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Bill Eddy
NPD means the person lacks empathy, how’s the drive to be seen as superior, and is invested in insulting and demeaning those closest to them.

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Bill Eddy
This isn’t what people usually wanted to get into.

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Megan Hunter
So you're talking about those who have narcissistic personality disorder, correct

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Megan Hunter
?

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Bill Eddy
Yes. That’s NPD For short short.

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Bill Eddy
Most people get close to someone with NPD because they were a charmed by them. But that’s just where it starts. Then they become their target.

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Megan Hunter
I think if some people that I've been around to seem to have a pretty high image of themselves, but they wouldn't necessarily qualify for what we considered to be a narcissistic high conflict personality. Someone with the true narcissistic personality disorder is driven by a fear of feeling inferior, so they go through life needing to be seen as superior in every aspect of life. And the moment they feel inferior, they need to become demanding insulting demeaning, or just a complete pain in the you know what.
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Bill Eddy
Yes. White people often don’t realize is that that high self opinion also means they have to put down other people, especially those around them

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Bill Eddy
I meant while people…

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Megan Hunter
just yesterday I had a conversation with a 31-year-old woman who recently left a relationship with someone who she considered to have narcissistic personality disorder. her boyfriend was very charming and swept her off her feet in the beginning. But it wasn't long before she started to recognize that everything had to be all about him all the time, and that he especially lacked empathy for her or for anyone else. But what I found interesting about her experience with him with that she noticed that she was severely overreacting, way outside of her norm when she was around him..

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Megan Hunter
I think you meant while people, not white people... Just FYI for everyone.

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Bill Eddy
People are surprised at how they change their own behavior around someone with NPD. They start becoming a negative advocate without even realizing it. But negative advocates off and leave when they realize what’s going on.
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Bill Eddy
I hope people will ask some questions about this of us.

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Megan Hunter
Yes, people who become negative advocates for a narcissist eventually find themselves drained, exhausted, and feeling like they're living in chaos. Often, they lose themselves by just being in a relationship with a narcissist. It makes sense since for a narcissist they have to feel superior all the time, so it has to be about them all the time.

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Bill Eddy
People often say that being around a narcissist is like being in a room where the narcissist takes all the air and doesn’t leave any for anybody else.

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Bill Eddy
Do you want to explain negative advocates?

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Megan Hunter
I don't know how it is for you, Bill, when you're around someone with NPD. But I know for myself, that I am almost like a narcissist drug sniffing dog. Lol. My fighter fight center can pick up a narcissist very quickly, and my heart rate goes up and I feel like I just want to get the heck out of there. Do you have a similar experience?

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Megan Hunter
Oh I see you just asked if I would explain about negative advocates. essentially a negative advocate is someone who has been fooled by the narcissist charm, and they begin advocating for this person's personality for their behaviors and their way of thinking.

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Bill Eddy
Yes! That sounds familiar. I think that’s true for most people. But they often don’t realize why. By learning personality awareness, they can spot narcissist a lot sooner.

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Megan Hunter
What would be your top one or two tips on how to spot a narcissist?

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Bill Eddy
One is that they have to talk about them selves and appeared to have no interest in anyone else.

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Bill Eddy
The second is that they are constantly putting other people down.

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Bill Eddy
Another would be bragging about all the important people they know and how special they are.

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Megan Hunter
Let's talk about your first tip. What's the difference between someone who is just insecure and someone who really has narcissistic traits when it comes to talking about themselves?

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Bill Eddy
Within half an hour someone who’s just insecure and talking a lot will be interested in the other people around them. NPD can go more than half an hour just talking about them selves.

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Bill Eddy
Would you agree that putting people down is the second most common trait?

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Megan Hunter
Yes I agree that putting people down is the second most common trait. For a narcissist, feeling inferior or less than anyone else is just not optional for them so it, by nature for them, is common everyday life. So if you are around a narcissist, you will be put down, demeaned, yelled at, or insulted in some way.

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Megan Hunter
A quick question for you Bill.

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Megan Hunter
What happens when a narcissist feels like someone else in the room is getting more attention than them?

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Bill Eddy
You’ll often hear them start the next sentence with “Well I...” Then they try to one up the prior speaker. They have to compete with whoever spoke before of them to show that they are superior to whoever spoke before them.

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Bill Eddy
Just about everybody knows somebody who does this a lot.

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Megan Hunter
It's so annoying, and so exhausting to be around someone who makes it about themselves all the time. So what do you recommend when you find yourself around someone with these traits? Do you interrupt them and tell them to stop talking about themselves?

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Bill Eddy
If they truly have NPD, telling them to stop talking about themselves will blow up in your face. Instead, it’s better to try to say something else or end the conversation.

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Bill Eddy
People with personality disorders are highly defensive. That’s why you don’t want to criticize criticize them directly.

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Megan Hunter
Can you give an example?

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Megan Hunter
That is, an example of what to say to someone?

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Bill Eddy
With someone with NPD, if you pointed out to them they’ve experience” narcissistic injury.” So instead say “I’ve got To go now. There somewhere I have to be.” That avoids making it personal which triggers the defensiveness.

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Bill Eddy
Essentially, they dish it out all the time but they can’t take it.

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Megan Hunter
Yes, I found that to be very true. If you keep things external instead of personal, it helps to avoid their automatic natural pattern of taking everything personally.

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Bill Eddy
Have you noticed this is a common problem In high conflict Divorces?

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Megan Hunter
but this can be the hardest thing to do because it's human nature to want to explain yourself or to tell someone that it really isn't all about them, but like you said this can backfire or blow up in your face very quickly.

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Bill Eddy
Yes, you have to get comfortable restraining yourself in the situations.

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Megan Hunter
Yes this is a very common problem in high complex divorces. In fact one of the most common participants in high conflict divorce for a variety of reasons. One is they feel disrespected or insulted by their spouse or they don't feel like they can be in control or superior so this causes a lot of relationship problems which lands them in divorce court at some point and they're have to win all the time personality trait makes relationships extremely difficult as well.

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Bill Eddy
I think we see a lot of divorces involving someone with NPD, because it’s so hard to live with them.

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Megan Hunter
The most discouraging thing from my perspective is there's not a lot of hope for treatment for someone with NPD. That's why it's imperative for parents to raise their children with the right balance of nurturing but not indulging and over spoiling a child. You don't want to run the risk of creating a next generation narcissist.

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Bill Eddy
This is probably a good time to mention that we have several books that include narcissists in divorce, the workplace, and politics.

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Bill Eddy
And raising children not to be excessively self-centered is a good starting place. We need to teach empathy for others, not just for ourselves.
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Megan Hunter
Good point! Empathy is vital to healthy relationships and narcissists are seriously lacking empathy.
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Bill Eddy
It looks like our time is up for today but people can go to our website for more information: HighConflictInstitute.com.

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Megan Hunter
Have a great week everyone! See you next week.
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Bill Eddy
And we should let people know we have a lot of empathy for them if they are dealing with a narcissist at home, at work, or anywhere. Have a good week bye-bye
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May 30

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Megan Hunter
Good afternoon everyone.

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Bill Eddy
Hi Megan.

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Megan Hunter
What's new in Toronto, Bill?

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Bill Eddy
I’m at a conference About managing high conflict people in divorce. Lots of judges, lawyers, Counselors and others.

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Megan Hunter
What did you talk about today in your workshop?

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Bill Eddy
Today I talked about sociopaths. They are con artists and sometimes they come on professionals.

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Megan Hunter
Very interesting. What do you think is the main thing that people don't know about sociopaths?

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Bill Eddy
Easy it is to fool almost everyone!

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Bill Eddy
I Was conned once by someone who pretended To be somebody else.

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Megan Hunter
Yeah, what I've found with sociopaths and I've been kind by a couple of them, is that most of them are very charming in the beginning and they have a lot of stories that just don't add up... But it takes a while to figure that out.

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Bill Eddy
They charm people at the start, then tell you they need your help, then you help them and find out you help them hurt somebody else.

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Bill Eddy
Then they hurt you, or simply disappear.

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Bill Eddy
Anyone out there never dealt with a sociopath?

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Megan Hunter
Yeah it's pretty incredible to see how they operate. Are mines don't really allow for people to be social pass so we get fooled by the notion that no one would actually do that.

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Bill Eddy
They are really good at convincing you that somebody else is to blame for their own behavior. In legal cases including divorce, they convince professionals that the other person is really at fault for everything.

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Bill Eddy
They really and truly lack empathy and remorse. That really surprises people.

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Megan Hunter
I recall someone I dealt with who ended up getting around $5,000 out of a church group I was involved with all under the guise of having cancer and needing expensive cancer treatment. I actually had to go back to the books you wrote, Bill, and reread the sociopath chapters so I could figure out what I was missing. It was when I read about the confusion that occurs around sociopaths that really tipped me off to what I was dealing with.

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Bill Eddy
Megan, that’s a good example. Most people have empathy and want to help. A friend of mine took a woman around the world after she told him she had cancer. But she never did.

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Megan Hunter
Eventually I terminated the relationship when I realized that I've been completely taken. Another red flag that happened in that scenario is this person gave me a lot of gifts with beautiful packaging and bows for which I felt grateful, but it was really about straightening me along. Over time I begin to feel responsible for her very life, a place for her to live, a job for her to have. But when I did these things for her like get job interviews lined up, etc, she somehow sabotage them.

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Megan Hunter
That must have been a rough deal for your friend.

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Bill Eddy
Yes, he was really devastated. He really loved her but sociopaths can’t seem to love you back. This often shocks people.They don’t know who they married.

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Megan Hunter
Exactly! it must be devastating to find out that the person you're married to or in a long relationship with isn't who they say they are. This brings to mind the people you see or read about who found out there are spouse was married to many different people at the same time... And usually getting a whole lot of money out of them.

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Megan Hunter
Speaking of money the person I was conned by was going to all the big churches where I live, joining small groups in them, and giving her hard luck story to each of them. Each group was raising money for her, well not knowing about the other groups which is kind of like the multiple spouses scenario.

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Bill Eddy
Commonly it’s men Who marries several women at the same time, because more men are sociopaths. However, I know of a case where a woman married six ssailors At the same time.

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Bill Eddy
Sounds like yours was a woman also.

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Megan Hunter
Six sailors... Sounds like a rhyme. Lol!

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Megan Hunter
Yes the person I was dealing with was a woman which I think threw me off because some deep seated gender bias likely prevented me from thinking that a woman would con people.

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Bill Eddy
Actually, she seduced themBy having a great singing voice at a club.

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Bill Eddy
Yes, people are less cautious about women being sociopaths. However, I know several cases of women stealing money from youth programs. For years. No one suspected.

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Megan Hunter
I'm detecting a pattern of s's here. Six sailors, singer, sociopath..

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Megan Hunter
so it's a good lesson for everyone to avoid gender bias and just keep your eyes open and watch for patterns of behavior, right?

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Bill Eddy
You’ll have to write a song. What the research says is that sociopaths are 3/4 men.

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Bill Eddy
I think the key way to keep your eyes open is to realize when someone tells you someone else was acting badly, look at the person who said that as well.

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Megan Hunter
So there are more male than female sociopaths. Any idea why that is?

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Bill Eddy
It seems to be a genetic thing with men being born with some sociopathic tendencies more often than women. It may have something to do with the tendency to get into physical fights using physical strength. But now, it’s more about cunning andlying

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Megan Hunter
Are there any warning signs in children or young men that would indicate this person may grow up to be a sociopath?
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Bill Eddy
It may be that this personality help Group survive during wartime. Since there were more wars in the past, these personalities don’t fit in as well today.
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Bill Eddy
Warning signs: Petty theft, hitting small animals and pets, Fire starting As a pattern at an early age.
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Megan Hunter
So what's the solution, Bill? You and I teach how to deal with them if you're around them, but what do you do to prevent sociopaths from populating our society?
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Bill Eddy
People need to learn to have their eyes open and to avoid marrying them, hiring them, or electing them. They need to wait a year before marrying someone they are dating, because some can hide it that long.
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Question from Alex
This conversation kind of bums me out because it lumps people with personality disorders into the "avoid these people" category, which further stigmatizes them and only reinforces the idea that the world is in fact a scary place for them. I wish you had some compassion for these people, because with some self awareness and tools like Dialectical Behavioral Therapy they can overcome all of these challenges.
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Bill Eddy
We have books about this: Dating Radar, etc.

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Bill Eddy
There’s a difference between sociopaths and people with other personality disorders. Other personality disorders may change with tools like dialectical behavior therapy. But sociopaths aren’t good at changing.

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Megan Hunter
All good points. we can point people to our website dating - radar.com to read the survey that we gave to around 400 participants about having dated someone with a high conflict personality, and in that survey they could indicate if they thought the person was a sociopath. Then it's really fascinating to read through the rest of their responses to see what life is truly like with someone that started their relationship with barrel full of charm. Very devastating.
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Megan Hunter
So next week let's talk about the ability of people with high conflict personalities to change. We can discuss the five types of people that you and I teach about and their ability to change. How's that sound?
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Bill Eddy
If someone is concerned that they have a personality disorder and that people are avoiding them, they can work on themselves with a counselor. We always encourage people to get help for themselves as the solution. Next week we can talk about the personalities that to change.
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Bill Eddy
Good talk today!
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Megan Hunter
Yes indeed. See everyone next week on Thursday!
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Megan Hunter
I just noticed the comment - question from Alex. It is kind of depressing to think of people who aren't able to change, so I do agree with you. We've had to accept it as a fact of life and to try to help give everyone around them inside into their behaviors. And then we give tools and techniques to use with them which ultimately helps them because if those around them know what to do, it will keep everyone safer and less stressed. I hope that helps.
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June 27

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Megan Hunter
Good afternoon Bill.

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Bill Eddy
Hi Megan.

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Megan Hunter
Today we are going to talk about whether people with high conflict personalities can change.

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Megan Hunter
First, bill, perhaps you would like to explain what a high conflict personality is.

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Bill Eddy
Yeah, a hi conflict person is one who does a lot of blaming, has all or nothing thinking, sometimes unmanaged emotions, and some extreme behavior. If you see these four characteristics, you can usually predict about 40 moreConflict behaviors.

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Megan Hunter
What do You mean by all or nothing thinking?

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Bill Eddy
It’s a simple pattern of seeing things from extremes. Like it’s all my way or the highway. They see people as all good or all bad. Nothing in between.

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Bill Eddy
This makes them pretty hard to be around because even if they like you today they may really dislike you tomorrow.

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Bill Eddy
So the question is, can they change this? They can’t just flip a switch. For HighConflict People it takes a lot of time and training to change this behavior. Some can but some cant.

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Megan Hunter
I've seen this with people who try to shut others out of their family. The truly do see things in terms of all one way or all the other way, and can't see that they have other options. it seems they also don't have the ability to put themselves in someone else's shoes and see life from someone else's perspective. so along these lines, let's talk about weather folks with a high conflict personality can change. When I train people in this area, it's hard for them to get their mind around The fact that these folks just don't change.

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Megan Hunter
And there's a belief that was just giving someone some insight and explanations or arguments, that they can change their pattern of thinking, or as I like to call it their operating system.

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Megan Hunter
It is somewhat like trying to make a Mac computer behave like a PC. However, the Mac does not know the PCs rules, so it just keeps trying to explain an argue and convince that it should change, but it can't. It's programmed this way.

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Megan Hunter
Would you agree?

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Bill Eddy
Yes, It’s not so easy. First of all they need to recognize that they are doing this. High conflict people (HCPs) Don’t usually have this self-awareness. People have to ask them selves am I seeing things realistically or in an all or nothing terms.

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Bill Eddy
It’s like learning a new language which can take years.

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Bill Eddy
I wonder if anyone out there has experience dealing with someone with all or nothing thinking?

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Megan Hunter
Years indeed, if at all. This information can be disturbing, sad, and hard to grasp, especially when it's someone in your family. I've observed that people often go into a period of grieving when they learn that their loved one has a high conflict personality. Are there situations or people that do change?

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Bill Eddy
Yes, some people are having success with a therapy method called DBT. This method helps people integrate the two opposite of perspectives to see the good and bad in every one, and the gray area in most situations.

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Bill Eddy
But it can take years of practice.

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Bill Eddy
Other people never learn this and continue To blame other people and not take responsibility themselves.

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Megan Hunter
For the most part, however, because they like insight into their own behavior. ... They don't see that they are different from others or did they need to change because it is simply their operating system, one that has been developing for a lifetime. So, if you don't think you have a problem, and that everyone else is to blame for any problems you encounter, then there's no need to change.

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Megan Hunter
I meant to say because they lack insight...

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Bill Eddy
Yes, insight into oneself is the key. People need to learn to ask them selves two questions: what’s my part in this problem (Since it’s not all mine or all their fault)? And: what can I do differently in the future.

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Bill Eddy
If you could ask yourself those two questions you are less likely to be a high conflict person.

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Bill Eddy
But HighConflict People are so defensive they don’t ask them selves those two questions. That makes it hard to solve problems with them.

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Bill Eddy
And don’t tell someone you think there are a high conflict person.

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Bill Eddy
They interpret that to mean that you think they are all bad.

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Megan Hunter
Those are great questions that everyone should have on their list. In fact I have a situation coming up myself in which I need to ask myself what is my role in this situation.. and what can I do differently in the future. these are brilliant questions because they keep you focused on the future instead of thinking about past hurts, past wrongs and perceived in justices, right?

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Bill Eddy
Yes, one of the big problems with HighConflict People is that they are stuck in the past, defending what they did and criticizing what everyone else did. You can’t win an argument about that. But you can ask these questions to focus on the future. You are absolutely right about that.

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Bill Eddy
Megan, have you known anyone who changed their high conflict behavior.?

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Megan Hunter
It is difficult for people to wrap their mind around the fact that some people just can't change. And they will spend massive amounts of time, years of their lives trying to convince someone that they need to change, or waiting for someone to change, only to wake up one day to The realization that this person will not change. In fact, I have a good story about this.

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Bill Eddy
Go ahead!

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Megan Hunter
But I will answer your question first, Bill, about whether I've seen a high conflict person change. I have known a few people who have changed but it was typically someone who had a fear of abandonment issue, and they were able to have some insight into their issues but usually only after they went to some kind of counseling for relationship issues or other similar issues, and they got into the right kind of treatment which was dialectical behavior therapy in these cases.

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Bill Eddy
That’s DBT: dialectical behavior therapy. People can find a counselor who does this in most cities.

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Bill Eddy
We have a new question.Should we answer it now? Or do you want to tell your story of someone who didn’t change.?

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Megan Hunter
Earlier this month I was training legal professionals in Australia. After one such training one of the attendees approached me afterwards and said that she had been married for close to 30 years, had been separated from her spouse for separate times, several years of marriage counseling and individual counseling, where she was told that she just needed to learn how to communicate differently with her husband. After 25 years she had the insight during my training about her spouse's patterns of behavior, and it filled in the blanks of her life and helped her understand why her spouse had not been able to change. It was a powerful moment.

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Megan Hunter
Bill, why don't you go ahead and tackle that new question.

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Bill Eddy
Recognizing that someone will not change can be a huge inside and can save a lot of energy.

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Question from Kate
Do you have any recommendations for what to do when trying to manage life when the high conflict personality is the mother of your step-children and the 14yo is beginning to take on negative/harmful behaviors of her mother? The conflict seems to only be increasing and there never seems to be any negative consequences to the mother’s harmful behavior.

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Bill Eddy
This is a hard situation, Kate. We have seen this type of thing happen a lot. The short answer is to read a couple of our books titled: splitting, protecting yourself while divorcing someone with borderline or narcissistic personality disorder;And don’t alienate the kids. You can get these books anywhere.

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Bill Eddy
In short, you may need to set a little limits so that there are consequences for this behavior. Or talk to a counselor or a lawyer for how to set limits on the mother.

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Bill Eddy
The other thing is to model appropriate behavior and teach the 14-year-old about flexible thinking, managed emotions, and moderate behavior. This is what we teach in our New Ways new Waze for families method.

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Megan Hunter
Those are good recommendations because this is such a big topic making it hard to narrow down on a simple suggestions. Bill is right that it may need some intervention to the courts or something along those lines but on the soft skills side of it, the more you roll model positive healthy behaviors the better things will go in the long run. However as Bill said it takes some limit setting, which is one of the hardest things people can do.

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Bill Eddy
I think her time is up for this week. But we welcome more questions for next Thursday.

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Bill Eddy
I meant our time.

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Megan Hunter
Sounds good. Thanks everyone and have a weak full of flexible thinking... speaking of which that's what we will be talking about next time on good talk.

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Bill Eddy
Sounds good!

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Bill Eddy
Off-line now. Went ok. I hope we get more questions.
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