Article written by Lisa Brick
There are obvious differences in perspectives and opinions between people. How individuals approach their perspectives and opinions determines how much emotional and financial carnage they'll experience as they navigate their way through divorce.
When one or both parties is bunkered down in singular perspectives and sees theirs as the only ones that are valid, communication ceases and hostilities escalate. This is the time to ask yourself if you are exhibiting hubris or humility. Hubris flames hostilities. Humility dampens if not eliminates them.
Hubris is defined as "a great or foolish amount of pride or confidence."
The most obvious areas where individuals exhibit hubris are appearance, athletic prowess, wealth, position, and the ability to wield power and influence, Attachment to a singular self-serving perspective or opinion is less obvious yet more personally destructive.
Hubris towards ones own perspectives or opinions is invisible. It goes with you wherever you go and creates an illusion that it is the other person who is impossible, wrong, stupid, selfish, etc. It moves with you from one relationship to another, undermining and eventually destroying them, all the while leaving you wondering what is wrong with everyone who doesnt see a situation as you do. Hubris arises out of fear, the fear of making a mistake, being wrong, being vulnerable. It doesn't allow for learning, for growth, for evolution. It keeps people and situations stuck, even when change is desired and attempted, because any perspective or opinion other than the one held hubristically is simply discounted.
There is no space for honoring another's experience or listening to his/her truth. When it comes to navigating a divorce hubris, whether it's yours or your spouse's, ramps up hostilities. When both of you are exhibiting hubris the aggravation, the accusations and counter accusations, the legal fees and the suffering skyrockets.
Humility is defined as "the quality or state of thinking you are fundamentally equal to other people, regardless of their circumstances or yours."
The most obvious areas in which individuals exhibit humility are the same as those where hubris is exhibited, yet the outcome with humility is inclusive rather than exclusive.
Humility replaces the word "but" with "and". I was faithful to my spouse and he/she was not faithful. My spouse kept up her physique during our marriage and I have not made myself a priority in the same way. Certain things that were very important to me were not important to him/her. The need to vilify the spouse for being who he/she is evaporates, even though you are leaving the relationship or have been left in the relationship because the differences are irreconcilable.
Humility arises out of courage, the courage to acknowledge mistakes, being wrong, and one's vulnerability. It is a dance with life that encourages being open and clear. It helps individuals discover what they authentically desire. It allows the space for learning, growth, and personal evolution. With humility differing perspectives and opinions are allowed, heard, and factored in to come to a more expansive vision of a person, place, thing, or situation. Humility is much more than "agreeing to disagree", it is understanding and allowing another's perspective even if that perspective is not what you choose.
Humility eliminates contentiousness within yourself. It allows for compassion and understanding and hurt and disappointment. With humility there is no enemy, no fight...simply honoring what you see, staying committed to your values, and discovering the best next action in any given situation. When either party of a divorce approaches the circumstances that led to the divorce from a hubristic, singular perspective without any curiosity or willingness to hear the other parties perspective the result is escalating hostilities. When either party of a divorce approaches the circumstances with humility the level of peacefulness increases within and often without. Hubris tends to blind spouses to certain facts, facts that with the open mind of humility are evident and indisputable and useful in coming to a settlement with the least struggle possible.
If you are interested in navigating your divorce as peacefully as possible and keeping your attorneys fees to a minimum, consider making room for your spouses perspectives. Practice humility and clarity. Stick to your experience, not his/hers which is obviously different. Present your goals for a settlement clearly and logically. Calculate the expense of hubris. How much will not compromising cost in dollars and additional emotional pain? What are your odds for achieving the objectives you desire without compromise? It matters more who you are being in a divorce than who your spouse is being. He/she will be fading from importance. You will always be here.
Coaching is an excellent tool for recognizing hubris, prioritizing what your true non-negotiables are, how to feel your feelings without living from them, and finding your way to staking your territory firmly and peacefully.