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Ask Mr. Manners

Surviving the season

As we prepare to enter the holiday season, I am sure that each of us has made a list (and is checking it twice) of the parties, family events and traditions we are accustomed to attending. The dread in all of this may be the looming idea of being with relatives with whom you struggle to remain civil, or to quote a term I have heard in Utah, being “frenemies.”

As we prepare to enter the holiday season, I am sure that each of us has made a list (and is checking it twice) of the parties, family events and traditions we are accustomed to attending. The dread in all of this may be the looming idea of being with relatives with whom you struggle to remain civil, or to quote a term I have heard in Utah, being “frenemies.” This was explained to me as a hybrid friend and enemy. Now, by no means do I endorse this term, but whatever your dilemma, the solution in life and this holiday season is to take the high road.

At first your thoughts may lead to visions of tossing your head back, and taking a Scarlet O’Hara approach to your suffering, but I can guarantee that the times in life when we have to give our Gone With the Wind impressions are few and far between. When presented with frustration or anger or discontentment with a situation or person, don’t reduce yourself to that level. Don’t get into a conflict in that moment. You’ll feel better about yourself for it.

Ghandi was quoted as saying, “Be the change you wish to see in the world.” This goes hand-in-hand with taking the high road. Picking and choosing your battles is what defines you.

So, are you willing to take the high road?

One of the greatest lessons to be learned in life is knowing when we are required to shine in the spotlight and when we are best served sparkling in the background.

There are times for protest and for civil disobedience, but on a day-to-day basis, it’s best to avoid bringing out the big guns. Especially during the holidays, it’s best to breathe before reacting. It’s also been said that the best defense is a strong offense.

What’s your game plan?

Try getting dressed up and looking your best (which includes a shirt that has sleeves.) Put more emphasis on enjoying your company than having the company enjoy you. If you give them nothing to find fault in and put your best foot forward, the results will be stunning.

So, deck the halls, put out the holly and don’t neglect the mistletoe. Make sure bring out your best manners. This holiday season enjoy your friends and family, taking a little extra time for yourself. Remember the high road when a conflict arises. And on a final note, from one gentleman to another, happy holidays y’all!

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Rock Magen

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