Sometimes, when I’m feeling amusing in a mediation, I’ll tell the other side, “Every great story, every book you’ve ever loved, has a fantastic villain. It’s just how it is. So, let me be the villain in this story. I can accept that role. And that way, you can still have a somewhat functional relationship with my client for the sake of the children.”
I’ll be honest though, it’s an exhausting line of work, constantly dealing with people at their worst.
I often tell clients that I hope to never see them again, for both of our sakes.
(Yes, I have an unusual approach to my practice. I don’t pull punches, especially with my own clients.)