I don’t know about you all, but 2007 sucked major you-know-what. I fussed, cussed & argued most of that year and this year, I’m letting it all go. I have never been a real drama driven person and I can’t stand having that negative vibe all around me… so, I’m changing some thangs in ’08.

I’ve lived long enough to realize that even when I am provoked into blacking out on someone (if you don’t know what I mean, just trust that you don’t’ want to know…) there is still a part of me that feels bad afterward. That’s when you have to be the bigger person and learn to:

Apologize Often

Now don’t get it twisted. I’m not saying you have to grovel or beg anyone for their forgiveness… in all actuality, my apologizing sort of goes like this, “Even though you were acting a fool up in here, I still feel bad that I had to go off on you, so I’m sorry for nutting up on you, and I just wanted to make sure you knew I was apologizing for my part.” Period. LOL

But seriously though, I was brought up with some home training – something that is lacking in a LOT of folks these days. I realize that I apologize constantly, when I am at work and I am speed walking through the halls, if I cut someone off I say, “sorry.” When I am handing something to someone and it falls before they have a good grasp, I say, “sorry.” And if I’m late to an appointment, I say, “sorry.” I think you guys get the drift right?

So you’re asking yourself why I do this or who cares right? Well first off, you cut down the chances of someone being pissed off with you. If you apologize for the small things, the bigger things will not seem as large because you haven’t given them the opportunity to harbor ill feelings toward you. Secondly, just like a smile will go along way, so will an apology. If you say, “sorry,” most likely the other person will too. This keeps the positive vibes moving right along.
Another lesson for keeping the stress at bay is to:

Accept That Feelings Are Nonnegotiable

If someone misconstrues a comment of yours, you have to accept the fact that while your words may have meant one thing, you cannot change the way someone is feeling about them.

Keep in mind that it doesn’t matter what you think, sometimes it’s all about how that person feels. Mistake #1 that many of us have, is trying to over-explain. Don’t’ try to talk someone out of their feeling, accept that they are hurt or angry or whatever, and stay calm. Once you get upset that they are upset, no one will be happy. Wait until they are ready to discuss it and ask them (don’t tell them) how they feel.

The more time you spend trying to challenge someone about how they could be so silly, angry, upset (insert your word here)… regarding what they feel, the more time you waste on a pointless and infuriating argument. Respecting their right to feel what they feel will benefit the both of you.

Now, this next bit of advice is something I find myself getting into more & more often because of my busy schedule. I will be the first to admit that I need to:

Avoid The “Cybercurve”

When discussing anything sensitive via a communication device – (email, text messaging, instant messaging, etc.) you have to take into account that the person on the receiving end has no idea how you are saying what you’re typing.

The absence of vocal inflections, facial expressions, and body language can really muck things up. It just leaves more room for someone to read into things the wrong way – especially if at least one of you is already heated. So, instead, try to set a meeting place where you can speak in person.

Hopefully these tips will get you up and running towards a positive new year.