Excerpt: It's All Your Fault!

By Bill Eddy

High Conflict Personalities

High Conflict People have high-conflict personalities. Conflict is part of who they are. It’s a life-long personality pattern of thinking, feeling, and acting. Time after time, they avoid taking responsibility for their problems. Time after time, they argue against feedback, regardless of how helpful or truthful it may be. And time after time, they try to persuade others to agree with their rigid points of view and to help them attack their Targets of Blame. The issues come and go, but their personality traits keep them in conflict. Their problems remain unresolved and the stress on those around them often increases.

From my own experience and the feedback of many people who take my seminars, the HCP personality pattern seems to be the same regardless of the kind of conflict or who else is involved.

High Conflict Personality Pattern

  1. Rigid and uncompromising, repeating failed strategies
  2. Unable to accept or heal from a loss
  3. Negative emotions dominate their thinking
  4. Unable to reflect on their own behavior
  5. Difficulty empathizing with others
  6. Preoccupied with blaming others
  7. Avoid any responsibility for the problem or the solution

Perhaps you know someone with this pattern. Someone who insists that you, or someone you know, is entirely to blame for a large, small, or nonexistent problem. If so, he or she may be an HCP. However, before you rush to tell that person that he or she is an HCP, remember... Don’t openly label people and don’t use this information as a weapon.


Professionals, don't forget to register for our Advanced Training Seminars on managing high-conflict people, held in San Diego, CA.

November 5 - 6: Managing High Conflict People at Work — Two Day Training

November 5: Managing High Conflict People at Work — Single Day Training

November 19 - 20: Managing High Conflict People in Mediation — Two Day Training

November 19: Managing High Conflict People in Mediation — Single Day Training


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:

Splitting: Protecting Yourself While Divorcing Someone with Borderline or Narcissistic Personality Disorder

BIFF: Quick Responses to High Conflict People, Their Personal Attacks, Hostile Email and Social Media Meltdowns

It’s All Your Fault! 12 Tips for Managing People Who Blame Others for Everything

For more information about Bill Eddy, please visit: www.HighConflictInstitute.com.