Research shows that putting intentions in writing helps a person achieve his or her goals. So the most effective way to improve your responses to hot button moments is to personalize the following ideas that are most relevant to you and write down how you plan to respond in the future.
1. Speak up when you think you should. People who have personal power are willing to express their ideas and opinions. They also respect and listen to others.
2. Act responsibly and hold others accountable for their actions.
3. Don’t take it personally or act embarrassed if anyone belittles you. People who belittle others often feel inadequate themselves. Say something about it when it’s appropriate. They’ll feel better about themselves if they can’t get away with it.
4. Think about what you need and ask for it—it’s better than complaining.
5. Take courage by focusing on what you have to GAIN in a situation rather than on what you have to LOSE.
Helpfulness and Appreciation:
1. Don’t agree to do things for people who take advantage of you. Just say you don’t have the time.
2. Seek collaboration rather than doing everything yourself. It’s much better to say, “Can you help me with this,” with an UPBEAT attitude than to feel bitter about doing it all yourself.
3. Focus on helping those who appreciate you, and stop trying to get the attention of those who reject or ignore you.
4. Ask for appreciation in a positive way. For instance, “Isn’t this a great dinner I made?”
5. Limit or end a relationship if you are the only one making the effort.
If you plan ahead how to respond with personal authority, it will become easier to avoid situations that give rise to resentment. It will also enable you to forgive past resentments and to stop holding grudges.
by Alison Poulsen, PhD