Reflecting on Human Nature
Recently, a 30-year-old female client came to me post-divorce for help with an ex who was trying to intimidate and threaten her. They have two children together, and the divorce is final, but the ex just won’t move on.
In fact, the woman, my client, has her life together. She’s successful, has a burgeoning career, and is independent and confident.
Except when it comes to her ex.
He, on the other hand, has no education, is out of work, he’s basically a zero. And yet, he can bring her to her knees. He knows exactly how to push her buttons and really get under her skin.
And she lets him.
It’s often said that divorce lawyers see good people at their worst and criminal lawyers see bad people at their best.
I am constantly amazed at the things I notice about human nature in this business. People who are intelligent, well-educated, high-achieving and even innovative can be reduced to animal-like and evil when faced with a departing spouse.
Likewise, a divorce attorney can see a handsome, confident, successful mirage of a spouse who is hiding abusive tendencies or addictions. You never know the complete picture until you’ve been with a client for quite a while.
What you do see is the variations in human nature.
We are not consistent. We range up and down in our tendencies toward kindness and vindictiveness, and we all have the ability to swing good and bad.
When your life comes crashing down around you, the good is never near the surface. Fear, worry, anxiety and loneliness take over, and that’s a person’s ugliest side.
In my line of work, I learn a lot about human nature.
I learn that we are infinitely resilient, even when we think we won’t be.
I learn that kindness comes in unexpected places.
I learn that what you expect to happen probably won’t, so you have to be prepared for the unexpected.
And I learn that whatever befalls a person, there is always a chance to start over.
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