Having the first conversation about divorce or the follow up ones about how you are going to proceed are difficult. You often avoid them for weeks, months or even years. Right? To assist you in getting it started, I have put together some tips on developing a plan of action to make it happen. The purpose of the suggestions is to keep you focused and flowing through the conversation and keep the discussion on task. But you should prepare yourself ahead of time by asking yourself a number of questions.
What is the ideal outcome of the conversation? What do you hope the conversation will achieve? The answer to these questions will help you define a purpose from which you can frame your discussion.
Try to avoid assumptions about the other person’s position. Assumptions can both get you in trouble and deflect from your objectives of the conversations. Remember “assumptions make an ass out of you and me.” So, be very cautious about assuming too much. Keep the conversation on “I’s.” I want. I need. I think. I feel. Avoid: You think. You feel. You need. If anything out of your mouth starts with “you,” try and change it to “I”.
Do you have emotional buttons that are being pushed by having the conversation? Look back at the history that go you here and try and understand ahead of time why you feel the way you do. Then own your feelings. You do not have to be embarrassed for ashamed of them. This will help you keep the conversation on “I need, I feel, I want.”
Prepare for the conversation ahead of time so you can stay in charge of yourself. Do not let the other person turn the conversation around and make it your fault. Ignore verbal attacks, put downs, and blame. If you remain calm and centered on the goal of the conversation, it may help the other person stay on task as well.
The next blog will discuss conversation skill that you can put into play during the conversation.