Managing Anger Through Mediation in Divorce is Essential

Divorce is never easy, regardless of circumstance,. Even the “best” divorces tend to involve some element of anger. Anger is a tricky thing because even if you are not experiencing it now, you never know when it could arise. And, if you have ever been angry, you know that it can be difficult to keep a level head, stay composed, or simply not lose control all together. It is nothing to be ashamed of, it is one of the most basic human instincts and anger is a stage of grief that is unavoidable. The problem is, anger that leads to irrational behavior is unproductive and doesn’t ultimately serve your best interests during divorce. So, if it is unavoidable, what can you really do about anger during divorce? A lot, actually. When our children are young we often try to teach them that if they are mad about something they can’t just throw a fit or hit someone, they need to use their words. And, this is still true as adults. Working with a mediator who can facilitate effective and respectful communication is essential in managing anger during a divorce.

Although not a hard and fast rule, conflict and disagreements are somewhat inherent in divorce or you likely wouldn’t be getting divorced. Anger will happen and that is outside of our control, but it is how we respond that we have control over. Anger is often the result of unmet expectations and unfortunately, we cannot control someone else’s behavior, but we can control our expectations. An experienced and knowledgeable mediator will help both spouses set reasonable expectations of behavior so that their goals are more achievable and anger can be mitigated.

A reaction to anger is usually an attempt to regain control over a situation that makes you feel powerless or disappointed but when a mediator works with both spouses to manage fair negotiations through effective communication, both spouses feel empowered which helps manage the risk of unproductive anger. Learning how to move from reaction to response is a tool that will serve you well in divorce mediation and well-beyond. Work with an experienced divorce mediator that can help you set reasonable goals and manage expectations so that anger does not dominate and steer your divorce.

What are ways to manage anger?

Divorce proceedings are filled with conflicts. These conflicts lead to emotions, especially anger. People in heightened emotions tend to make mistakes that could cost them big time. For instance, they could lose out on child custody rights or spousal support due to their anger. Hence, it is imperative to manage anger during divorce mediation. Some of the signs that precede anger are swearing, raising voice, breaking objectives, and slamming hands on the table. There are also suppressed anger signs that result in retaliatory behaviors. These signs tend to escalate gradually. These negative emotions feed off other parties involved in the proceedings such as children.

Understand triggers

Mediation may consist of various situations that upset or frustrate individuals. As a result, they can burst when discussing serious life issues. Moreover, it could create a negative impression in front of juries. One effective way of avoiding such situations is identifying these triggers. Self-awareness is key in managing these triggers that could bring out frustration in people. Experts also recommend avoiding such situations completely for less chances of surprises. People with the history of burst outs might need therapies to manage their anger. Attending regular sessions is essential for managing future conflicts as well.

Early signs

Physically responding to such triggers can be avoided, especially during important mediation meetings. For instance, people can raise awareness by paying attention to cues like increased heart rate, muscle tension, or queasiness. When these cues arise, slow down things to react in a more positive way. Avoiding such early signs could escalate the conflict and lead to more disastrous outcomes.

Regulating anger

Many individuals supress anger because they are aware of the repercussions. However, it can be the worst strategy possible because supressed anger is most dangerous than other emotions. When supressed, anger grow stronger and result in judgemental feelings. Instead, regulate emotions and focus on other things that could bring peace.

Constructive decisions

Another effective approach for anger management is finding a way to express anger constructively. People can use power plays or discuss other things when they find that anger cues are imminent. It could also result in creating a positive environment.

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