Ways to React Positively (Even to Negative People)

• Take a time out. Breathe deeply and slowly count to 10. Imagine that you're surrounded by a protective bubble. If you're still in danger of losing it, excuse yourself from the room. You can always continue the conversation later, after you've calmed down.

• Put yourself inside the other person's head. Maybe you won't be able to figure out where he's coming from, but just trying to understand the intent behind his actions will give you some distance from your own emotions. Remind yourself that you can't always change how people perceive you, only how you react.

• Picture yourself as being on a stage, a character in your very own play. What are your character's motivations and beliefs? Do they make sense for this particular scene? Or could they use a little rewriting?

• Stay in the present. Be aware of the emotions you're feeling. Make sure they relate to the moment and are not tied up in some experience from your past.

• Communicate your feelings without blaming the other person for them. Don't be afraid to set clear boundaries regarding what behavior you will and won't accept.