Anne Spearman - Greenville SC Therapist

Three tips for reducing conflict with high-conflict people

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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.

pick-your-battles

1. Disengage

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?

2. Detox

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.

3. Disconnect

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?

Ever feel like this?

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3 Things That Can Make You Look Erratic During A Custody Battle

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1. Frequent emails to the Guardian Ad Litem

Although there is often a lot of information to share with the GAL, it’s important to consolidate your emails into one email a week (max) unless you are responding to a email from the GAL. Frequent unsolicited emails from a parent can come across as a person who has poor impulse control, boundaries and insight into the fact that they have other cases and are often in court. Additionally, it helps to send you emails to your attorney, therapist or family member for editing before sending.

2. Contacting your ex to vent

Despite the fact that until recently you might have been able to tell your spouse how you were feeling, things have just changed dramatically. It may be your action instinct to reach out to this person, as you likely have done for years, but in high conflict cases you need to resist this urge and direct it elsewhere. As the saying goes, this can and may be used against you….to make you look unstable or worse.

3. Inconsistent or chaotic visitations with children

In situations involving supervised visitation, I’ve seen a few cases where a parent’s desire to keep the visitation “fun” translated into chaotic. Routine and consistency are important for kids and visitation is a time to work on spending meaningful time with your children. Additionally, if your visitation is supervised, take into consideration that you want to provide an atmosphere that allows you and your children to be observed with the least amount of distractions.

HIgh Conflict Divorce: Working with your Attorney

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Are you worried about finding the right attorney for your high conflict divorce? Anxious about your ex’s ability to manipulate everyone around them, including a judge and other legal professionals? If you are divorcing a Narcissist, then one of the most important factors to your surviving this major life event is finding the right lawyer. The market is saturated with attorneys who “handle divorces” but that does not mean that they are prepared to represent you in a high conflict divorce.  Read More

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