Family Feuds: Navigating High Conflict Personality Clashes

Navigating High-Conflict Family Dynamics

In this episode of It’s All Your Fault, hosts Megan Hunter and Bill Eddy from the High Conflict Institute tackle challenging questions about high-conflict family members.

Helping a Child with Emotion Dysregulation

The first section covers a listener question about a 6-year-old daughter exhibiting emotional dysregulation similar to the possible borderline personality disorder (BPD) traits of her grandmother. Bill and Megan explain why a child that young can’t be diagnosed with BPD, but these early signs could develop into BPD without proper skills training. They recommend validating emotions while teaching healthy self-soothing techniques and impulse control. Genetics may play a role, but good parenting can help steer a child’s personality development in a positive direction.

Responding to False Allegations of Causing a Spouse’s BPD

The second section discusses an ex-husband accusing his ex-wife of causing his BPD through abuse in their marriage. Bill clarifies that marriages absolutely do not cause personality disorders, which originate in childhood and adolescence due to genetics and early experiences. He advises avoiding engagement with the false allegations and projections. Megan suggests using BIFF responses like “I see this differently” to avoid escalating conflicts. Bill notes the ex-husband may honestly believe the accusations even though they are untrue.

You may be wondering:

  • Can young children have personality disorders?
  • What are effective regulation skills for emotional kids?
  • How do genetics play a role in personality traits?
  • Does marriage cause personality disorders?
  • How to respond to false abuse allegations?
  • When is it impossible to have a calm discussion?

Key Takeaways:

  • Personality disorders can’t be diagnosed in young children
  • Teaching emotion regulation skills early can prevent future problems
  • Genetics influence but don’t determine personality outcomes
  • Marriage does not cause personality disorders
  • Avoid engaging with false accusations
  • Some people are unable to discuss issues calmly

Bill and Megan provide compassionate clarity on how to handle turbulent family dynamics involving high-conflict personalities. Tune in to gain insight into protecting your peace of mind.

Links & Other Notes

Note: We are not diagnosing anyone in our discussions, merely discussing patterns of behavior.

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