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ELECTION ETIQUETTE? OF COURSE WE HAVE THAT!

Headed to a party or famiy gathering that you are dreading simply becasue of the divisive nature of an election process? You're not alone.

Times are what they are. That's not saying we can't change them, but it is to say, for today we certainly can't wish them away with indifference and hope. The Washington Post writes about "Election Stress Disorder', Anxiery.org addresses post-election anxiety, fear, and frustrations, and USA TODAY tell us this election stress can hurt our health. Yet, here we are again—flooding our feed with our God-given right to be right, letting our blood pressure rise and our relationships suffer. What can we do—today? We'll tell you. It's actually not that hard—and it's quite freeing.

Election Etiquette is largely common sense and common courtesy. However, that doesn't make it obvious to all. Check these three things when you find yourself amidst the 'others.' Those people on the side opposite of your beliefs. 

Respect the Rules of Engagement Wait for someone to finish speaking. If they aren't taking a break to let you in, stay calm and polite. You can always walk away from ignorant or pedantic behavior—and I recommend you do. You don't need a lecture. A humane conversation is a perfectly acceptable requirement for your cooperation. Remember that if you choose to stay, you can also choose to be calm. Mistaking calm and in control for meekness or weakness is their ignorance, not yours.

Control Your Buttons That's right. We all have hot buttons. Know what yours are. This is essential. Once you know what really irritates you, controlling the urge to react is within reach. When the environment is devisive — or united and you simply disagree, the only one in control of your reations is you. This is the reality, no one can make you happy, indignant, frustrated, elated, or offended. These are all your choice.

Don't Start. Sure, you need tools in case you find yourself faced with a pedantic rant or a forceful opposition. The socially intellient human in the group sees above the immediate need to be right or heard and considers a biger picture. Be prepared with the above as a defensive move, not an offessive one.

Summing it Up

Treat your fellow voters how you want to be treated. Don't make it more complicated than this.

After it's Over Channel your negative emotions into positive action. I'm not talking about a moment of raising your fist in the air. I'm talking about honest research for answers. Find out where the meetings are and who the players are. Learn how to get your voice heard. Learn what the pros and cons of are of your opinions—and own the cons. Your social media ranting only proves to us all one thing—and it isn't how mart and eloquent you are. I promise.

Happy voting.

xoxo, HWA

P.S. please thank a veteran.