Compromising with someone who won’t compromise
November 21, 2017 5:18 AM   Subscribe

I’m involved in a legal dispute over an insurance policy. It’s been going on for a year. The other party is completely unwilling to settle and it is eating me up inside. I know I can’t make them resolve this if they don’t want to. I need to focus on dealing with my own stress better. How can I do this?

The short version is that as far as case law goes, she needs to be paid her share first and then I would be eligible for the remainder. The haggling has been over what percentage of it constitutes her share. We have made various offers to her in hopes of avoiding escalating legal costs, and her position remains that she believes she is entitled to all of it, we should get none, the end.

The legal process, as it often is, has been slow and ponderous. There was a four-month delay when a piece of paper was filed a few hours too late by both lawyers. There was a case conference where we were 14th on the docket, didn’t get seen until 5 pm, and the judge had not even read the briefing. The next step is an evidence hearing in March. The thought of having all of this weighing on my mind until then makes me sick.

I’m not a confrontational person. I don’t enjoy drama. This has all been very hard for me. I just want this all to be done so we can move on with our lives here. But I can’t make her do it. I can only control myself here. So how can I manage this as better?
posted by ficbot to Human Relations (8 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Every state has an Insurance Commission; they'll be part of the Attorney General's office and website. They vary by state but may be able to help. Worth calling, in any case. I'm sorry you have to go through this.
posted by theora55 at 5:58 AM on November 21, 2017

Consider that money gone.

Not really, you're still going to go through the courts and the process and the settling, but as far as your mind is concerned that money is gone. There will be an evidence hearing in March that you can worry about in March, for a day, and then you will stop worrying about it until the next hearing.

There is nothing you can do, right now, to fix this. She is unwilling to compromise, so you be unwilling too. There is no money until you have the money and there is no settling until there will be a legal end to this so put it aside, all of it. Live as if this weren't happening at all. Surface briefly to deal with any practicalities like confirming with lawyers or scheduling transportation to the courthouse or what have you, but other than that, nada.

Sometimes compartmentalization is really your friend.
posted by lydhre at 6:39 AM on November 21, 2017 [19 favorites]

Some people are wired to simply never compromise. These people are bullies and sometimes get theirbway by being so ridiculous the other party decides to give up.

You can give up.


You can let your lawyer see this through to the bitter end. Assume thats what will happen and maybe discuss the long road. Your lawyer is an expert, you can follow their lead and not worry about details they don't think you need. You can practice mindfullness, I like headspace for this.
posted by Kalmya at 6:41 AM on November 21, 2017 [1 favorite]

It sounds like you are saying you have done everything you can that is useful, and you are looking for a way to stop stressing over what you can't effect.

Have you ever looked at zen meditation ? The basic idea is acknowledging your frustrations, accepting that there is nothing for you to to about this right now, and letting the frustrations go. It seems pretty spot on for what you are saying you want.

I would not normally suggest "go read a book" but it sounds like this problem is pretty long term and might be worth the investment of time.

I personally have always liked The Miracle of Mindfulness by Thic Nhat Hanh. It is more focused on direct meditation with examples, and less focused on spiritual aspects (in case that isn't something you are into specifically)

If you live in the Portland area you can have my copy if that interests you.

Best of luck
posted by Oceanic Trench at 6:45 AM on November 21, 2017 [1 favorite]

You are paying a lawyer to worry about this stuff, so let them. When they call and need something signed or need you to show up somewhere, do it. Otherwise just forget about it and go through the motions as needed until the court finally cranks through its process.
posted by COD at 7:41 AM on November 21, 2017 [6 favorites]

Mentally write off the money as gone. Visualize that amount, really get the number in your head, and wave goodbye to it. Oh, well, you'll tell yourself, that sucks to lose $x but my mental health is worth far more. $x is what it costs to be rid of this person's unreasonableness and that's the real victory. Have a little ritual. Treat yourself to a dinner out or whatever you would have done if the case were over.

Meanwhile. Do the dance your lawyers tell you to do. It's jury duty, it's some part of your job you don't like but you do anyway. With the knowledge that this shit takes forever for reasons like one piece of paper or 10 minutes, with the knowledge that this isn't the most important thing in anyone's day except Hers, with the knowledge that you already waved goodbye to $x, it will be easier to grit your teeth and again say oh, well. Any payout will be a bonus.

She might be really unreasonable and there's nothing you can do about that. Or, it's actually pretty likely her strident position is what the insurer or attorney has advised, and there's nothing you can do about that. You can stop thinking about her now.
posted by kapers at 10:05 AM on November 21, 2017 [1 favorite]

I hope someone else has better suggestions. But quoting myself in reply to someone else's question: "I'm afraid my answer boils down to 'get used to being miserable and angry.'"
posted by slidell at 2:30 PM on November 21, 2017 [1 favorite]

Oh, one good thing we did was turn awful moments into inside jokes as quickly as possible. Many of the people involved helpfully said horrible or nonsensical things whenever we talked to them, so we had a lot of material to work with.
posted by slidell at 2:53 PM on November 21, 2017

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