Brain scientists have learned that you can change your own brain by practicing learning skills. You can even learn to do the opposite of what you once did, if you practice enough.

That’s how it is with writing BIFF (Brief, Informative, Friendly and Firm) responses. Even though you may feel tempted to write a Blamespeak response, you can train yourself to weed out the Blamespeak and just write a pure BIFF. You’ll be amazed at how well you can do. You can train yourself to think, feel and say to yourself: “His comments are not really about me.” “The issue’s not the issue.” “Her personality is the issue.” And other short, quick sayings that train your brain to not react defensively.

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With practice, you can keep yourself from slipping over into “fight, flight or freeze” or, if you get emotionally hooked, to bring yourself back fairly quickly. I have been teaching this skill for years and I still get emotionally hooked sometimes – but I catch myself much quicker than I used to and usually bring myself back to being logical and calm again. Writing BIFFs can really help you with that. It helps you focus on writing carefully, rather than emotionally reacting.

You can also influence the other person’s response to you. If you can respond calmly, it actually helps the other person manage their own fearful or angry response. In many ways, you can decide if the other person will react defensively or think logically about what you say – all based on your ability to send a BIFF instead of blame speak.

Excerpt from BIFF: Quick Responses to High-Conflict People: Their Personal Attacks, Hostile Email, and Social Media Meltdowns. Second Edition by Bill Eddy, LCSW, Esq. UNHOOKED BOOKS.


About Bill Eddy, LCSW, Esq

Bill Eddy is a lawyer, therapist, mediator and the President of High Conflict Institute. He developed the "High Conflict Personality" theory (HCP Theory) and has become an international expert on managing disputes involving high conflict personalities and personality disorders. He provides training on this subject to lawyers, judges, mediators, managers, human resource professionals, businesspersons, healthcare administrators, college administrators, homeowners’ association managers, ombudspersons, law enforcement, therapists and others. He has been a speaker and trainer in over 25 states, several provinces in Canada, Australia, France and Sweden.

As an attorney, Bill is a Certified Family Law Specialist in California and the Senior Family Mediator at the National Conflict Resolution Center in San Diego. Prior to becoming an attorney in 1992, he was a Licensed Clinical Social worker with twelve years’ experience providing therapy to children, adults, couples and families in psychiatric hospitals and outpatient clinics. He has taught Negotiation and Mediation at the University of San Diego School of Law for six years and he is on the part-time faculty of the Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution at the Pepperdine University School of Law and the National Judicial College.

He is the author of numerous articles and several books.

Areas of Expertise: Mediation, Family Law, Workplace, Judicial Officers, Court Systems, Governmental Entities, Mental Health Professionals, New Ways for Families.

To view his book, “BIFF: Quick Responses to High-Conflict People,” visit this link:

To view his book, “Don’t Alienate the Kids!” Visit this site: