By Diana Westrick, Legal Assistant, Woodruff Family Law Group
We all know those people. You know, the ones who seem to have everything fall into their lap; no obstacles or signs of struggle in sight. We all hate those people, simply because, if we’re honest, we know we want to be them. Just imagine this scenario: you’re a new divorcee, but to others, you are a strong individual who seemed to breeze through the drama of a failing marriage and came out unscathed. Or how about this, despite losing half of your assets to your ex, you exude an aura of power and confidence, like you “obviously” came out with the better deal. Nothing can touch you, you always live where the grass is greener, and you are simply lucky.
I am telling you that you can be one of those people. No, I’m not going to refer you to a magic, voodoo, or lucky charm connoisseur. Rather, I encourage you to read on to learn how a new perspective can alter others’ perception of you; and, more importantly, how you respect yourself.
Part #1 – How do you define yourself?
I want you to think of the three words that best represent you as a whole. Ok, you have them? Look below to see if your descriptions fall into a “danger” category.
Non-Static Labels: Wife/Husband, Employed/Unemployed, Financially Stable, etc.
- Picking these types of words typically means that you place a lot of value on your specific role. Is there anything wrong with this? Absolutely not. Yet, due to the potential non-permanence of a non-static label, what happens when there is turmoil in your marriage? Or, when your job status changes? How will you continue to identify yourself?
- Try instead, words that are static and unchanging, like loyal, hard-working, honest, dedicated, and driven. Even if life throws you a curveball, it cannot take away your strengths.
Absolute Descriptors: Unwavering, Worry-Free, Unbiased, Stoic, etc.
- Similarly to the non-static labels, absolute descriptors are not innate traits that will always be there. However, they are often used as if they are. To say that nothing ever bothers you, or that no one can hurt you, is truly just a defense mechanism. There is no shame in getting hurt. Rather, it’s how you react and bounce back.
- Try instead, words that represent your ability and desire to overcome, like resilient, optimistic, positive, and resourceful.
Vague Insecurities: Any descriptor that begins with “I guess I’m . . . “ Or, “People say I’m . . .” Responses are typically bland: Nice, Smart, Friendly, etc.
- When I asked you to describe yourself, was the first thought in your head “I don’t know; you tell me!” What you are truly saying is “I’m not comfortable talking about myself.” So, the result ends up being a cookie-cutter, safe answer. You may be nice, smart, and friendly, but so what? What makes you different than the other 10-gazillion nice, smart, and friendly people? Acknowledge your strengths and what makes you unique — make others wish they were lucky enough to be that way too.
Now, hopefully, you have a more positive, sustaining description of yourself. That’s the easy part. Look for Part two to learn how to communicate your way to believing it: Both yourself and others.