My momma taught me to treat others the way I want to be treated.  I try to practice this, but usually do so at the wrong times.  When things are going well for me, it’s easy – but when I’m upset, my stress behaviors come out.  I react to situations rather than respond to them, which is usually not very pretty.

I don’t think I’m alone on this one.  I believe that, for the most part, people have really good social skills when they don’t need them.  But when life gets challenging, not only do we lose our minds, but so too do we lose our social graces. 

The only behaviors we truly have control over are our own. And by working to improve our own reactions and responses to different situations, we increase the likelihood we have better outcomes when interacting with others, specifically, individuals who themselves are feeling stressed.  Yes, I know – this is easy to intellectually understand, difficult to practice.

In his award-winning book Robert Fulghum taught me “All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten”.  The question is, “Am I able to practice these skills at the times when they are needed the most?”  With a new school year on the horizon and all the other real-world issues we are dealing with, let’s hope the answer is a resounding “yes” for us all.