Mississippi Divorce Attorney Shares Tips for Communicating with Difficult People

A divorce can bring big changes for your day to day life, which can be refreshing if you were married to someone who, at the present time, you do not like, let alone love. Divorce can give you a great deal of physical and emotional space, but it is important to remember that it may not be possible to walk away from your marriage and never speak to your former spouse again. In fact, if you have children, your former spouse is someone with whom you must communicate on a fairly regular basis because the realities of co-parenting require it.

Fortunately, communicating with a former spouse does not mean that you must continue to endure the behaviors that made your marriage unbearable. You have some degree of control over how the communication goes, which can be a saving grace, especially if your former spouse is a narcissist or a high-conflict person. The following suggestions are useful tactics for communicating with people who are difficult to communicate with, including and especially. former spouses.

Communicating with someone who is engaging in difficult behavior is not easy, but it can be done. Prepare yourself ahead of time and make a plan to not engage in any comment that is not directly on point. If you are discussing what time they will bring the children back to your house after a visit and your former spouse says something sarcastic, like “I can bring them back around eight, unless you won’t be finished with your dinner date with that loser by then”, grit your teeth if you need to and respond only to the relevant part of what they said. For example, either “Eight would be fine.”, or “How about seven.”, or whatever response you need to give, restricting yourself to only discussing what time they will drop off the kids – your former spouse does not need to know why any particular time will work or not work for you, you simply have to find a time that works for both of you. If your former spouse refuses to address the question at hand, end the communication and try again later.

Another thing to remember when communicating with people who are hard to deal with is that “yes” and “no” are excellent replies and they should be used often. People who are hard to deal often stray from the intended purpose of the conversation, in order to sling insults or to try to elicit a strong reaction from you. Responding with a simple “yes” or “no” answer does not supply the strong reaction that they are looking for, while providing the necessary information.

Setting and maintaining firm boundaries will help your communication with your former spouse stay on track. If your ex is constantly dropping the kids off late, let them know that that is not okay. The same goes for when they ask you to pick the kids up from school on a day that is not your assigned day. Stick to your parenting schedule, because once your former spouse asks a “favor” of you and you do it, you may find that they ask constantly and become increasingly difficult if you say “no”.

Mississippi Divorce Attorney Matthew S. Poole has helped many Mississippi residents move forward with their lives through the divorce process. To learn more, call our office today, at (601) 573-7429, to set up a free consultation.

 

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Mississippi Divorce Attorney Shares Tips for Communicating with Difficult People
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Mississippi Divorce Attorney offers tips for communication during divorce.

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