You Have A Hater On Your Hands

© 2014 By Bill Eddy, LCSW, Esq.

The Problem:

  • “Why can’t he stop sending me obnoxious texts?”

  • “She lies, and then she posts it for everyone to see!”

  • “My boss is harassing me by email”

You know who I mean – it’s that certain relative, friend, coworker, ex, customer or neighbor who is never happy, usually wrong, never listens to you and is very vocal. They can be particularly offensive when they do it in writing, and nowadays, with emails, texts, IM’s and social websites their opportunities to do just that are plentiful. They frustrate you, make you angry and they can even make you feel guilty because they blame YOU for their most recent problem. We have heard it repeatedly, and hot on the heels of these kinds of comments is the inevitable: “How do I stop it?”

The Myth:

Many websites offer insight into how to change a difficult person. It would be great if that advice worked but in our experience, difficult people don’t change just because we want them to. When we coach clients, we sometimes ask if they think it would be successful if we tried to convince a blind person into being able to see if the person would just listen to our point of view, try harder and stop hurting our feelings. It wouldn’t work, right? It won’t work with a high-conflict person either. The fact of the matter is that you probably can’t stop someone’s need to blast you with blame or exhibit other bad behavior--not permanently, anyway. I doubt that was what you wanted to hear, but stick with me.

A Solution:

What you can do is manage it when someone targets you. That’s what a BIFF Response is all about, and that’s why we have launched the BIFF Response website to help you learn how to give responses that are quick, effective and help get you back in control when that text exchange gets out of hand. A BIFF Response Is Brief, Informative, Friendly and Firm. Right about now most people say something like, “Friendly?!? Seriously? Why should I be friendly to that so-and-so?” I’ll get to that in later blogs (there is a brain science behind it), so for now you’ll just have to have a little faith that it works (see our testimonials, if you’re curious).

FINALLY! A website to help you respond to difficult people:

The BIFF Response website is a project of the High Conflict Institute and the teachings of Bill Eddy about how to manage interactions with high-conflict people. We are excited about being able to bring the BIFF Response® method to you. Check out our website while it’s fresh in your mind. You’ll find coaching, videos, books, articles, tips and tricks to help you cope with the demanding and time-consuming people in your life. Feel free to contact us with your questions, problems, stories and feedback. You are not at the mercy of high-conflict people, and we’re here to help you.

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.