Brrrr….all this cold weather got me thinking about how cold we can be to each other sometimes and how that feels.  It’s very much like how we feel when the temperature drops outside.  Think about it for a minute.  How do you react physically when you’re cold?  You cross your arms, you tighten up, you feel very closed off and rigid, no part of you is relaxed, and all you can think about is getting out of this uncomfortable place.  You want it to go away.   

Now think about your interactions with your ex or soon-to-be-ex partner.  When you go through a divorce, it creates a lot of emotions, many of them very negative.  You may have been hurt badly or feel that the other person is not being fair, or even cordial.  You may be very cold toward one another.

And how does that feel?  You probably have the same reaction you have when you step outside your front door and that freezing cold air hits you, right?  You cross your arms, you tighten up, you close yourself off, and you want to get away.  There’s no way you can have a productive conversation like this, and you’re only adding to the distance and negativity between you.

So next time you feel the temperature drop when you encounter your ex, try to react differently and see what happens.  Focus on keeping your body relaxed, take a deep breath, and imagine how warm and comfortable you feel when you’re talking with a close friend…then look them in the eye and answer with the most natural tone you can muster.  If you’re really up to the task, try a smile.  This may feel ridiculously awkward and you may still feel very tense inside, but try to keep the outside relaxed.  You might be surprised by what happens. 

They’ll notice a difference.  It’s like when you’re cold and you go by a vent blowing warm air, and you have that moment of “aaaah”.  They’ll feel it.  And even if they don’t react to it in an obvious way, you will know that you just chipped away at some of the ice that’s formed between you, and you may begin to start melting away some of those negative feelings you’ve been holding onto that have made you a colder person.

Invite the shift within yourself.  Focus on warmth and opening up.  You can always practice with people you don’t know so you can feel more comfortable doing it.  Try it out on the cashier at the grocery store, or a neighbor you rarely speak to, or anyone else you come in contact with in your usual activities.  See how infectious the warmth and openness is.  People gravitate to it, just like they gather around a fire.

 Have fun with it – treat it like an experiment and just see what happens.  I’d love to hear how this goes for you.

Stay warm!!