Your ex knows how to upset you. He/she may start pushing your buttons in court to cloud your judgment because then you respond with anger, and the emotions work against you. What can you do to combat this?
You know your ex will try to do this to you in court, before court, and probably all the time. But if you refuse to overreact and keep control, you can turn the tables on your ex.
The adrenaline rush and neurological response of an emotional impulse lasts less than two seconds. After that, you make a choice to stay angry. So when the buttons are pressed, immediately distract yourself by thinking of something funny and silly (I think of Marvin the Martian saying, “You make me very angry!) to help stay calm.
After your ex makes an effort to antagonize you, don’t respond with anything sarcastic, clever, or witty. In court, that looks petty, childish and weak. Don’t engage or push your ex’s buttons back. You win the skirmish in court if you face aggression and respond calmly. You lose if you try to make someone else look angry, even if it works. Silly games always backfire in court.
When your ex and friends glare at you or say what they know will get you worked up – ignore them. When you resist after your buttons are pushed, the other side gets upset. Doing nothing is the most powerful thing you can do. When you respond, the other side wins. Your silence will have a stronger impact than any response because they’ll wonder where you gained the strength to break the pattern. And the true winner is your child because you refused to engage and enter the petty fight.
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