How to control your personal power

WASHINGTON – You are cut off in traffic by another car. How do you react?

Or when opening a door for someone, you wait for that “thank you” that never comes. Does that just bum you out all day?

“The old phrase of count to 10 before you do anything really fits here,” says author Kay Potetz. “Because by the time you count to 10, the thinking and reasoning part of your brain has kicked in.”

Potetz’s book “Take it Back: The Personal Power You Give Away Every Day” explores why events we cannot control seem to linger with us all day. These small incidents – some dangerous, some just inconsiderate – come about because of our own expectations of how people should behave.

“So you held the door for someone who never even said thanks. Ask yourself, why did you hold the door? Because that’s the nice thing to do and that’s the end of it,” Potetz says.

Giving into feelings of anger that can linger throughout the day allows another person to take away your personal power, Potetz says.

“You don’t have to do that. You can have a much more fulfilled life if we don’t have so many expectations of other people and really remember about our own credibility.”

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