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Friday Flip: Difficult Conversations

This week's question comes from Lara.

Welcome to Friday Flip on the Becoming You Again podcast. Every Friday I take your divorce problems, conundrums and questions and do a quick flip around to empower you to show up as the best you after divorce.

Listen in as I answer Lara's question about having a difficult conversation with her ex while dealing with her and her kids' anxiety that conversation.

When we go into tough conversations making it all about us and we show up with anxiety as the guiding feeling, it's more likely that you won't show up as your best self during the conversation. This will usually lead to anger, yelling, defensiveness and an outcome you didn't want. If you're read to learn how to have difficult conversations in a more effective way, then you need to schedule your free consult with me by clicking here and we'll talk about how this has been a problem for you in the past and how to make it different moving forward.

List to the full episode:

Featured on this episode:

  1. Interested in the Divorce Betrayal Transformation? Learn more here.

  2. Are you lost and confused about who you are after divorce? Don't worry. I've got 51 Ways to Get to Know Yourself Again. Click here to download.

  3. Want to know first hand how Karin can help you with your specific problems so you can live an even better life than when you were married? Click here to schedule a free consult.

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Full Episode Transcript:

Welcome to Friday Flip on the Becoming You Again podcast. Every Friday I take your divorce problems, conundrums and questions and do a quick flip around to empower you to show up as the best you after divorce.

Hi everyone. I’m so glad you’re enjoying these Friday Flips. Our question today is from Lara. I have three kids and their father lives overseas in the military. They went to stay last summer and over Christmas but with covid they have to quarantine for two weeks when they get there and then complain that their dad is just working the whole time and they are stuck at the house doing nothing. My question is, none of the kids want to go this summer. They are all busy with jobs, sports, sports camps and so many other things. We are all having anxiety about telling him that they don’t want to leave the US for a visit. I’m not sure how to calm their anxiety and how to best communicate this to my ex without him getting upset.

Lara, thanks so much for your question. First of all I want you to know that it’s a nice thought to want to take away our kids anxiety and to help calm them, but it’s really not possible. It’s not really your job to do that. Your kids feelings are coming from what they’re thinking and so I just want you to remember that first of all it’s okay for them to have feelings. I know we want to try to fix them and take the discomfort away from our kids but the more we can teach them that it’s okay for them to feel what they’re feeling and that it’s not a problem, nothing has gone wrong, the better they will get at learning to manage their own emotional lives and that is a beautiful thing that you can teach your kids. And that they can take with them into their future once they do move out of your house and move on with their lives. Right? So we don’t need to fix them. If they’re feeling anxiety nothing has gone wrong. And what I’m going to teach you in today’s flip will probably be helpful for them too, but you’ll get the most traction in helping them deal with their emotions by being the example of deciding intentionally how you want to show up even when you’re feeling anxiety about something.

When I’m anxious about having to have a possibly tough conversation I decide beforehand what I want to be feeling during that conversation. Then I figure out what I need to be thinking in the moment to feel that way. And then I remind myself that the other person in the conversation will be feeling something as we speak, and their feelings (whether it’s upset, disappointment, happiness, anger, or frustrated or whatever it is) those feelings will be caused by their own thoughts. I remind myself that it’s ok for them to feel whatever they’re feeling. I don’t have to try to fix it and I don’t have to try to make it better. My job is to show up feeling the way I want to feel and give everyone in the story the opportunity to be responsible for their own emotions. So let me give you an example of this. I just a couple of weeks ago had to do this with my son. He’s 16 and while he was at his dad’s one weekend we had a water leak from our dishwasher that we didn’t know about at the time and it leaked through his ceiling onto his computer screens, desk, and keyboard and all of the things on his desk. It made a huge mess in his room. We had to pull up the carpet. We had to break out some of the ceiling. We had to try and hope that all of his computer things were going to make it through the big water leak. I had to have this conversation with him about it and I was feeling pretty anxious about having this conversation. I decided beforehand that I wanted to feel compassion and understanding toward him during our conversation. So I called him. And of course, as would be expected by most, he reacted very upset and angry and he hung up very quickly. But I was able to show up in the conversation feeling compassionate for him and what I was also able to do was I didn’t make his anger mean that I was a bad mom or that it was my fault or that I did something wrong. I was able to understand him and where he was coming from and I just allowed him to feel what he was feeling and didn’t try to fix it. I didn’t try and call him back. I didn’t try and talk him out of being upset or angry. I just let him know that I’m here. We’ll fix what we can fix and that was it. I had the conversation and I showed up as the mom I wanted to be. I allowed him to be able to work through his own emotions as he needed to. You can do this too with your conversation with your ex and show up feeling the way you want to feel by deciding beforehand what you need to be thinking to be able to feel that way.

Thank you so much Lara, that was a really great one.

That’s your Friday flip! Stay tuned for the weekly podcast episode that comes out every Monday. And remember if you want more one on one help from me as your divorce coach to help you create an even better life than when you were married, then you need to schedule your free consult with me by going to Remember that’s Karin with an ‘I’.



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