Communication is much more than just talking and listening; it requires a set of skills beyond these simple actions. Still, it is possible to acquire these skills with the right guidance. When we are dealing with divorce, having Ninja Communication Skills will put you closer to a positive outcome, closer to a successful separation. 

Let’s get into it

 

Timestamps

We are pretty bad at communicating [00:01:30]

Why we get triggered? [00:03:00]

The six other possible scenarios rule [00:06:00]

This is what I hear, is this what you are saying? [00:07:30]

My evolution at communicating [00:09:30]

Body language [00:12:00]

Mirroring your interlocutor [00:14:00]

Communicating with yourself [00:18:00]

Links

How To Tell Your Partner, You No Longer Want To Be Married.

https://divorceangel.vipmembervault.com/products/courses/view/1022671

My book: The Jelly Bean Jar – Empowering Independence through Divorce

https://tanyasomerton.com/shop/the-jelly-bean-jar/

Join my Free Facebook Group here:

https://www.facebook.com/groups/divorceangel/

Divorce Roadmap Session:

https://tanyasomerton.com/divorce-roadmap/

Transcription

Hey there. Welcome back to the divorce angel podcast. I hope you’ve had a great week. And I know that sometimes I feel a bit funny when I say that because I know that when you’re going through a divorce, there’s nothing like a great week. Actually, it seems to be a continuation of shitty weeks until, all of a sudden, you can see out of the darkness. You can see the light, and you know that you’re getting somewhere.

So please, when I say that, don’t take it the wrong way. I mean it with the best intentions, and I do hope given what you’re dealing with right now, you do see some light. I hope you know some gratitude in your life. Some positives make you want to keep getting up and striving to do better every day.

That’s why I want to send my love and care and let you know that’s what I’m thinking about when I say, “I hope you’ve had a good week.” 

This week, we’re going to have a chat about communication. Communication is a crucial tool we teach our clients in my five steps to a seamless divorce. And we do it in a few different ways, but mostly by some exercises that we do to prove a point. And what I mean by that is sometimes we don’t actually understand how bad we are at communicating, and communicating is not just speaking. It’s listening, and it’s understanding. And this is where the most significant issues arise, especially when we’re emotional.

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And we do this exercise that I’m not going to tell you about. If you become a client, it is a fantastic exercise, clients just love it. They can ultimately see why their communicating style or what they’re hearing is not actually what their partner is saying to them. Can you imagine having the skills to break down the barriers and what is being said, and not interpreting what you think it is?

And this is the most significant issue when you’re getting divorced. 

A tip that I got taught a long time ago is sometimes when someone says something to you, and it triggers a response, it’s not their fault that they’ve triggered you. Maybe even the word “fault” isn’t the correct word. It’s just, that’s, you’ve reacted.

So sometimes people say things, and we react without even understanding why, because it’s only a trigger and those triggers can be deep-seated. They can be from our childhood, they can be subconscious. There are many reasons why other people trigger us. And the other thing is how we interpret what someone is saying.

The greatest thing that I’ve ever learned about relationships is when someone says something to you, or your partner says something, what they are saying is not what they mean. Or sometimes, what they’ve done does not mean what you think it means.

A trick I learned was if sometimes you get triggered by something, you should go back and ask yourself, why were you triggered? And what do you think the meaning of what they were saying was? Then consider six other things that that could have meant. Let me give you an example.

Now, let’s say, for instance, my husband comes home, and we’re having dinner, and he snaps at me. Now I could take it personally and think to myself, oh my God, I’ve cooked dinner, I’ve done this for you, and now you snap at me! And it triggers a response from me, but then consider, rather than getting upset.

Which is what I would have done in my previous life. I was the sort of person that when my first husband and I were discussing something, if I didn’t like how he said it or what he said, I would think all of these reasons why he said it. It was ridiculous, to be honest. I would go quiet, and I would turn into myself rather than discuss what I thought he was actually saying to me. 

But when you come up with six others, it could mean something completely different. So let’s go back to the scenario of my husband coming home and snapping at me over dinner. It could only be he’s exceptionally tight. It could be that he’s got pain somewhere in his body, maybe he hurt himself at work. Or he’s worried about something. Or it can be he doesn’t like what I’ve cooked for dinner.

Maybe I’ve said something that’s triggered him, or it could be all in my mind. Perhaps he doesn’t like the sauce that I’ve used, who knows? But in my head, when I go through six other possible scenarios, plus the one that I’ve come up with, what happens is it escalates in my mind why he did what he did.

Because in most cases, what someone actually says is a commune that is a combination or a consequence of exterior things happening outside of their life. And sometimes, they say something and how we react because we think, “this is what they’re trying to say,” which ultimately is not valid.

So, when we go back to communicating, the whole thing is to listen and make sure that we listen to what someone is saying. And a tool that I teach my clients is to repeat what people tell them.

So, in other words, repeat how you interpret what they said, “I hear you saying” or “what I think you said.” When you say it like that, it gives the person that’s speaking to you the ability to come back to you and go, “oh no, no, no, that’s not what I said, you actually got it wrong. This is what I meant.”

 And then there will be no issues as far as having, um, the wrong understanding of what was trying to be communicated. So I had used that tool for the last 12 months. It’s a tool that’s very, very good because it makes sure that there’s no ambiguity around what could be trying to be communicated.

When we communicate, and we, women, do this a lot, we beat around the bushes. Men and women communicate so differently. So, so, so differently. What we need to do as sex is making sure that we just come straight out and say it if we want to get something across.

There’s no point beating around the bush or saying something that we really don’t want or don’t need to make someone else feel better. And once again, I relate to this because this was me. So say, for instance, my, um, ex-partner or my husband would say to me, um, “oh, is it okay if we go to X, Y, and Z tonight, even if I didn’t want to go to X, Y, and Z.”

I would say, ah, yeah. Okay. Let’s, let’s go to X, Y, and Z. And I would think by the way I said it or how I communicated it with my body language, they would understand that I didn’t really want to go to XYZ. Then I would get upset or angry because I ended up going there. Can you see how ludicrous this is?

But women are very good at, at this sort of thing. For instance, tonight, when we’re talking about straight-talking, my husband asked me something. And he said, “oh, would it be okay if I give this to a mate?” and I think really highly of this friend of his. And I usually would have said, “yeah. Yeah. That’s okay”. But you know what I did today? I said, “do you know what, babe? Actually, no, I prefer you not to give that to him. You know, I haven’t really used it yet, and it cost me a bit of money, and I’d prefer him not to use it.” Now. I noticed in myself at that moment, how much I had grown as a communicator.

Five years, 10 years ago, I would have just said, “Yeah, no problem.” And then I would have felt a little bit cheated that this new piece of equipment that I haven’t even used it, someone else had. And then, to be honest, it’s the sort of thing that you talk about. It’s a particular sort of microphone. I would probably have thought twice about using it again, especially in this environment with coronavirus and everything else going on.

So kudos to me. I was quite happy with how I reacted to that. And then there is nonverbal communication, and this is just, it’s such a beautiful way of getting to know someone by how they communicate. There are telltale signs, there are moves. In the gambling world, there are things that people do that give away their stories.

And there’s also things like that happening with you right now with your ex-partner. There are things that they would repeatedly do to tell you a story about what they really mean. They might say one thing, but they might do an action that shows you that it means something else.

And a lot of people have to think carefully and later on think, actually, that’s what that meant. But in the heat of the moment, they don’t realize it. Be mindful of nonverbal communication. There’s also the way someone looks, whether they look up to the left or whether they look up to the right when they’re talking, one means that they’re recalling a memory. The other way says that they’re actually considering it as being a lie or telling a fib. 

And there are other tells of nonverbal communication. I recently did an exercise with my mentor about the American presidential candidates. When they talked to each other, going up against each other, and the way they would stand, whether they were square-shouldered or on an angle. Things as simple as body language can make such a difference with what someone is trying to get across and portray.

It can be they think,” I’m better than you. I think I’m good at this,” There’s a lot of other ways that nonverbal communication is part of the equation, and then there’s pacing. Now I spoke about pacing last week. And especially when we’re going through a divorce, the pacing is something when we’re talking to someone else, we go, “yes, I understand, that makes sense.”

You’re meeting them where they are. You’re actually trying to accept what it is being said. You’re mirroring what they’re doing. If someone, in their communication, continually says the word “mate,” When you talk back to them, you would say the word mate.

If they use other colloquialisms that were common to them, you will use those words back to them because their subconscious mind relates to that specific word. And it makes you look like you’re more approachable. It makes you look like you understand what they’re saying. And they will be more interested in you and what you’re saying because they can relate to you.

You’re relatable because you’re using their language back to them. The other thing, if someone sits forward in the chair, you should sit forward too in your chair. If they sit back, you should sit back. Those things are telling the other person’s subconscious mind that you were on the same page that they’re on. If they cross their arms, you cross your arms.

That’s how you also mirror someone’s behaviour. If they talk fast. Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. You need to babble. If they talk slow, you need to slow down your talking as well to make sure that you are mirroring what they’re doing. And that’s a great way of getting their subconscious mind to actually accept you and trust you and want to work with you.

The other thing is, these tools are excellent when you’re discussing with your partner, or when you’re negotiating. You need to meet them where they are. We’ve spoken about this before, about the different stages of divorce and I call them category A, B and C.

Category A is if you’ve decided to leave the marriage. Category B is if you didn’t even know it was going to happen. And then category C is where you both decide to leave the relationship together, or it is not working. Now, if you’re category A, the research says that with category A it will take years to come to terms of, “no, this isn’t working for me, and I want to leave.”

If you say to category B, “Well, I want to sell the house tomorrow.” You’re two years in front of them emotionally. You’ve thought about your future. And there, all of a sudden, they know that you’re not going to be married anymore. So when you’re communicating with them, they are just going to be a blocker category.

They will just block, block, block. For me, those are the clients that need the most help and support because they’re still in shock. They’re still in mourning. And when their partner is so far in front of them, it’s tough to get the momentum going. And it’s natural. Understandably, they are the clients that I think need the most love, support and care.

So when their partner says, “no, we’re putting on the house on the market tomorrow,” It is because they’re ready for that. Category B, they would say, “still hang on a minute. This is my home. I’ve lost my marriage. Now you want me to sell my home? This is ridiculous.” But if category B was paced, and they were said, “okay, if I was you, I would understand how you feel. If I was you, this makes perfect sense. If I was you, I would feel the same way.”

Then they feel like they are being heard. And there’s a way of negotiating and getting things done that doesn’t hurt either party. And it’s when you do it that way, it really does look like you are being a compassionate person.

But this is the problem with lawyers. They don’t know how to write or to use any of these terms. And these are great tools, not only for dealing with your ex-partner but also in life in general, they can be excellent skills. The narrative around why you are saying what you’re saying also has.

Communicating with yourself is as important as doing it with others, so if you have this narrative in your mind, what your subconscious mind hears you say, it believes it. The words that you say out loud, as well as to yourself, they usually come true. So you need to be very careful with what you say to yourself and the narrative that you’re telling others. Communication is such a fantastic skill. It’s an impressive skill. So let’s just recap on what we spoke about. There’s the listening, then there’s the straight talk, you know, getting right to the point.

And then there’s the non-verbal communication. Then these pacing and making sure yes, we understand. I get that. Then there’s meeting the person where they are at their point in the divorce journey. And then the last part is how we talk to ourself and then narrative and communication that we’re using around our own situation.

Hopefully, these tips have helped you. If you are thinking about leaving your partner, and don’t know how to start the conversation, on my website, I have a course on helping people to communicate with their partner. 

So go and pop onto my website and have a look. There’s a workbook there as well, and it helps you work out what you need to do. That’s it for this week.

I look forward to talking to you again next week. Bye. For now.

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