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  • Susan Fletcher, Ph.D.

Be Loyal To Yourself in the Presence of Others

I often use the phrase, "Be loyal to yourself in the presence of others" and I get a perplexed look as the person is trying to soak in what that actually means. Today, I was talking to a person who works with us to develop leadership skills and he looked at me like I was crazy when I said this to him.

What it means is that it is important to have a conversation in your head to keep you grounded when your emotional radar picks up signals that could set you off emotionally. Part of being emotionally intelligent is understanding your own emotions and being able to read the emotions of others. Today, this gentleman was wanting to learn how to manage his emotions when another person appeared to be blaming him in front of his peers for a mistake that he had nothing to do with. What he did was "pop off" (his words not mine) at the person who cut him down. He lost it. He was still fuming when we started to talk about what had happened earlier today.

Instead of doing a psychological disection, we talked about what the conversation he was having in his head that lead him to pop off (or go crazy on him- my words not his). Come to find out he was telling himself "I'm not going to let him get away with this." "Who does he think he is?" "What a jerk" and all sorts of other things that fueled his fire. By being loyal to yourself in the presence of others, you can change the script in your head. You can tell yourself, "I'm not going to settle this now. I know I had nothing to do with it and I

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