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Managing stress at the Thanksgiving dinner table

Monday - 11/19/2012, 5:07am  ET

WASHINGTON - Throughout the country, Thanksgiving dinner brings people together with friends, family and loved ones. However, Thanksgiving also means time spent with awkward uncles, pesky siblings and longstanding rivalries.

According to Elizabeth Bernstein, bonds columnist for The Wall Street Journal, the best thing to do when dealing with a testy friend or family member is to leave the room instead of jumping into the fray.

"If you do take a stand, you could just end up sparking that other person," said Bernstein, who advises staying calm and giving yourself a break if you need one.

Bernstein also recommends dealing with tough issues delicately, and diffusing situations rather than escalating them.

"It's better to use to ‘we' word than the ‘you' word."

But Bernstein's best advice is to step back and take a few deep breaths because more often than not, those who push buttons will not change.

WTOP's John Aaron contributed to this report. Follow @JohnAaronWTOP and @WTOP on Twitter.

(Copyright 2012 by WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)