I choose to believe most of us have good social skills when we don't need them. My momma taught me to treat others the way I want to be treated. For the most part, I do this when all is going well. Unfortunately, this becomes a more daunting task when I'm frustrated. It seems when I get upset and lose my mind, so too, do I lose my social graces. During these times I show my stress behaviors. This is a problem because I believe the true character of a person is most often evidenced by these behaviors. Ouch.
We can't control the behavior of others, but we can reflect on our own. By working to improve our own reactions and responses to different situations, we are in the best position to demonstrate better character. Improving our stress behaviors will also increase the likelihood we have better outcomes when interacting with others, specifically, individuals who themselves are feeling stressed. Yes, I know – 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 spring fever and crazy behaviors approaching, let's hope the answer is a resounding "yes" for us all.