Divorce Tips for Introverts
Divorce Tips for Introverts from Family Law Attorneys
Helping you cope with the stresses of a contentious divorce
People often have legitimate complaints that divorce takes too long. While changes have been made in the past few years to somewhat accelerate the process, especially regarding issues concerning children, it still takes far too long. In addition, there seems to be a long period between court dates and when your case appears active. You may wonder why your Cook County divorce attorney and the judge can’t just get it done.
Many of our clients at M. Scott Gordon & Associates are introverted. Introverts have an especially difficult time when they appear in court with our divorce lawyers for hearings, pre-trial conferences or a trial. They find it frustrating to be in a court environment in which key points and decisions are being made at a pace that suddenly seems very fast. For people who tend to be more comfortable and who work better in a slower paced environment, in which they can consider their responses and do not feel the need to come up with “snap answers,” this can be intimidating. In addition, if you are married to an extrovert and still living with your spouse, the pressure cooker of continuing to live with that person during the divorce is often excruciating.
What is an introvert to do? First and foremost, be prepared. Before you attend any court proceeding, make sure you communicate with your Cook County divorce attorney and discuss what you hope to accomplish at that next court date. What types of questions are likely to be asked? Knowing that, you can think about your answers ahead of time so you have the opportunity to reflect beforehand and be ready when necessary. When you are better prepared, you are more confident in your responses, and it certainly helps your case in the long run. Be proactive. If your divorce lawyer doesn’t call you before court to prepare you, call your attorney and review these issues.
Our experience with introverted people is that they view that aspect of their personality as a weakness or defect. It is not, but you need to understand yourself so that you are most effective. One personality test is the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator. We would encourage anyone to take the MBTI. It is easy to locate at your bookstore or on the Internet. If you are introverted, you will know that you prefer to think before you speak, that “alone time” is essential and that you gain energy from engaging in certain activities on your own. The process of divorce, on the other hand can seem more suitable and geared toward extroverts, who tend to think well on their feet and appear to be energized by the court process, while you may very well feel drained by it.
The introvert may want to consider the possibility of engaging in the mediation process, which may reduce some of the stresses of divorce proceedings.
Our Cook County divorce attorneys are convinced that introverts cannot only hold their own during the divorce process, but that they positively can influence the process to their advantage and their children’s in child custody and child support determinations. Introverts tend to think now and talk later. They focus on issues deeply, and they tend to remain calm. They also like to have their “own space.” While extroverts may appear to gain energy during this process, they can often make the mistake of speaking first and thinking later, and they may not think all issues through deeply and therefore make poor decisions. Finally, they can appear reactive and anything but calm, which is especially damaging for children, and are often fearful of being alone after the divorce, even if they filed the case in court!
Here are some additional suggestions our divorce lawyers have for introverts in their divorce and in general. First, introverted people tend not to build social networks. Often, this leaves them feeling isolated during stressful times, such as a divorce. While many people with this personality type usually feel self-reliant, everyone needs a network of friends to rely on when the need arises, even if they tend to need it less often than extroverts. Second, introverts need to learn to speak up more often. Extroverts often complain that introverted spouses never tell them what they want and are surprised when the introvert feels frustrated. You cannot be heard unless you speak up and express yourself, which is often a challenge. Introverted people may end in jobs or other situations that don’t make them happy, usually because they did not speak up. If you are not happy in other aspects of your life, think about what you could do to improve those areas. What do you really like to do?