Does It Fit?

"Does it fit?" is a riff on our old friend, the fun and powerful game of "This or That?" 

I had a dream last night I was trying to buy a swimsuit. It was long sleeved, white and sparkly. It had a beautiful neckline with lots and lots of bling and a pretty design across the chest. But it was tiny, teeny tiny. It was made for a child. Throughout the dream, I kept trying to figure out how I could make it work. How could I get this thing that clearly didn't fit me to fit me so I could wear it? I thought maybe I could buy the children's extra large size.  Maybe that would be big enough. Or, maybe I could just squeeze myself into it regardless of the tight fit, as ridiculous and unlikely as that seemed.

When I woke up, I thought about what that dream meant. At first I was confused, but then the metaphor hit me like a ton of bricks. The pun came to me as clear as day. The thing I was trying to get, the thing that I so desperately wanted, didn't fit me! And in hind sight, it wasn't even very practical for the purpose I was searching for. This pretty, sparkly, appealing thing, in no way fit me, my goals or objectives. It wasn't "right' for me, and yet I was spending all of this time, effort, energy, attention and stress trying to figure out a way to have it and make it work.

Sure it looked wonderful at first glance. Yes, it was beautiful, sparkly, alluring and enticing. And, it might be perfect for someone else, or even for me on another day or for another purpose - I could have bought it and hung it on the wall. But the most important question to ask in the midst of a struggle to attain something that doesn't appear to fit, is "Does it suit you?" Does it fit? Does it fit who you truly are? Is it a match for your authentic self? 

And, if the answer is an obvious "No!" then turn your attention to something that does!

When Why gets in the way

I love Why - it's my go to question. I'm a professional mediator - so by nature, and by training, my first question is always, "why?" Why do you want that? Why do you think that? Why do you think they think that? Why do you think they did that and want that? And, why on God's green earth would they say that?

Why is almost always a good starting point for all personal growth or conflict resolution. Knowing the why is critical in the initial stages of self analysis or self discovery. Why am I this way? Why can't I do that? Why am I always choosing this? Why does that bother me, upset me or frighten me? And why do I perpetually find myself in this challenging situation? Why is helpful in the "peeling the onion stage" when you are getting to what's really at the heart of the matter - the core thing that is underneath all of the situational circumstances.

Asking, and then discovering, what is really going on is critical in conflict resolution. It's critical to understanding your true interests and motivations, and it's critical to shifting all involved parties away from staunch, inflexible positions to the arena of collaboration and constructive problem solving. The why moves us to interest based negotiation. When we can get down to the whys of what we want, or don't want, we can effectively create satisfying solutions that solve for our true needs and interests .

But, here is the "Danger, Danger, Will Robinson" part: At a certain juncture, the analysis phase needs to end. "Why" becomes less helpful, and often obstructive, once you've reached the change phase. Why becomes a distraction, a diversion. Ongoing questioning becomes a habitual, unconscious, tactical maneuver that serves solely to keep you stuck right where you are, safe and sound, but stuck, avoiding the unknown risks of change. Continued questioning can be a stumbling block or total road closure. Endless ruminating over the whys, must stop when it is no longer relevant and isn't serving your intended objective to move forward. When our energies shift to focusing on initiating change, we need to stop asking all the "whys" Even, why we feel the way we do. We need to get over the analysis phase to move on. At this point, think Frozen and let it go. Allow yourself to feel whatever emotions are coming up and flooding through your minds and bodies. Feel them completely. Notice and ponder them for a brief moment and then let the questioning go. Don't get sidetracked into a cerebral analysis of... But Why????  Instead, ask, But where? Where do I want to go? Where do I want to land? And then, move forward, sideways or back - whichever direction sets you on a clear path to the destination at which you are eager to arrive.


Last night, a dozen women friends and I got Sparked (

Connection is a choice. Open, shut, control, vulnerable, risk, action, reaction. It's this or that! We are empowered to choose at every opportunity to connect or disconnect. It doesn't take much to shift an interaction, but it does take some conscious effort and a big dose of confidence to go outside your habitual comfort zone. It's a tiny shift, but sometimes making that tiny shift can feel monumental. Choice, expectation, inner strength, resolve to show up, open up and stay steady in your action and not get pulled off your path by inner doubts, a misguided attempt at self-preservation or another's agenda. It's worth the risk.

Any Thinking Person Would agree...

"Uh...hmmmm,  no!" We are all thinking people. When you say, or think, the statement that any thinking person would agree, what you really mean, whether you realize it or not, is that any person who thinks like you think would agree - and the population that thinks exactly like you think is a teeny, tiny population of 1. 

We are all thinking people, but we don't all think alike, even if we share some of the same thoughts. There is no "right" way to think. There is no "right" thought. We all have opinions -some are fact based, others are mere opinion. We hold individual absolutes. We experience our own unique reality. We get into trouble when we project our absolutes, or our perspective based solely on personal experience, onto others - as if there exists an absolute experience- the "right" one.

The problem is, this kind of thinking leads us down the primrose path to shoulds and shoulds lead us away from individual interest and perspective to a "universal ought to"  and to diametrically opposed positions.  It separates us and pushes us farther into polarization. We become disconnected from one another  and entrenched in our thoughts. We are forced to the corners of the two sides of what is now a divisive issue. And that's too bad. 

The False Question

The false question is an unstated preference hidden behind a proposed choice in options. It's a trick. It's an unintentional trick, but a trick non the less. We ask innocently enough, maybe not even realizing we have a strong preference, or that a choice doesn't even really exist, until we get the response. We don't realize how much we care about the answer until we hear their response and know that it isn't what we expected or want to hear. So we go into triage mode, and we start selling our position - First we try to undermine their confidence in the choice they've made, "Oh, are you sure? Really? That's what you want?" Next, we sell, "Oh, I heard ...was really good (or conversely) I heard that was terrible." Then we cast doubt on the possibility of it even being a viable choice. and if all else fails we guilt and bully. We flip the tables and behave as if they have asked for something that somehow is inconsiderate, unavailable, inconvenient or down right mean to have asked for - when it was us who asked in the first place. 

For instance, let's say we are planning to go to a film. We say, "Hey there, would you like to see a movie? Yes? Great! A or B?" Then when they choose B. We panic. We realize we don't want to see movie B at all. (Who in their right mind would?) Maybe we didn't really think about  the choices we were offering up,  or maybe we were confident they'd choose A (what idiot wouldn't?) "Well now what?" We think, "How do I get myself out of this pickle?" So, we unconsciously, habitually maneuver. We don't retract our question, and fess up that there really wasn't a real choice to begin with. We don't admit that we were just being "polite" and just wanted to appear "nice." We must now,  somehow, convince them to make the "right" choice, to admit their initial choice was wrong - a mistake, an error in judgement- and convince them to come away from the dark side and into the light - to "want" to see the movie that we really want to see. 


I threw the iching this morning; I  asked it to tell me something good. It had been a rough night and the dawn was beginning to show itself as a tough morning. My iching has a great sense of humor - always spot on and poignant. I got "Shock. " Shock is translated as, "Jump to action and don't make mistakes or very bad things will happen." This was clearly (to me) funny, sarcastic and ironic, because I often worry and stress about making mistakes and not doing enough, which I fear will be followed by bad things happening. Which will be all my fault!

This got me thinking about our "Hot Spot" buttons, and what happens when they get pushed, We typically jump into action, self-preservation mode ( which sometimes takes the form of other- preservation mode.) We are leaping into action, but it isn't the constructive kind of action because it isn''t genuine, it's reactive. It comes from a fight or flight response,  it's make this situation stop in order to survive mode. And it causes trouble.

Instead, we need to once again , Stop, look and listen. Take a moment and take a breath. Do not react! Instead, gather your hypothetical troops and wait it out. You don't need to fix anything You don't need to do anything in this moment. Refuse to participate in this whirl storm. Stand down. 

Once the emotional storm has passed, Assess. Notice how you felt while you were in the eye of the tornado. Really let yourself bathe in the feeling, instead of trying to fight it or push it away, and then let it pass. Next, ask yourself some questions - Was the experience familiar? Does that feeling bring back any memories? Notice, learn and let it go. Now, look around from a place of calm, and if there truly is a problem to solve, put on your problem solving hat and solve it.

I'm No Good

Personally, my being good at something is very closely tied to my sense of self worth. I'd rather it weren't. I'm working at it not being. But for the time being, it pretty much is. I'm writing a novel. I'm attempting to write a 50,000 word novel in 30 days. I am woefully behind, and I'm stuck. I was sailing along quite well. I developed the characters with ease. It was fun. It felt like play. Then they needed to do something. I needed to write scenes, and I don't know how to write scenes, I've never done it before, so I stopped.

I did what I do when I feel unsure about something, I started researching, reading, trying to figure out how to do it. I was trying to figure out how to do it right! How to do it well! How to be good at it! How to produce something that was respectable!  I got stressed - It wasn't so much fun anymore, 

I haven't written fiction since I was 10 years old. My brother recently reminded me I'd made up a whole town full of people when I was little, written about them extensively and drew it all out in detail. He's right, I had, but that was a long time ago, and I don't remember how. 

I brought my up my "stuckness," over burgers with my family. My husband had some great advice, throw open the doors and windows, set you free kind of advice. He said that writing my book wasn't about it being good. That he didn't expect it to be good, that it probably wouldn't be, but that wasn't what the exercise was about, writing the book was about, and for, the experience. (My daughter kindly threw in that if that he clearly hadn't read it, and that was just his uneducated opinion, because it was in face very good! - I love her- she brings me joy and comfort.)

On further exploration, I realized he was talking about experience as in practice, as in 10,000 hours. As in you've got to practice at something and put in the many hours to excel. I agree, we aren't often very good at things when we start out, and we get better as we go on and the more we do it the more we will improve, and likely we will find there is more enjoyment to be had in the experience as we get better at whatever it is we are doing. Taking up a new sport or instrument is a great example of this, and I tell my kids this all the time. 

But for me the freedom was in the idea that I didn't ever have to be good. That being good at it wasn't what is was about, or needed to be about. That I could just do something, anything, purely for the experience of doing it, good or not. I was enjoying writing. It was fun. It was challenging and I liked it. I got in the zone when I participated. I didn't have to be good at it. I could suck at it. What I produced could stink to the high heavens. There was no judge, there was no jury, internally or externally. 

Then, I extrapolated. Maybe this was true about life in general. All of life could be there to be experienced, and enjoyed, whether we were good at it or not.  


Making Stuff Up

We make stuff up. Our brains are hard wired to do so. We fill in the spaces and the holes of stories to make them make sense, to fit in with what we believe is true, to coincide with our perception of what's happening and our memories of history. Often this serves us, and sometimes it doesn't. 

When we are feeling stuck in our relationships, or on our path in life, this trait is not serving us because we have lost sight of our imagination in the process of discerning reality. We have failed to notice how much stuff we are making up, and that it's in our power to make up better stuff. Stuff that's more fun, more exciting, more expansive and more enjoyable. We are the makers up of stuff, and it's up to us to make it good. 

So, let your imaginations soar. Remove the chains and allow your imaginations to run free.


Being enough plays a big part in getting what you want in life. So, as logic follows, being enough and believing you deserve good things is elemental in creating and experiencing satisfying and fulfilling relationships. Writer and life coach, Alan Cohen encourages us to ask ourselves this question, "If you knew you deserve what you want, how would you be approaching it differently?" Creator of Grey's Anatomy and author of The Year of Yes, Shonda Rhimes suggests we ask ourselves what it is we are saying yes to in our lives that we may not be happy about (ie. being overweight.) And once we have established how and why we are saying yes to that, we need to figure out exactly what it is we would need to start saying yes to to have the things in life we really want. 

This weekend, I'm encouraging you to think about being enough. Start with filling in this blank - "I am not (blank) enough." Here are some thoughts to get you started.: I'm not smart enough, tall enough, talented enough, young enough, athletic enough, brave enough, ambitious enough, cool enough, good looking enough, thin enough, or just plain ol' good enough

Then, spend the weekend asking yourself, "If I were enough, what would I want to have, be, or do? And finally, try pretending for a spattering of moments though out the day that you absolutely are enough and notice what that feels like.


Less Mad, More Glad

Having fewer fights is more fun. When you stop trying to change another person and stop blaming them for your dissatisfaction and frustrations, you become empowered. And, being empowered is good for everyone. There is a huge amount of unnecessary conflict in our relationships. People are continually compromising and settling for much less than they actually want. Relationships are disintegrating right and left because people are fed up and dissatisfied. The blame for this dissatisfaction often falls upon everybody else. Or, also unjustly, the culprit becomes the merits of the relationship itself.

The majority of our partnerships - business, romantic or otherwise, are not dissolving due to a mismatch in personality or incompatibility in desired objectives. They are self-destructing due to a lack of basic skills and abilities to communicate effectively and productively deal with disparities. So, stop creating conflicts where they needn't be. Stop resigning yourselves to unhappiness and discontent. Stop ditching the entire relationship as your only viable option for improvement. 

To become less mad and more glad, begin to Stop, look and listen. Pay attention to what is really going on in a frustrating situation and be honest about what you see. Listen openly to what others are telling you and listen to what you truly desire. Shift the focus to what you want in the midst of a conflict and embrace the skills needed to go about getting it in a way that is collaborative rather than competitive. With effective tools and strategies you become a confident collaborator experiencing far less conflict and much more delightful and happy results. 


Bob and Weave

The Bob and Weave - many people have this move perfected. Some people are so adept at bobbing and weaving, the rest of us don't even realize what's happened until much later on when the interaction is a mere memory, and it dawns on us that we've been subtly duped. The Bob and Weave is "floating like a butterfly and stinging like a bee," purposely reframing the conversation to avoid having the discussion the other person wants to have. It is redirecting at its worst. It is counterproductive and offensive in a variety of ways. When one intentionally shifts the focus and begins arguing about extraneous details, they are actively attempting to miss the point! It's a sly maneuver to avoid a topic that makes them feel uncomfortable, too vulnerable or guilty.

This responsive defense is an effective deflection. Case in point - "Why do you have to ... all the time? " The conversation becomes - "I don't do that all the time. I only do it when.... As a matter of fact, I can tell you exactly how many times I've done it in the last..." And, the dialog has now been shifted to focus on the irrelevant. And the relevant conflict has been successfully evaded (for the time being.) The conversation that is had isn't the conversation the initiator was attempting to have. They now feel like Mohammed Ali's opponent on a bad day - dazed and confused, and will most likely be angry, frustrated and disappointed when they come to.

What began as a potentially productive conversation around an intimate topic becomes an argument about non-vital, tangential specifics - "Did I, or didn't I?" rather than focused on the real issue and authentic emotions underlying the initial circumstance. This deflective maneuver results in a lost opportunity for a true connection and potential progress in resolving an actual issue - two steps back instead of one leap forward.

So, trust that the person you are in relationship with is not your opponent, and that their primary motivation to talk grew from an honest experience of being bothered or hurt or needing some constructive change. And, acknowledge they too may be feeling awkward and finding it an uncomfortable topic to broach. Rather than Bob and Weave in responseparticipate from an honest place. Step up, be vulnerable, be brave. help 'em out. 

And, don't make me blog about you!

"Zero Waste Home" Bestselling author Bea Johnson on TGMT

Today on TGMT- Bea Johnson has embraced a waste-free lifestyle with her family since 2008 and is the author of the bestseller, Zero Waste Home. She is a popular blogger and Internationally acclaimed lecturer. She has simplified her life by reducing waste, and her family of four's overall quality of life has changed for the better.

I first heard about Bea while watching Lauren Singer’s Ted Talk on Living Waste Free – Lauren had planned on going a year without plastics when she learned about Bea who was living waste free with a family of four, and THAT GOT ME THINKING about:

Intention vs. Action, the personal and social consequences of bucking the system, the challenges involved with living our principles and values, boundaries, tradeoffs, determination and commitment vs. convenience and walking the talk even when it’s really, really hard. 

JOIN US: LISTEN LIVE Today at 11:00 a.m Mountain time






Save the Drama for Your Mama!

Recent science tells us a little stress strengthens the immune system, keeps our brains active and operating well. A little stress can even help protect against various diseases. Studies show that our cells actually need a certain amount of stress to survive - If cells are left completely alone in a petri dish with no action at all, they die.  However, science also confirms that too much stress tips the scale the other way. Intense stress sends our systems into Fight or Flight mode, and that's not a healthy place to reside. When our system is overloaded or experiences chronic stress our cells begin to deteriorate, literally.

There is a critical distinction to be drawn between stress and distress, and I'd venture to say the most important distinction to draw for healthy bodies and healthy relationships is the distinction between stress and ACTION! Our cells need action to survive and so do our relationships. Stagnation can kill an otherwise healthy cell or relationship, but so can too much conflict and drama. 

We all need movement and growth in our lives. We don't need distress. We don't need drama. Drama is rarely ever constructive in any relationship. Sometimes a dramatic event can serve to shake things up enough to get our attention. But once your attention is captivated, let go of the drama and focus on what's really going on underneath it. What is it that you want? What is it that you don't want? What unproductive habits and patterns are you operating from? And what might be a more fun and fulfilling way to interact? Save the drama for you mama. 

And don't make me blog about you!


Are you a Conflict Avoider?

Are you a conflict avoider? I am! Surprised? True, I'm an attorney, divorce mediator and specialize in conflict resolution, but that's other people's conflict. To that, I say, Bring it On! I'll even step in uninvited to help resolve a brewing conflict. When the conflict involves me, that's an entirely different story. I'll go to great lengths to avoid conflict aristing and shy away from it once it has appeared. 

The problem with avoiding conflict in your relationships is the same problem as avoiding any thing in your relationships that is uncomfortable but true. It doesn't go away. It doesn't diminish. It escalates. It simmers until it boils over. Something that started out as a minor scuff grows into a full blown problem. 

Conflict avoiders usually settle into one of two camps - painfully passive or offensively aggressive: "Oh, don't worry, that's o.k. I'm sorry my body got in the way of your shopping cart." vs. "You idiot, how dare you bump into me. What the bleep is wrong with you!" Either way you are avoiding dealing with the conflict, or potential conflict, head on. You are coming from a lack of skills and thus lack confidence in your ability to resolve conflict in an assertive and constructive manner. 

Being Assertive trumps being aggressive or passive just about every time. Assertiveness training gained popularity in the 1970s and it's back. A couple of the big books that started the movement  are,  "When I Say No, I Feel Guilty." by, W.J. Smith,  and "Pulling Your Own Strings" by Wayne Dryer. And here is a great primer article on the topic from Mental Help:

To be assertive takes some self-awareness and lots of practice, if it isn't something that comes naturally to you. When you are assertive you are honoring your personal interests, desires and feelings without complete disregard for those of others. You are asking for what you want in a clear and direct manner while respecting the boundaries of all involved. You are not bulldozing nor are you subjugating your interests for another's. You are standing strong and being respectful in the process. 


Existential Terror and a little bit more of "This or That?"

 In spin class today I heard the song, "I lived" by One Republic. Well, I've heard that song a couple dozen times before - I've got a teenager- But this time, I really listened. I usually roll my eyes inside thinking I don't want a broken heart or broken bones - "Great for you, do it all, but that's not for me." Then I started thinking. I went a little deeper and starting thinking about the actual message of the song - truly living, being brave, being vulnerable, being willing to get hurt for the amazing gift of depth of experience. 

And then, I started thinking about my old friend, existential terror. I've experienced existential terror since I was a little kid. For those of you who don't know what it is, and I hope that's most of you, it's kind of a sharp panic attack that goes to your core, and the subject is existing. For me, it feels like I got on a train that I can't get off and that I'm not so sure the train is going to a place I want to go. It's scary. Anyway, this feeling of not wholly trusting existence, because I'm not sure about the whole plan for what comes after, has often kept me from really living. I know it seems crazy - my teenage daughter tells me so, and she's right. Intellectually it makes no sense, but emotionally it's solid!

But today, when I heard this song (and thank you One Republic, sorry I may have scoffed at you before) I imagined going to an adventure park and sitting on a bench - not going on any of the rides because I knew I'd be leaving and not sure where it was I'd go. In that moment, I was certain I wouldn't do that!  

"I did it all" doesn't mean I'd have to go on all the rides.  I'd skip Space mountain and the spinning cups - they make me sick. But I'd go on all the rides I was drawn to. I'd go on all the ones I wanted to - even if they scared me. I'd playThis or That! I'd be brave and I'd have fun. 

At this point, you may be thinking, "Well, great, but what does this have to do with relationships?" It has very much to do with your relationship to yourself and your comfort in the world which has everything to do with your ability to have successful, fulfilling and fun relationships with everyone and everything else. This is where the bar gets set, you can't have a better relationship with any other than you do with yourself. It's not going to happen. 

So, listen to the song, any version. Next, get grounded - listen to Hindu chants, meditate, do some deep breathing, or go to spin class. Embrace a "practice" - whatever works for you to feel connected and safe in the world. Then notice and think about, how you feel on this wild ride and what attractions you might like to visit. Play This or That? Get to know yourself, honor who you find, play with trusting existence, and have some fun. Then go out and find some good buddies share it with!

"You've got to go through it to get out of it"

I heard an interview a while back on NPR with Judy Collins. It was a great interview. And there was one thing she said got me thinking; and the more I thought about it, the more I realized I really wanted to add a caveat. She said, "You've got to go through it to get out of it." And, she's absolutely right, I wholeheartedly agree. You've go to through whatever it is, once you are in it, to get to the other side. You have to. It's the only way. As hard as it can be, there is no other path and there is immense value there in the phase of moving through something difficult to get to the other side. That's where the learning, growth and change occur. It's sad to say, but you've got no real choice. If you actually want to get to the other side, the only way there is through (sorry, but true!) So, through the muck you go, keeping your eyes, ears and emotions open.

 But, (and here's my caveat.) You don't have to stay and chat! You don't need to make friends, wallow, lounge, doddle, or take in the scenery. Don't settle in and get comfortable. Instead, move along with intention and resolve. Be kind to yourself, acknowledge where you are, notice how you got there, and pay close attention as you purposely move through and get to the other side.

As Winston Churchill said,  "When you are going through hell, keep going."


Now that we are working shamelessly on shedding shame, it's time to start working on beefing up our I Deserve muscles. Because developing an unflinching, deep seated sentiment that you are gosh darn deserving has a whole heck of a lot to do with achieving successful, meaningful, fulfilling and fun relationships.

When we approach encounters from the feeling that we don't really deserve all the good that the Universe and awesome mortals have to offer, we sabotage ourselves and everyone else who tries to offer us something nice. The lack of a sense that we deserve all good things, undermines our self-esteem and relationships just as much as shame does, and it similarly prevents us from achieving our personal and professional goals. The sense of not deserving also likes company and invites guilt back into our lives. And, Guilt likes nothing more than a threesome with shame and "I'm not worthy." 

I grew up with it coming and going. My mother was the daughter of two Congregational Ministers and my father grew up Jewish during WWII. So the fact that I received some subvert messaging regarding not deserving, guilt and shame is no surprise. Whether your internalized messages stem from our Judeo/Christian culture -   Catholic original sin, The Protestant work ethic or Jewish guilt and the evil eye, or some other place entirely, most of us are battling this super power. 

it's time to shed these detrimental constructs. It's time to tell all those old tapes, "Thank you, but no thank you. You no longer serve me, so i no longer serve you. Thanks for stopping by (and moving in) now please leave." Dealing with our sense of not deserving is a major game changer and not dealing with it is an absolute show stopper. This is one door that is "too wide you can't get around it, too low you can't get under it, too high you can't go over it - you've got to go through that door." So....

Start noticing where you've drawn your line in the sand. How much good do you believe you deserve? And are you biased in different areas? Will you allow yourself more good in some areas, but not so much in others? Do you have to earn it? Is there a price tag to pay? Notice. Acknowledge. Redesign.

Know your buttons

I hate waiting for people. I'm an unusually patient person in just about every area of my life, until it comes to physically waiting for someone else to show up. It makes me crazy! I hate when I'm stuck in a holding pattern; I'm not sure why. Maybe it's because I too often lean toward self sacrifice my interactions with others, but the why doesn't really matter. I can't stand waiting for people! I hate when the kids don't get out of the car when I'm already standing outside (especially when it's raining, or worse yet, cold and snowing) and I hate when someone leaves me standing on the corner waiting for them to pick me up. I do my best to talk myself down, enjoy the moment, but to I have never been successful. It's a button. A big red, do not push, caution, warning, button. I In this situation I don't have an ounce of patience. It's like the seed of the dark side gets planted and then grows at an alarming rate - definitely a genetically modified seed.  And it waits there, ready to sprout when "waiting"  pushes mY BIG RED BUTTON. 

So, what to do? ....

First off recognize and acknowledge your BIG RED BUTTONS. Own them. Get familiar, understand their triggers and nuances. Then, set clear expectations. keep the communication flowing. Warn people. I tell my kids how much I hate it when they don't get out of the car and keep me standing in the elements. For me, I let people know I won't be waiting around - at least not happily and not for any length of time. For you, depending on your button, let people know what you will and won't do in the situation - how you intend to respond in action and emotion.