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Refining your conflict resolution style

Family law disputes tend to be uniquely personal affairs. Few things are more personal than the inner workings of any given family. As a result, it can be particularly difficult to keep your negative emotions in check as you navigate a family law dispute. The negative feelings you have as a result of your divorce, child support dispute or other matter may be so personal and so strong that they can be difficult to contain. Unfortunately, if these feelings are not properly addressed, they may manifest in ways that can damage your case.

It is both normal and healthy to feel negative emotions when your family life becomes chaotic. What is truly critical is that you process these emotions in healthy ways that enhance your wellbeing and do not harm your family law case. As you process these negative emotions, it is important for you to keep them in check when dealing with anyone associated with your case. If you find yourself in conflict with your spouse, for example, it is particularly important that you not lash out in ways that may reflect badly on you in court.

You may find that your conflict resolution style is changing as your family law dispute evolves. You may have been quiet during arguments in the past, but now you have the urge to yell. It may be completely appropriate to yell in the safety of your own home, your counselor’s office or while out with a friend. But it is important to refine your conflict resolution style when dealing with your spouse and others tied to your case. Instead of yelling, make a mental note of your urge to yell and then breathe your way back into a respectful tone. Because ultimately, lashing out can harm you in a family law dispute as much or more than the person you are lashing out at.

Source: The Huffington Post, “Conflict Resolution in Healthy Relationships,” Sheila Blagg, Oct. 22, 2014

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