mails and social networking can be used against you
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.
Do you know someone whose moods swing wildly? Do they act unreasonably suspicious or antagonistic? Do they blame others for their own problems?
When a high-conflict person has one of five common personality disorders—borderline, narcissistic, paranoid, antisocial, or histrionic—they can lash out in risky extremes of emotion and aggression. And once an HCP decides to target you, they’re hard to shake.
But there are ways to protect yourself. Using empathy-driven conflict management techniques, Bill Eddy, a lawyer and therapist with extensive mediation experience, will teach you to:
- Spot warning signs of the five high-conflict personalities in others and in yourself.
- Manage relationships with HCPs at work and in your private life.
- Safely avoid or end dangerous and stressful interactions with HCPs.
Filled with expert advice and real-life anecdotes, 5 Types of People Who Can Ruin Your Life is an essential guide to helping you escape negative relationships, build healthy connections, and safeguard your reputation and personal life in the process. And if you have a high-conflict personality, this book will help you help yourself.
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!
That's why you need dating radar—it gives you a way to detect hazards you might otherwise miss by recognizing:
1. Warning signs of certain personalities that can spell relationship danger
2. Ways they can jam your radar (deceive you)
3. Where your own blind spots might be
Attorney, mediator, and social worker Bill Eddy and relationship expert Megan Hunter equip readers to see through the blinding haze of new love and spot potential toxic relationships before it’s too late!
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:
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.
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.
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.
Author Bill Eddy, LCSW, Esq., doesn't just analyze the debate (Parental Alienation Syndrome vs. Child Abuse Presumption); he also proposes his own theory of "1000 Little Bricks," based on recent breakthroughs in brain research about how children learn. In his theory, there are no bad parents, just bad behaviors - the behaviors of both parents, family members, friends and divorce professionals. Most of these bad behaviors go unrecognized in daily life, but they help build a Wall of Alienation between a parent and child. By becoming aware and using his tips, we can all help children build a Foundation of Resilience which will last them a lifetime.
By becoming aware and using his tips, we can all help children build a Foundation of Resilience which will last them a lifetime. This is a book for any parent even considering a divorce, and for any professional who wants to truly help parents raise resilient children. Bill Eddy's other books include: High Conflict People in Legal Disputes, It's All Your Fault!, Managing High Conflict People in Court, BIFF: Quick Responses to High Conflict People, Their Personal Attacks, Hostile Email and Social Media Meltdowns. He is also developed the New Ways for Families method for handling high-conflict custody disputes.
A BIFF response can be applied in any communication anywhere - on the Internet, in a letter or in person. It can be used at work, earning you respect and success. It can help you get along with difficult family members, friends, neighbors and others anywhere in your life. BIFF was designed to protect you and your reputation by responding quickly and civilly to people who treat you rudely - while being reasonable in return.
BIFF stands for Brief, Informative, Friendly and Firm. A BIFF response is easy to remember, but hard to do. It takes practice! This little book gives over 20 examples of BIFF responses for all areas of life - plus additional tips to help you deal with high-conflict people anywhere. See if you can do a BIFF! Not everyone can.
Democracy is under siege. The reason isn't politics but personalities: too many countries have come under the sway of high-conflict people (HCPs) who have become politicians. Most of these high-conflict politicians have traits of narcissistic personality disorder, antisocial (i.e., sociopathic) personality disorder, or both. This is the first and only guide for identifying and thwarting them.
HCPs don't avoid conflict, they thrive on it, widening social divisions and exacerbating international tensions. Eddy, the world's leading authority on high-conflict personalities, explains why they're so seductive and describes the telltale traits that define HCPs—he even includes a helpful list of forty typical HCP behaviors.
Drawing on historical examples from Hitler, Stalin, Mao, and Nixon to Trump, Maduro, and Putin, Eddy shows how HCPs invent enemies and manufacture phony crises so they can portray themselves as the sole heroic figure who can deal with them, despite their inability to actually solve problems. He describes the best ways to expose HCPs as the charlatans they are, reply to their empty and misleading promises, and find genuine leaders to support. Eddy brings his deep psychotherapeutic experience to bear on a previously unidentified phenomena that presents a real threat to the world.
This book describes general principles and suggestions for judicial officers to use in managing people with High-Conflict Personalities in any courtroom, with an emphasis on family court litigants. As explained in this informative book, approximately half of these cases appear to involve two or more parties who are HCPs, while the other half may be driven primarily by one HCP with the other party generally acting reasonably.