Who Will You Choose to Be in 2015?

integrityRecently, someone very close to me called to get my opinion on a very hurtful email she received from a friend that she had been working for which basically said that she was fired. The email made several untrue accusations and was very mean-spirited. When asked how to respond to this email, I shared the following questions that I ask myself before giving a knee-jerk response:

  • What is the outcome I am looking for? (Do I want to prove that I am right? Am I looking for an apology? Do I want to end/preserve the relationship?)
  • Will my chosen response move me toward or away from my desired outcome? (Ultimately, I can’t control the other person’s response or the outcome I will get. The only thing I can control is my response.)
  • Will I feel better or worse after I provide my chosen response? (I must choose a response that is integrity with who I am and that I feel good about. When I am out of integrity with myself, I am betraying myself and that will errode my self-esteem.)
  • Who do I choose to be? (This person’s actions show who they are as a person. How I respond back says who I am as a person.)

Given all of this, the most important thing to consider in choosing an appropriate response is how you will feel about yourself after you respond – not what the other person will do as a result of your response. Focusing on the other person is a mistake. It’s much more important to focus on ourselves. I am the only person that I have control over, and I have to be able to look myself in the mirror and live with myself. I choose to be a person that I am proud to be.

 “This above all; to thine own self be true.” – William Shakespeare

“If evil be spoken of you and it be true, correct yourself, if it be a lie, laugh at it.” – Epictetus

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