Your child has an eye infection. You’ve just taken him to the doctor and received antibiotics. He’s about to spend the weekend with your ex. Your ex decides that they are going to take your child to a cottage or the petting zoo.
You are outraged. The first several days of an eye infection should see the child protected from the likelihood of further contamination. A petting zoo is the last place you want them to go.
Your natural instinct is to scream at your ex and berate them for being so stupid. How can they possibly think of taking your child to a cottage or petting zoo with a fresh eye infection?
Learning to communicate effectively with your ex is a combination of:
- Expert coaching and skill
- Exceptional personal restraint
- Combined with a great deal of self growth
Firstly, if you feel that your ex is behaving like a child, and not doing the right thing, then it’s incumbent upon you to ensure that your behavior and communication does not match. You must be the adult.
Learning to communicate in a calm way is essential. Explain your points carefully, and ensure you back up those points with solid data, facts, and supported opinions from experts.
If they haven’t been listening to you up till now, they’re not likely to pay attention just to your voice. Ensure that you have support in the opinions you express from doctors, or specialists.
Secondly, swearing at them, calling them names, and berating them will only immediately get there back up. They will tune you out instantly. Worse than that, they will immediately start attacking you in return… not only on this issue but on numerous others.
If you are finding it difficult to do this, enlist the expert support of a coach. A good coach will be able to construct the right emails, with the right tone for you. In the process, you will start to learn to mimic and copy them in technique and manner of speech.
Thirdly, if it’s an issue that at times you’ve shown yourself some flexibility on, for example diet, show them some too. You can’t expect them to be extremely rigid, when you’ve chosen periodically to deviate a bit.
The Benefits of This Approach:
- You will vastly improve your relationship with your ex very quickly.
- You will learn to de-escalate the conflict, rather than contribute to it.
- You will reduce the stress in your own life.
- Your children will feel and notice the difference. It will make a considerable difference to their stress level.
- Should you have found yourself in a new relationship, with a new partner, they will be most appreciative of the lack of conflict between you and your ex. Every time it you and your ex escalate, they get more fed up of the relationship and come closer to wanting to cut ties. No one wants to end up in a new relationship in which their partner is involved in an ongoing skirmish.
Similarly, you will find when you communicate with a screaming child, the louder you get, the louder they get. The opposite should occur. The louder they become, the quieter your voice should be. Calm them down, reason with them, and discuss what is wrong, why they perhaps had an incorrect approach, and what the right one should be. Educate them,,, rather than yell at them.
You have the power to change any conversation, by choosing the right tone of voice, and words.
David Rosenberg is a divorce coach and conflict management specialist.
If you would like assistance with mediation or coaching, feel free to contact him for a consultation. David can provide the in-depth training and on-going advice to resolve the issues.
Reduce the Cost and Conflict… Succeed and Win.