November 2016 - Greenville SC Therapist
Three steps to reduce conflict with a high-conflict person:
Are you struggling to deal with a difficult person who seems to love conflict? High conflict people are fueled by conflict, while the rest of us are exhausted by it. It’s easy to get stuck in the back and forth, but it’s actually easier to get out of it, once you know how.
High conflict people thrive on arguments. It’s stimulating and intimate for them. If you continue the back and forth you are reinforcing this bad behavior. Either stop responding or agree to disagree and stop responding. Did I mention stop responding?
Ever heard of hopium? Yes, hopium….it’s a drug. It’s the number one reason kind, compassionate,reasonable people end up knee deep with a high conflict person. Stop hoping they will change. (Dramatic pause) This is their best behavior…..what you saw initially was an act.
Sometimes you have to go No Contact. If you do not have this option, reduce contact to the bare minimum and keep everything in writing. Dont be surprised if this is met with extreme anger that vacillates with superficial apologies. Don’t buy it. If a person can’t respect your boundaries when ask to be left alone, why would you let them back in?