In our community of family law practitioners, we have heard some local mental health treatment providers use the phrase, “crazy making behavior.” This phrase specifically refers to people who engage in behaviors that make you want to go crazy because they don’t make sense, they are irrational, etc. There are many reasons that a party may engage in crazy making behavior, including but not limited to actual diagnosable long-term psychopathology, serious anxiety or depression, habitual or situational substance abuse, etc.
The person that is made a crazy by these “crazy making behaviors” is the other party because the other party doesn’t know how to handle the other party’s crazy behavior: ignore it, respond to it? So how do you avoid being made crazy by an opposing parties irrational behavior?
The most common question my “sane” clients ask themselves that causes them to spiral into insanity is, “Why?” My clients ask themselves the following kinds of questions:
- “Why is he/she doing that?”
- “What is he/she thinking?”
- “Why doesn’t he/she do . . . [some logical act] ?”
If you find yourself asking these questions over and over again during your family law case, either stop asking or go to your own mental health treatment provider and ask them the questions so that your counselor can help you decide whether there is an answer to your questions or if you just need to drop it, assess the facts and proceed with your case regardless of the opposing parties irrational and illogical actions.
After a certain point, asking yourself why somebody does something or trying to figure out what they are thinking when they are engaging in crazy behavior will only drive you crazy. The trick is to identify when it is still safe and healthy for you to be asking, answering and acting upon your answers to these questions (to defend or prosecute your case) or when there really are no answers to your “Why?” questions and move on with your own plan decisively.
In short, don’t get sucked into overanalyzing the opposing parties crazy making behavior and letting their behavior negatively impact and influence you.
Please comment, add, refute, clarify or inquire regarding this posting if you are so inclined. I would love for this blog to become a helpful dialogue and resource.