DEAR HARRIETTE: I got a call over the weekend from a guy I used to have a serious crush on. Nothing ever happened, and this was years ago, but when I saw his name on the phone, my heart fluttered. I did not answer because I was busy hanging out with my family. I'm sure he called for a business reason. We have worked on projects together in the past. He is totally on the up-and-up. It's me who is all hot and bothered about it. I know it's professional for me to call him back, but I don't want to sound crazy. How can I get my professional voice on when I automatically think about dating him? By the way, neither of us is available. We are both in long-term, committed relationships. I'm not even trying to date him. It's my body that kind of takes over and gets me all upset. -- Hot and Bothered, Atlanta
DEAR HOT AND BOTHERED: It's good that you can acknowledge the reaction that your body has to this man. Take a minute and cool down. Splash some cold water on your face, if need be. Remind yourself of the professional role that you occupy when you interact with him, and step fully into that role.
When you call him back, be pleasant and professional. Listen to learn the nature of his call. Do not suggest that the two of you meet. If he wants a referral, give it. If he wants to collaborate on a project, don't agree right away. Give yourself space to consider whether that is a good idea. It might be better for you to stay unavailable and recommend someone else in your place. Keeping more than an arm's length away from him seems wise, all things considered.