9 Tips to Communicate Better With Your Ex
There is nothing so disheartening than either putting your phone down, sending a text or email and standing there regretting everything that just happened, what was said and the backtracking (and reBUILDING) that now has to happen, on top of everything in divorce life.
Communicating with your ex is about you being wiser, calmer and less triggered.
In this gold nugget, I share with you my top 9 tips to not only communicate better, but changing the way you see communicating with your ex in a calmer way as something that is a positive - not matter how they are communicating with you. You will feel better, less guilty and the process will be easier and more positive an experience going forwards.
Your Amazing Grace
Grace doesn't hold fair hands with a war-mongering shoot-them-up verbalizer. So if you try to see yourself as being serene, calm and in your own protected, cool power. Even if you're up against an angry ex, you can let them have their space to be the fight-y one and just see if their attitude changes.
Preparation and Planning
Have a clear objective about what you're both going to talk about, email each other and an agenda about the subject matter, dates and times. Planning as with all difficult situations gives everyone due time to prepare to think about what is to be discussed.
Check in with Yourself
Get into the habit of embracing the natural mindfulness inherent within you. Each time before communicating get good at checking in to how you are feeling and work from there.
If you are minded to be vitriolic and send that email, then do write down your thoughts, feelings and frustrations beforehand so they don't inflame your ex. Then take that critical step back even for an hour, the rest of the day or overnight, and park the written stuff in drafts.
There were times at this juncture when I would try so very hard not to swear a lot. And I would ask myself why it is, with all our good intentions do we end up suddenly in this place, feeling guilty, disappointed with myself for not communicating better?
Because beautiful people, this is life. Acceptance is knowing that we cannot control everything and sometimes letting go of the small stuff is the big one. And none more so than when we are feeling vulnerable, fearful and unsure.
Give yourself permission to not be that person anymore. Do you in your most honest heart of hearts think your ex wants to hear any more complaints or personal flea in the ear grumblings? We all know it is dull, boring and keeps us in victimhood. Commit to it not being an option for either of you to continue to do. It invariably leads to arguments or closing down and then periods of no talking which is worse.
No matter how much you've been hurt, learning to deal with the drama yourself is empowering.
How angsty can we all become so very easily when we haven't eaten, are tired and maybe with a little alcohol under our belts. How easy is it to give more thought to the negativity that can naturally flow when we least expect it.
The powerhouse ego expands and five minutes later your phone call or email has depleted the goodwill pile you are trying so hard to build. Looking after your well-being is so important to your body and brain supporting you through these stressful times. So get your sleep in, nourish yourself with good fresh healthy food and use the tools you have to manage divorce stress.
The Drama Triangle
Have a look and begin to understand where you are in this. What aspect do you choose to adopt depending on the conversations you're having with your ex.
For me, it was a helpful reminder of the roles we can all choose to play depending on how we are feeling at any given time. So it shows us specific codependent destructive interactional patterns, which in the end can have a negative impact on our lives and future coparenting relationship with our ex and father or mother of our children.
Remembering your Manners
No matter how your mind has fashioned this person since your troubles began, there are still and will continue to be part of the fabric of your life. Especially if you have children.
They aren't going away and the bad memories may fade, but really will they disappear if we choose to be unkind rather than, at least polite. Know you can do this. Remember kindness is clever!
Keeping it Simple
Make what is important and needs to be dealt with your focus. Learning to be in a different relationship with your ex is weird, tricky and hard. But what is harder is not trying and the effects and the outcome and fallout of not trying.
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Book: Kindness for Conflict