What Does Splitting Have to Do With Politics?

© 2012 By Bill Eddy, LCSW, Esq.

[Excerpted from Splitting America by Bill Eddy and Don Saposnek]

We have come to realize that splitting in politics is driven by the same high-conflict behaviors as in family court. And, the result is also the same!

“If you are willing to engage in splitting, you can get very far – until enough people understand this dynamic and set limits on it.”

The Five Drivers of Political Splitting

1. Personal attacks (it’s about their morals, intelligence, sanity, etc., not the issue)

2. Crisis emotions (such as fear and anger, which trigger fear and hatred)

3. All-or-nothing solutions (such as eliminating a person or group)

4. Narcissistic behavior (saying you are a hero, while not really showing empathy for anyone else)

5. Negative advocates (recruiting others, such as Super PACs and attack ad consultants)

And, there is a lot of repetition, which strengthens the splitting and gives it the appearance of appropriate behavior and widespread acceptance.

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.