Manners Matter: Maintain Respect during Election Season

Dear Mary Pat,

The political ads have started, and election season is here. Ugh. I dread election years in regular circumstances, but this year is chaos on top of chaos. Friends are making assumptions about how I vote or how I should vote, and it’s exhausting. There aren’t exchanges of ideas anymore; rather, it’s people shouting their opinions at you and demanding that you agree. How are we all going to make it through to November?  


Divided We Fall

Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin

Dear Divided We Fall,

If we spent more time trying to figure out what we have in common with one another, that would be a big step in the right direction. Here are a few more tips:

• Politics and dinner parties do not mix, especially when alcohol is involved. 

• Your “side” isn’t 100 percent right all of the time. It’s politics, so sometimes neither side is right! 

• Be informed, but do not obsess. Turn the news off once in a while.

• Don’t shout at your television. It can’t respond.

• If you disagree with people, you don’t have to hate them/unfriend them/never speak to them again.  

• You have two ears and one mouth for a reason. Listen. Then listen some more. And listen without trying to craft your response in your head at the same time.

• Be mature enough to not always have to have the last word.

• Be kind. To everyone. Even if they don’t think or vote like you do.

Good luck,

Mary Pat

Miss Pat was educated at the Finnish Finishing School for Fine Ladies. Eloquent in edifying etiquette, she is fluent in seven languages, including the language of love. Mary Pat has generously extended her counsel to you and will answer any and all inquiries. Email her at [email protected].