Find a Therapist
Share this Blog
Authenticity in my practice
Starting my own hypnotherapy practice has been anything but straightforward. As with anything new, I'm struggling to find my ...
I see us as energetic beings with the ability to change; everything around us has energy as do thoughts, emotions and feeling...
Relationships: Start Strong and Stay Strong
Relationships – Start Strong and Stay Strong Relationships can be resilient and enduring. It’s important to go in...
Questions from an Aspiring Therapist (And Useful Information for a Better Awareness)
Questions from an Aspiring Therapist (And Useful Information for a Better Awareness) Why did you become a Mental Health coun...
Too often people view time as a dangerous enemy. When time is actually waiting to befriend us. It's not uncommon to hear comm...
- August 2011
- September 2011
- October 2011
- November 2011
- December 2011
- January 2012
- February 2012
- March 2012
- April 2012
- May 2012
- June 2012
- July 2012
- August 2012
- September 2012
- October 2012
- November 2012
- December 2012
- January 2013
- February 2013
- March 2013
- April 2013
- May 2013
- June 2013
- July 2013
- August 2013
- September 2013
- October 2013
- November 2013
- December 2013
- January 2014
- February 2014
- March 2014
- April 2014
- May 2014
- June 2014
- July 2014
- August 2014
- September 2014
How to Respond to Personal Attacks, Hostile Emails & Social Media Meltdowns
Most of us have had the experience of being involved with, or meeting, people who are overly aggressive or hostile in their interactions with us and others. This might be in the workplace, social situations, or in our family. Instead of discussing issues they resort to personal attacks, hostile email, or social media meltdowns.
A recent book by Bill Eddy, LCSW, J.D., co-founder and president of the High Conflict Institute provides an easy to remember way of dealing with these people.
However, even though it might be easy to remember Eddy's suggested approach using it means learning specific skills and putting them into practice.
Responding to High Conflict People
In his book (BIFF: Quick Responses to High Conflict People, HCI Press, 2011) Bill Eddy gives examples of applying his model for responding to HCP (High Conflict People).
The first step in Eddy's model is deciding whether you should respond or not. Some attacks are best not responded to. But in situations where an on-going relationship has to be maintained, as in a family, Eddy suggests that responses be Brief, Informative, Friendly and Firm.
Responses should be short. For example one paragraph, 2 to 5 sentences in most cases.
Provide only objective information. Do not give your opinion or get defensive about the subject. Provide straight information in neutral terms even when you might be personally attacked (this can be very hard and requires "not taking the attack personally").
This can be the hardest part, especially if it's a personal attack, but it is very important. . . Bill Eddy gives some examples, say something like: "Thank you for telling me your opinion on this subject", or "Thanks for your email. Let me give you some information you may not have." Ending with a "Thanks" or a "Have a nice weekend" can also help.
The goal of the BIFF message is to disengage, to end the conversation. If you do need a response setting a firm reply date can be helpful, or if you are going to take action if the other person does not do something. For example: "If I don't receive the information I need by [date], then I will have to do [action]. I really hope that won't be necessary."
There are some flaws in the book as there are in all books, but the information and examples he provides are invaluable. I highly recommend getting and reading this book (several times).
You can order this book from my website http://maxaugustmft.com/BuyBooksAndCDs.en.html
(This article was also posted on http://ConstructiveFamilySolutions.com)
© Copyright 2014 by J. Max August, therapist in Santa Barbara, California. All rights reserved.