High conflict parents can’t seem to stop themselves. They are repeatedly told to behave, by counselors, lawyers and judges. Yet they keep behaving badly, and often behave worse. Why is this?
HCP parents are naturally defensive. They feel at war with the world. They take things personally, they over-react emotionally, and they often blame someone else for all of their problems – what I call their Target of Blame.
In other words, “the issue’s not the issue.” You pick an issue, and they’ll take things personally, over-react emotionally, and blame their Target of Blame. You help them solve a problem, then there will be a new issue – which they’ll take personally, over-react emotionally, and blame their Target of Blame. The problem is their personality-based difficulty in resolving conflicts and solving problems.
High-conflict parents are not self-aware. They do not see the effect of their own behavior on others, including their children. It is as if they are blind. You can’t get them to see, even if you yell, say it softly, or give a long explanation. They just won’t get it, because they don’t have the ability to get it – yet.