1. If something unexpected occurs, remember to hold your tongue, at least initially, while you’re deciding how to respond. Words, once spoken cannot be retrieved. Sometimes silence is the best answer for now.
2. Your principles are important to you, just like other people’s principles are important to them. Mature, responsible, reasonable adults know that it’s okay to agree to disagree. Avoid sarcasm and foster respect for each other’s positions.
3. Our world is broader than just ourselves. Make time to look around you, to put things in perspective, and to avoid paying physically for emotional upsets. Look, think and listen.
4. Stand up and accept responsibility for your words and your actions, even if they’re negative. Changing the subject or blaming others does not erase what you may or may not have said or done. Sometimes, just saying, “Forgive me, I was angry,” may begin the healing process.
5. Realize your world includes others. While it’s important to listen to your internal compass, be sure to take into consideration the comments, feelings and needs of others.
6. Taking risks can be healthy for personal growth but they can lead to upset or anger due to stress. If this happens, don’t be afraid to distance yourself from the source until you have calmed down and put things in perspective.
7. Problem-solving is about the problem, not about the person. Anger and drama over such matters just makes them worse. Focus on solutions and team work while avoiding judgmental behavior.
8. Make time to let others into your world. Take care of your health, but realize that those around you need to trust you, not fear you. Nurture relationships to foster good will and respect.
9. If you discover you are at fault for something, acknowledge it. Avoid using such tactics as aggression and defensiveness to cover your hurt feelings or damaged pride. Honesty goes a long way in problem resolution.
10. People differ in age, gender, ethnicity, up-bringing and in so many other ways. Recognize that problem solving has more than one answer, even if it’s different that what you might initially think it should be. Keeping an open mind and a cool head can achieve effective results.
11. Be a gracious compromiser. In fact, be a gracious loser, because we all know we can’t “win” every scenario in life. Accept reality, face it and avoid playing games with yourself or others. How we get through difficult situations becomes part of our character.