By Mark Emmons, Silicon Valley Magazine – 10/10/2002 – 12:00am
Realistically, says Sue Fox, Los Gatos -based author of Etiquette for Dummies and the new “Business Etiquette for Dummies,” we should expect stress and irritation every day. So the question becomes, what can we do about it?
Fox advises several ways to respond the next time someone cuts you off in traffic, treats you badly at the office, or takes a cell phone call in the seat next to you at the movies. Among them:
Look away and count to 10…repeat as necessary until you calm down.Excuse yourself from the situation to get a drink of water. Imagine that you are doing your favorite activity in your favorite place.
If your tormentor won’t let you leave, imagine him wearing clown makeup or being doused in noodles. (There are many variants of this technique.)
Return to your desk or office (or seat at the theater) sit quietly for a few minutes, and plan your response. Respond in a moderate and constructive tone.
Return to your desk and do 25 jumping jacks. Now let’s hope that everyone else is learning how to handle stressful situations just like you.
First published in 2002