I like to listen to talk radio. One of the call in shows I listen to features a psychologist who gives people advice. This kind of theme comes up frequently, and I think it's particularly appropriate to this time of year.
Caller: My sister-in-law hates me. She talks about me behind my back, and tells my husband she wishes that he would divorce me and marry a real woman. Do I still have to go to the family dinner and be around her?
Dr: You should go. Act stupid and charming. Be nice. If you react to her negativity, then you've let her win. If you pretend like everything is fine, you end up having the upper hand and looking like the better person.
I'll admit that I've had to do this. Just act nice. Act like everything is just fine. Sometimes it's hard, but then sometimes things get to be fine. I've realized that I don't always have to show all my cards, so to speak. Often venting my thoughts and feelings, or treating someone like they "deserve" makes me feel even worse than when I started.
I'm not going to try so hard to be intelligent and compelling. Here's to stupid and charming.