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BIFF has helped me when dealing with BM with Mental Issues

Constant work's picture

Just wanted to offer something that has helped me deal with crazy BM(HCP) when I have to, it is generally via email.

What is a High Conflict Personality (HCP)? HCP’s have a pattern of increasing high-conflict behavior that increases conflict rather than resolving it. Bill Eddy, Therapist, Lawyer, and Conflict Management Expert, says that there is an Observable High Conflict Pattern for HCP’s that can be identified by the following four characteristics:

• All-or-nothing thinking – HCP’s see only one solution and don’t take into consideration others points of view. Compromise and flexibility seem impossible for them.

• Unmanaged emotions - HCP’s are often very emotional about their points of view, expressing intense fear, anger, yelling or disrespect for those involved.

• Extreme behaviors - HCP’s frequently engage in extreme behavior. They may shove, hit, spread lies and do whatever they need to in order to get their own way.

• Blaming others – HCP’s don’t accept responsibility for their own actions and blame others for problems in their lives. They are highly critical of others, but see none of their own faults. They feel as if they might not survive if things don’t go their way.

It seems we all know someone with these characteristics. Using BIFF responses, we can at least take the stress off of ourselves a bit because it works to end the escalation of emotion:


BIFF Responses avoid the 3 “A’s”:
1. Admonishments
2. Advice
3. Apologies (They will use this as proof that YOU ARE WRONG)

I really enjoy this site. It has been very helpful to me personally. I hope that the information is helpful to others as it has been to me.

Constant work's picture

The crazy will NEVER change. :-). It does help me with the stress associated with having to deal with her though. I find that it also decreases the instances where she comes back mad as well.

Thumper's picture

Why do you believe you must deal with someone like this? Did someone tell you that you had to?

So sorry that you are going thru this experience. Sad

notsurehowtodeal's picture

BIFF is a life saver. There used to be a site devoted to dealing with "psycho ex-wives" and that was the first thing I learned there. A lot of the DH's on this site should try it - many of them communicate way too much with the BM's.

When DH started using it in all of his emails to BM it helped a great deal. He stripped all emotion and judgement and arguments out of the emails. He addressed the issue at hand in as simple a language as possible. (This was also necessary as she had a problem understanding "big" words.) BIFF helped him not "trigger" her anger as much.

I currently have a friend going through a difficult divorce and gave him the book "BIFF" by Bill Eddy. He keeps it by his computer and it has really helped the communication with his soon-to-be-ex high conflict wife.

Constant work's picture

(This was also necessary as she had a problem understanding "big" words.) Notsurehowtodeal I'm rolling! Too funny!!! Thanks for making my morning!

KH4573's picture

Very resourceful. It is exhausting to have to deal with people who lack emotional regulation and maturity.