Your ex sends you a message on OFW. It is full of commentary about you and your kids. A few passive aggressive remarks on how it would be better for them not to have distractions around when they have their evening FaceTime together. Blah…blah…blah…It is critical that you choose to feel annoyed instead of angry.
Your ex’s commentary is just a neutral circumstance
Anything your ex says over email is a fact. Just a neutral circumstance. It has no positive or negative charge until you interpret it. It’s just a bunch of words on a screen. What you think of this circumstance is where all the money lives.
The brain unmanaged
Did you know that you can think whatever you want about the stuff your ex sends you on OFW? Your brain is going to try to make you believe the words are a big problem. Your brain will offer you thoughts like:
- he is such an a$$hole
- she is so controlling
- this is going to be used against me in court
Bad thoughts = bad feelings = bad reaction
Any of these thoughts are going to make you really angry and upset. That is when my clients reach out. Always after the ex sends some words to them. My client interprets these words in a way that makes them feel victimized, frustrated, and harassed. They forget that these are just some words on a screen sent by a nasty ex.
If you are not good at pressing the internal pause button, you may fire back at your ex from these negative emotions. Taking action from a place of hostility or fear never serves.
Learn to feel annoyed instead of angry
I am not going to tell you it is pleasant to be on the receiving end of communication from your ex. I’ve been there, and I know it sucks. But here’s the thing…you don’t have to interpret it in a way that leaves you feeling irate. When you do that, you are giving all of your power away. That is how your ex starts to pollute your daily life – which is exactly why you divorced this person in the first place.
Look at the words and recognize that they are just words. No biggie. Sometimes you can look at the words and smile because your ex just sent you a gift of evidence. Other times you can look at these words and roll your eyes. Think of me and say…Whatever…this is not a problem for me. I don’t need to engage.
Annoying yes, but no need to get your knickers in a knot.
Pause, and decide to be annoyed instead of angry.