The BIFF Response(SM) Method For Family, Relationships and Everyday Situations
A Neighborhood Example
Kimberly and her husband, Victor, lived slightly downhill from their neighbor Jake. Kim and Vic had lived there for about ten years when Jake moved in. Over the months, they would give a friendly wave to Jake and they had exchanged phone numbers and email addresses at a neighborhood picnic.
After about six months, Kim and Victor received an email from Jake demanding that they cut off the tops of their trees, so that his view of the lake was completely unobstructed. Kim and Vic walked up to see the view from beside Jake’s house and observed that their trees barely affected his view –in fact, in a few years they thought it might make a nice frame on both sides of Jake’s view of the lake. So they kindly emailed back that there was no need to cut their trees and that from their observations, there was no problem. Then, they received a nasty email from Jake threatening to sue them if they did not do a he said and he had copied the email to several other neighbors.
Should they contact a lawyer? What should they say back to Jake? What would you do?
Resources for Parents
Worldwide, people are in relationships with a High-Conflict Person who is dependent on others to solve their routine problems and angrily blames anyone but themselves when the HCP has troubles (and the troubles never seem to end). This behavior is all too common and it’s especially easy to do these days with email, texts, Facebook, Twitter and other social media. You can add and lose friends instantly with the simple click of a mouse! This gives HCP’s a great feeling of power and they often use it instead of solving problems.
- This can be an HCP who drains family for decades, before they figure out how to set limits without making things worse.
- The HCP might also be your so-called friend who periodically blasts you on Facebook and all her/your friends comment on it.
- Maybe you have an ex-spouse who constantly sends you texts and leaves voice mails berating you for your lack of parenting skills.
- It could be your co-worker who sends derogatory emails to you, other employees and your boss.
- It might be your neighbor who sends letters to the homeowner’s association with unfounded complaints about you, your kids and your pets.
- The HCP could be your brother who blames his job loss on your not giving him a ride and emails Mom all about it. Now she’s mad at you too.
These are just a few of the situations where you might find a High-Conflict Person, or be an HCP’s target of blame. Chances are, it’s happened before, and it will happen again. Do you know how to respond?
BIFF Responses are specifically designed to help you respond to written hostilities, but it can also be used in person-to-person verbal confrontations. BIFF is Brief, Informative, Friendly, and Firm (don’t let the friendly part fool you). It’s a simple set of tools that’s quick and effective in dealing with today’s High-Conflict communications, and we price it to be affordable to everyone. Check out our products, services and trainings for more information and contact us with questions or comments.
Related Article: What to Tell the Kids About a High-Conflict Co-Parent
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Other Third Party ResourcesCustody and Communication Made Easy. - The OurFamilyWizard® website
Co-parenting and shared/joint child custody management for divorced or unmarried parents. Parenting time, visitation schedules, activities, expenses, messaging, journals and more.