Bill Eddy’s High Conflict Institute always has great information in the field of managing High Conflict Personalities in the context of divorce and Family Law cases. It is difficult, if not impossible, to manage some people that present as High Conflict; often these people have traits of personality disorders that make their behaviors and communications toxic. As is pointed out below, the HCP (High Conflict Person) is not going to change, but you as the stable and rational party can always choose how to respond. One element that the article does not mention is the benefits to using a third party, such as a skilled Parenting Coordinator, to intercede in conflict situations, and allow the rational person to retreat to the safety of the Parenting Coordinator, instead of arguing or fighting with the HCP. In other words, if the HCP wants a toxic fight, don’t reward the bed behavior. Choose better ways to manage HCPs, and preserve a bit a tranquil space for yourself and the children.
The 4D’s of High Conflict Divorce
1. Disengage: You are in conflict with your child’s other parent because their words and actions negatively trigger and affect you and your children. And, like most parents, you will do anything to protect your children form harm – physical, verbal and emotional. If you take the time to sort through your triggers and plan a strategy for how to cope when triggered, you will be putting yourself (and your children) on a path for healthier conflict resolution.