Friday, October 22, 2004


Divorce and emotions

Nowhere is it more important to be emotionally intelligent than when in the midst of divorce. It's a time when both parties are often emotionally raw. Whether you are the initiator and feel you have endured a lot or whether you are the one being left and feel betrayed, now is not the time to believe that "offense is the best defense."

Think of it. What you do instinctively do when attacked? You attack back. Whether the blow was verbal or physical, we normally want to protect ourselves and we attack with even more ferocity.

The first domain of EI as defined by Goleman, is self-awareness, which includes being able to recognize our own emotions. The reason people in a divorce situation often attack first is that they either fail to recognize they have a lot of fear and/or they don't think they have any other way to get a fair treatment.

If you are in the throes of a divorce and your partner has attacked, stop and breathe. Instead of counter-attacking and letting fear drive the proceedings (and the cost), brainstorm and try to come up with other solutions. These skills comprise self-management, the second domain of EI. The first competency of self-management is Emotional self-control: keeping disruptive emotions and impulses under control.

An important tip to succeed: Avoid buying into well meaning friends and family's counsels who often fan the flames by encouraging divorcing partners to do anything to get back at the other.

NOTE: Remember: Free coaching next Friday, October 29, from 9:00 a.m. to noon. One spot left.

Marguerite Tennier
The coach who wants to change the world,
One Man at a Time

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