Life is complicated. We get pulled into depositions. We sometimes have to testify in court. The issues are important. We know what we want, and we want to be fair, but we don’t want to taken advantage of by the other party.

Sometimes, the other side says we’re being unreasonable. When I am in those types of stressful situations, I jot a note at the top of my paper that states, “I am a reasonable person.” This helps me to not get swept up by the emotion.

The key is to being a reasonable person is to engage only in those behaviors that are both good for the relationship and good for the outcome, whether or not other people respond in kind. Be rational, even if other people are acting emotionally, be thoughtful and balance emotion with reason.

Communicate understanding; even if other people deliberately misunderstand us, try to understand them. Ask “what” or “how” questions to keep them talking and sharing their viewpoint. Listen to the other person, even if they are not listening to you, consult with them before deciding on matters that will affect them.

Be reliable, even if other people are trying to deceive us, neither trust nor deceive them, be reliable. Be honest and civil. Communicate acceptance, not necessarily agreement, with their point of view. Even if other people disregard our concerns as unworthy of their consideration, try to understand their perspective and be open to learning from them.

Follow these tips. Write a note to yourself that affirms that you are a reasonable person. Get yourself in the right frame of mind. Breathe deeply and stay calm. Collect your thoughts and script your major objectives. Act in a way that reflects your values, rather than what you’re feeling in the moment.

If you need to find a keynote speaker, plenary speaker, breakout speaker, concurrent session speaker, seminar leader, or workshop facilitator who can deliver in-person, virtually, or via prerecorded session, Kit Welchlin, M.A., CSP, CVP, is a nationally recognized professional motivational speaker and author and can be found at or