A Conversation with Amanda Ripley: a Best-Selling Journalist’s View of High Conflict
In 2021, we noticed a new book that was gaining a lot of attention—titled High Conflict. Of course a book with that title grabbed our immediate attention and piqued our curiosity, as high conflict is what we think about all day every day. After reaching out to the author, Amanda Ripley, we were quickly intrigued by her research and perspective and have since spent time getting to know each other’s work.
We are enormously pleased that Amanda has agreed to come on our show and happy to introduce her to listeners who haven’t yet heard about her. She is a New York Times best-selling author and investigative journalist. She started her journalism career covering courts and crime for Washington City Paper. She then spent 10 years working for Time Magazine in New York, Washington and Paris. Currently, Amanda lives in Washington, D.C., with her family. To discuss her writing, Amanda has appeared on ABC, NBC, CBS, CNN, FOX News and NPR. She has spoken at the Pentagon, the Senate, the House of Representatives, the State Department and the Department of Homeland Security, as well as conferences on leadership, conflict resolution and education.
In this episode, Bill will discuss “high conflict” with Amanda, including:
- “macro” view of high conflict: mostly large groups and political conflicts (city council, gangs, rebels in Colombia), and “micro” view of interpersonal high conflict (divorce, workplace, legal disputes)
- how to get out of high conflict situations and how to avoid them, and how to deal with high conflict if you can’t totally get out, such as co-parents, workplace bullies, and legal entanglements
- what it takes to reduce high conflict behavior and the need to get people to talk more and judge each other less
- teaching journalists to ask more questions for depth beneath the conflict and to use the phrase both Bill and Amanda both love to use: “Tell me more!”
Links & Other Notes
- Amanda’s book High Conflict: Why We Get Trapped and How We Get Out
- In Harvard Business Review: How to Work with Someone Who Creates Unnecessary Conflict
- On CBS News: Book excerpt: “High Conflict,” when life becomes “us vs. them”
Our website: https://www.highconflictinstitute.com/
All of our books can be found in our online store or anywhere books are sold, including as e-books.
You can also find these show notes at our site as well.
Note: We are not diagnosing anyone in our discussions, merely discussing patterns of behavior.
- 00:00 – Welcome to It’s All Your Fault
- 01:30 – Meet Amanda Ripley
- 06:39 – Defining High Conflict
- 11:04 – The Reasons We Get Trapped
- 12:13 – Conflict Entrepreneurs
- 14:32 – Strategies for Getting Out of High Conflict
- 21:26 – Spending Time with HCIs
- 22:12 – Tell Me More
- 24:41 – Complicating the Narrative
- 28:17 – What She’s Teaching to Journalists
- 30:22 – Polarization
- 34:18 – Wrapping Up
- 35:09 – Reminders & Coming Next Week: Q&A Lab
Each week, Bill Eddy and Megan Hunter will be exploring the five types of people who can ruin your life — people with high conflict personalities — and how they weave themselves into our lives in romance, at work, next door, at school, places of worship, and just about everywhere, causing chaos, exhaustion, and dread for everyone else.