These tips are tried and tested and can be applied to any discussion; however they really come into their own if you need to get through a difficult or awkward conversation.
1. Be clear about the point that you are trying to make, think before you speak and form your argument before you present it to others.
2. Stick to the line of argument supporting this point.
3. Take a constructive not destructive approach, support your own argument rather than knock down the other persons.
4. You know the sporting adage ”play the ball not the man”?, the same logic applies here, attack the point not the person.
5. Speak directly, stick to the point and avoid ambiguity.
6. Don’t try to read people’s minds, assumptions are not helpful.
7. Don't expect them to read yours, communicate clearly.
8. Don’t resort to blaming, instead look at the cause and effect.
9. Don’t talk over the other person, allow them to finish what they are saying.
10. Don't exploit people's weaknesses such as shyness or fear.
11. Don't allow them to exploit yours.
12. Stick to the current issue, don’t dig up things from the past.
13. Be empathetic, try to understand the other persons point of view.
14. Respond don’t react, take time to think before you reply.
15. Set emotions to one side and argue with logic.
16. Don’t say anything you may regret saying the day after.
17. If you haven’t resolved it within 10 minutes, look back over this list and see which tip or tips you’ve missed!
Remember that in the adult world respect means accepting that other people are entitled to have a different point of view. You deserve to have your point of view respected and so do they. Agreeing to disagree can be a viable conclusion. If it's a serious matter, an arbitrator may be required.
The end of a marriage or serious relationship can come as an incredible blow. Often our identity becomes fused with our significant other or with the idea of being part of a couple. When we find ourselves single again, it can be a hard concept to grasp and the road back to remembering who we were as individuals can seem dark and frightening.
Grief can be experienced in all its forms, shock, denial, blame, anger, until eventually as hard as it may be to believe, you reach acceptance. Reaching acceptance usually requires some work. What is sometimes surprising is that this emotional process can also be initiated within the person that made the decision to call it quits.
While this turmoil is in play, we can be pushed to make serious long reaching decisions about all that matters to us both emotionally and materially; children, pets, property, possessions and finances are all suddenly part of a negotiation rather than a shared identity. Making decisions while our judgment is clouded by raw emotion is not recommended, although sadly in a lot of circumstances it can be made to seem unavoidable.
If you are feeling hurt it is easy to get caught up in reaction rather than response. Well thought out response will serve you much better in the long run.
Divorce can frightening and disorientating and can in some of the worse scenarios leave people vulnerable to manipulation and bullying. People in this situation often suffer a very significant blow to their confidence and question their own judgment about things which they previously did effortlessly. This can lead to them agreeing to terms and conditions that are not in their best interest.
It is worthwhile to talk through what you’re thinking and feeling with a trained counsellor or therapist. This will help release some of the emotional pressure you feel, and with that release allow room for clear thinking. A trained professional will also be able to teach you coping skills. A lot of emotions are stirred up and some of them may very well pre-date your relationship. Talking through this in a safe and non-judgmental environment will provide relief from the pain and insight into the best way forward for you.
Here are some practical tips:
1. Do not allow yourself to be rushed and don’t rush yourself. It is often tempting to say “I just want it to be over” and to sign away your entitlements in haste, only to seriously regret doing so at your leisure. Seek professional advice if you’re even a little bit unsure.
2. If required, seek recommendations for legal services from people that have been through similar situations and have achieved good outcomes. If you don’t know someone personally that has experienced similar, go online and google divorce forums, you will find a wealth of experience being shared and it will also provide you with an outlet.
3. Take care of yourself. Go for walks or do some other form of daily exercise, eat well and eat regular meals.
4. Try to maintain a good sleep routine. If you’re having trouble sleeping, check out our blog on good sleep routines and the 4,7,8 breathing system. If you’re feeling too anxious and agitated to get to sleep Hypnotherapy will help, alternatively see your GP. The importance of good sleep cannot be overstated.
5. Don’t cut yourself off from your friends and support networks. It can be very tempting to withdraw, but try not to.
6. Remember this is not forever, the feelings that are so powerful and painful now will pass, the often unexpected waves of emotion will reduce in size and strength. You will get through this. You will find your feet again.
I had dinner with a couple of my dearest friends recently, we saw a show at the comedy festival (Judith Lucy, she was brilliant) and afterwards we walked from the Melbourne Arts Centre to a nearby restaurant.
As we sat and perused the menu I thought about asking the waiter to take our photo, I’ve been meaning to get a photo of us together for a while, but time goes by and we rush off after our get together and the photo never seems to happen. I thought of my reaction to having photos taken these days, “try to make me look younger and thinner” is my standard (only half joking) instruction as I hand over the iPhone. When I looked at my friends I realised I wouldn’t want a thing about them enhanced or filtered.
There they sat two people that have been my friends since we worked together at my first ‘real’ job in Australia in 1989. Then we were fresh faced girls in our early 20’s, not yet married, and years before we had children. We worked, shopped and socialised as you do at that age. We had different friendship groups as well, but our lives remained closely intertwined.
Since then, we’ve experienced so much; each of us has had our cross to bear at various times throughout the years, marriage, childbirth, parenting, divorce, bereavement and illness. They’ve all been visited on one or all of us. The constant has been our friendship.
When I look at the three of us, I’m proud of what I see. The faces look older yes, but I’ll be damned if I allow myself to see that as a negative. Those faces tell the story of our lives, our experiences, our tragedies and our triumphs. I’m not going to let the media and the cosmetics industry brain wash me into believing that those signs of maturity must be erased to make us more acceptable to society. There is a beauty in their faces that can’t be surgically or cosmetically applied.
I wanted to write this ode to friendship to express my gratitude. To have such friends, and to be lucky to have other friends as well. People that have shared my journey through life so far, that have been there, supported and encouraged me and who I hope will think the same about me. It’s these connections, along with family connection that make us rich and make our lives truly meaningful. I hope they know how much I love and appreciate them, and look forward to continuing to age (gracefully or not!) with them.
For anyone feeling lonely or isolated, there are people out there willing to build these friendships with you. Being open to other people can be frightening and make us feel vulnerable, but the rewards are so much greater than the fear. If confidence, anxiety or depression are issues there is help available, as Clinical Hypnotherapist and Counsellor I can help. There are numerous professionals available and ready to help you. If you are seeking the help of a professional always ensure that they are properly qualified and members of the appropriate associations for their profession.
If you are unsure where to begin, perhaps start by joining the social club at work, a community group or activity or a volunteer organisation. Your local council will have information about what is available in your locality.
Some suggested sites are listed below:
Melbourne Hypnotherapist Georgina Mitchell was born in Ireland, moving to Australia in 1989. Georgina Specialises in helping people with Anxiety Disorders and is an active member of the Melbourne Hypnotherapy Community. In Melbourne Hypnosis is being accepted as effective tool for anyone wanting to achieve a positive change in Mood, Behaviour and Habit.
Melbourne Hypnotherapy Blog
Please note as with all therapies, Results for Therapies delivered by Hypfocus may vary from person to person