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Emotional Maturity

Emotions, can you trust them? Emotions are fleeting, fickle and often false. Emotions are based on perception. Whether or not we can trust our emotions has to do with our emotional health. Prolonged invalidation, rejection, criticism and angry responses wear on one’s emotional health, making it raw and hyper-sensitive. Here are a few suggestions to promote emotional healing.

Take a stand. Use “I” statements and speak only from your perspective or to address your personal need. When a person expresses her choices, insights or feelings, it is the individual speaking and the matter can be settled.

Be emotionally honest. When true feelings are pushed aside, unresolved issues take over and seize a club to set matters straight. If another does not approve of your choice, so be it; do not feel guilty or anxious. Summons the courage to stay your ground and allow him to remain in his mood while you go on about your business. Stick to your boundaries and do not make an issue of the opposition. It is not your job to get the dissenter out of a snit; that is a task every individual must do for herself.

Recognize your own issues. Do not isolate or bottle up. Do not allow yourself to be sucked into another’s problems. Although we can work in partnership, still each must hoe his own row in life.

Respond, don’t react. The rawer the emotions, the quicker to judge response as negative. Reacting is negative. Dynamite must have a ‘reactor’ for it to go off, and the shorter the fuse, the quicker the explosion. Reacting is taking comments as a personal affront. Reacting is belittling the offender. It takes emotional health to respond rather than react. Responding is seeing the situation at face value. Responding is choosing to regard the offender as a person of worth and value. Responding paves the way for resolution.

Self-Evaluate. Several times during the day, stop and evaluate your actions, thoughts and feelings. Reel in assumptions. Quit regarding others as jerks. Stop the judgments and criticism. As you become aware how you are feeding your negative emotions, you become equipped to conquer them.

Plan ahead. Life is faithful to give us do-oers. As you honestly evaluate that you reacted negatively to a person’s disrespect, picture the event happening again with you responding in a more positive light. Sports figures see themselves succeeding before ever going onto the playing field. See yourself being calm, pleasant and respectful before going into the arena.

DON’T COPE—OVERCOME: Rather than being driven by your emotions and later regretting the direction in which they took you, learn to control your emotions and later feel good over your responses. Being in charge of your emotions is so empowering. Healthy emotions go hand-in-hand with happiness and satisfying relationships.

Cool. Calm. Collected. Cheerful.


Rebounding from a Lay Off

Economists tell us that the changing job market is a good thing. It shows us what works and what does not work. What worked for a time will not continue to work as technology improves. The ice man lost his job and was retrained and hired as a freezer manufacturer.

Do not burn your bridges. Do not allow hurt and anger to reflect negatively on your exit. A gracious departure will work in your favor for future referrals or possible rehire.

Understand conditions. Seek counsel regarding unemployment benefits or departure package from your employer. Will they pay for schooling? What compensation is there for unused vacations or sick days? Look into extending insurance coverage through cobra. Determine how to invest your IRA rollover.

Your job is finding a job. Step back into the job market immediately. Do not depress and do not delay. Brush up your resume and polish your networking skills. Get out the door five days a week, eight hours a day. At the Salvation Army’s Fresh Start Center, Federal convicts have fifteen days in which to find employment or its back to prison. If they can do it, you can too.

Network, network, network. Tell everyone you know that you are available; remember the five degrees of separation. Do it in concentric circles – family, friends, acquaintances, colleagues, clients, vendors, professional contacts, community leaders, business owners and the internet. Make memorable business cards and hand them out in mass. My friend in the education field was downsized. She made a clever calling card proclaiming, “School is out… I’m not ready for recess.”

Practice interviews. Know what BNI calls your “elevator speech”. Condense your job skills, qualifications and character qualities to a sound bite that can be professionally delivered to anyone, anywhere, at any time. Include what you have to offer and what you will accept. Perfect your performance in front of the mirror, on your cat and to your family. Graciously receive their input.

Obtain counsel. The fee for professional help is an investment in your future. They are experts at packaging you and your material to make the best impressions. The human condition is to sell self short. From a dynamic cover letter to a spruced up resume, the professional is less modest in extolling your stellar qualifications and outstanding character qualities.

Something is better than nothing.
Monetary resources deplete quickly so a job beneath your qualification level is still employment. We have an innate need to serve and this is accomplished to a large degree through the work we perform. All jobs are honorable, as long as they are legal and moral, and you add dignity to the position. Negotiate with the employer that you are willing to become an apprentice to learn new skills. Use your experience as leverage to move up the ladder quickly.

Be open to a new career.
Maybe the time has come to start your own business and turn your hobby into a career. Explore new interests and technology through education. Become an apprentice to a master.

Difficult times force us to step outside our comfort zone. Have fun and grow in the process. Use your creativity to expand shrinking income, use set backs to strengthen your stamina, develop internal character qualities, appreciate family and time spent together, and always trust your higher power.


Networking Assertiveness

Networking is a vital part of social capital. As in all areas of business, we want to be both effective and efficient. Following are ideas for disengaging from the prolonged networker.

Set limits. If there seems to be no end to the saga, hold your hand up as if to indicate, “Stop”. Jump in with the assumption that this could take awhile and that you have other obligations. Smile and graciously go on your way.

Ask for a conclusion. Assertively set boundaries by asking him to skip the details and briefly give the end result. Firmness shows respect for you and kindness shows respect for the bore.

Use Archer Bunker humor. Rather than gesture hanging yourself, in a playful manner act as though you are dozing off. Make your exit and go home to go to bed or the washroom to splash cold water in your face. No other explanations necessary.

Act as if. Give the individual an easy out by acting as if you have been monopolizing his time and offer to let him go. Then do it.

Stand up - physically as well as for yourself. If you are seated, stand up. Whether in an office setting, your living room or a barstool, when you stand up it gives a powerful non-verbal message that the encounter is over. In a standing encounter, give the physical stance of departure.

Pass the buck. I hesitate to suggest this, even though I have used it on more than one occasion. Using the networking strategy of acting the host, draw another person into the conversation then make an amiable exit (to entertain others, of course). Later, make it up to your unsuspecting pawn by taking her to lunch.

Even though bores are boring, they are still human beings so treat them kindly. Be firm without being rude. Be more cautious the next time you are around them to practice amiable avoidance.