Today I want to teach you a great tool to help you to stop being triggered by your ex. It is called “The Manual” and it is just another pearl that I have acquired in my coaching curriculum. Add this to your toolkit to really achieve Badass Brain Boss status.
The Manual is an instruction guide that you have for how you want someone in your life to behave. Often your Manual is your own little secret – you don’t even let them know your expectations. You feel good if that person’s behaviour is in keeping with your Manual. You feel upset if their behaviour does not comply with your Manual.
Whenever you think someone should behave in a certain way, you have a Manual.
Who do you have a manual for? Your kids, your mom, your best friend, your Ex???
The Manual you have for your Ex
The clue to knowing you have manual for your ex is the word should.
- he should not disparage me in front of the kids
- she shouldn’t introduce the kids to her boyfriend yet
- he should work with the kids on their homework on his weekends
- she shouldn’t tell her friends about what happened in our marriage
My question is this: why should s/he? Did s/he behave according to your Manual when you were married?
The problem with your Manual
Here is the big problem with having a Manual: other adults get to behave however they want. You just cannot control them. I am just as much of a control enthusiast as you, but even I have had to succumb to this reality.
When your ex does not comply with your Manual, you are going to feel disappointed, angry or triggered. Having a Manual for your ex ties your emotional state to your ex’s behaviour. Since when can you control your ex’s behaviour?
When you link your emotional state to someone else’s behaviour, you are giving away all of your power. Badass Brain Bosses know that your emotions are 100% in your control. That is where your power lies.
Get rid of your Manual
If you want to stop being triggered by your Ex, step one is to get rid of your Manual for him/her. Stop trying to control his/her behaviour, because…newsflash…you can’t!
Instead of trying to control someone else’s behaviour, focus on controlling your own. The key to doing this consistently is working on your thoughts about your ex’s behaviour. You don’t have to think of his/her behaviour as a problem. As long as your child is not endangered, let your Ex be your Ex. Stop expecting anything different. You don’t have to believe that what s/he says and does means anything about you. You can stop giving your ex’s behaviour so much oxygen.
Don’t be triggered by your Ex
Your ex will behave how s/he wants. Do you have to suffer for that? You will continue to be triggered by your Ex if you think s/he should be behaving differently. Alternatively, you could think: of course s/he did that, no surprise.
That small shift in thought reduces the emotional trigger from 10/10 to 3/10. This will enable you to show up as the parent that you want to be for your kids. You no longer have to import your Ex’s drama into your world.