National Email Week: How to Respond to Blamespeak (Excerpted from BIFF)
© 2011 By Bill Eddy, LCSW, Esq.
BIFF: Responding to Blamespeak
Many people initially react to Blamespeak with Blamespeak of their own (“counter Blamespeak”) – even people who are not ordinarily high-conflict people. Such counter attacks are a normal human response to the unrestrained aggressive behavior of others. Your counter attack might even be true. But pointing it out to an HCP won’t change anything. Usually it will just escalate the situation. For example, you might be tempted to say or write:
“YOU’RE the one who’s stupid, crazy and unethical! Let me tell you what’s really…”
“Look in the mirror, Buddy! Here’s what you’ll see…”
“You’re an idiot if you think I’m going to respond to your long-winded B.S. and incoherent babbling (or lies)!”
“If you don’t do something about this problem, I’m going to expose your illegal, fraudulent and unethical behavior to everyone! First of all, …”
“You have no clue what you are talking about and should just shut up! I’ll tell you …”
Such counter Blamespeak not only doesn’t work; it also makes you look like an HCP to those outside the situation. Then, the HCP uses your reaction to justify a new round of Blamespeak, and on and on. The key is to not over-react, but to respond quickly with a BIFF Response® to Blamespeak. Or not to respond at all, which is often the best idea.
The rest of this book gives you a simple strategy for knowing when and how to respond to Blamespeak – or any frustrating behavior – with a BIFF response. Chapters Four through Nine provide BIFF responses to specific situations, but they also add tips which you may find helpful in any setting. Chapters Three and Ten explain some recent brain research that indicates that you may influence how others will respond to you, by how you choose to respond to them. So choose your words carefully.
To learn how to write a BIFF, for more help information on dealing with high conflict people and their Blamespeak, visit our website: www.highconflictinstitute.com
Bill Eddy is a lawyer, therapist, and mediator. He is the co-founder and Training Director of the High Conflict Institute, a training and consultation firm that trains professionals to deal with high conflict people and situations. He is the author of several books and methods for handling high conflict personalities and high conflict disputes with the most difficult people.