Excerpt: It's All Your Fault! 12 Tips for Managing People Who Blame Others for Everything
Setting limits is not a simple subject when an HCP is involved. It’s like walking a tight rope or walking on eggshells. Yet it’s often necessary. If you avoid setting limits with an HCP, you risk an escalation of conflict in your life—no matter how empathetic and respectful you might be. This is because HCPs generally can’t stop themselves.
Remember, their behavior is driven by their own spontaneous Internal Upsets— their feelings of distress and danger. While you can calm down an HCP with your E.A.R., this won’t change his or her personality. Sometimes it changes their behavior toward you as the Target of Blame, and sometimes it has only a very brief impact. We’ll talk about setting limits in depth in Tip #11. In the mean- time, here are a few brief points.
- Setting Limits is not aggressive. The goal is not to harm or destroy the other person, or to threaten the person unnecessarily.
- Setting Limits is not passive. The goal is not to ignore Behavior that’s Aggressively Defensive, which HCPs can quickly escalate if they feel there are no realistic limits.
- Setting Limits is assertive. The goal is to protect yourself by putting limits on the HCP’s behavior—stopping the behavior without attacking the HCP. Tip #11 addresses many ways to do this.
- Often, setting limits doesn’t require saying anything, just acting differently.
- Setting limits is best done in a matter-of-fact manner, with empathy and respect.
About Bill Eddy William A. (“Bill”) Eddy, L.C.S.W., J.D. is a family law attorney, therapist and mediator, with over thirty years’ experience working with children and families. He is the Senior Family Mediator at the National Conflict Resolution Center in San Diego, California. He is also the President of the High Conflict Institute, which provides speakers, trainers and consultants on the subject of managing high-conflict people in legal disputes, workplace disputes, healthcare and education. He has taught Negotiation and Mediation at the University of San Diego School of Law and he teaches Psychology of Conflict at the Strauss Institute for Dispute Resolution at Pepperdine University School of Law. He is the author of several books, including:
For more information about Bill Eddy, please visit: www.HighConflictInstitute.com.