Our first inclination in communicating during an uncontested divorce is to use our verbal skills. You will find heaps of information on
how to talk to your spouse,
how to talk to your teenager and even how to talk with older parents who are divorcing.
One critical area of communication when negotiating a marital settlement agreement which is often overlooked is visual communication.
Environmental surroundings, our bodies and clothes also send a message. Being aware of the visual cues that are being sent can help facilitate or hamper your marital settlement agreement negotiations during your uncontested divorce. Consider what the non-verbal messages that you are sending to your spouse.
Start with the clothes you will be wearing when you meet with your spouse. What do they say about you? Do they say you are confident and ready to treat your marital settlement agreement in a professional manner? Do you want your appearance to demonstrate that you are emotionally upset and not ready to leave anger out of your negotiations? This can put your spouse on the defensive.
Let's face it, most of us don't want our spouse to know how miserable we have been feeling. Don't let him or her know how you feel when you meet to negotiate. Here are some questions to ask yourself before you decide on what to wear:
- Do I feel confident in my clothes?
- Do I feel comfortable in my clothes?
- Are my clothes something I wouldn't be embarrassed about if my boss saw me? Take a few extra minutes to make sure there are no stains, tears or lose threads hanging off your clothes.
- Are my clothes the best choice for my body type?
How do your clothes fit you? No matter how cute or good the outfit looks, if it feels too tight you are not going to be truly relaxed during your marital settlement negotiations. If your clothes are too baggy you can give the impression you are trying to hide something.
Take time to consider the color of the clothing that you will be wearing. On a subconscious level we all react to colors, which can trigger different emotional responses. Showing up in all black can give the impression you are depressed or in mourning. You also don't want to show up in a rainbow of colors, this could be distracting to your spouse and the process can end up being more time consuming then either party would like.
Below is a quick list of some colors and their known interpretations:
- Blue – one of the most popular colors actually helps induce the release of soothing chemicals from the body;
- Grey – confidence, trust;
- Green – easy on the eye, refreshing, calming and known as a healing color;
- White – known as a cleansing color can help reduce feelings of disappointment;
- Red – can make you look bigger than you are and also known as an aggressive color, adversely affecting viewers with a quicker heartbeat.
Don't forget to think about your shoe wear. It's suggested you wear a pair of comfortable shoes. The last thing you want is to be distracted by tight shoes, or worse yet, pain from a blister. Dressing in a professional manner sets the tone for a professional meeting when negotiating your marital settlement agreement with your spouse.