1 - Pick your friends well. The fewer friends, the better.
But they don't have to be identical (same affiliations).
2 - Do not adopt the manners of your conversants unless
they are decent and civil.
3 - Avoid or minimize the 1st person singular. The passive
voice is usually more persuasive and less threatening.
4 - Always seek and find the humor in things. It enlightens,
it enlivens, and it can dispel rage. But, be aware of
the danger of trivializing through too much sarcasm or
5 - Good manners engender respect, and appreciation.
As the saying goes: You reap what you sow!
6 - Be prepared and think thoroughly about your statements.
Unless you are ready to back them up, they are better
7 - If you have nothing to say, that is fine. That
is a statement in itself. Self-restraint is a virtue.
8 - Should anyone misconstrue what you say and take
offense, apologize to them and explain that that was
not your intention. Always take the high road, and
appologize even if you may look like a wimp. You
won't gain anything with verbal brawn except a reputation...
that of a boorish bully.
9 - Never brag about your intelligence or utter anything about
others' level of ignorance even if it is obvious. You may
state that the person you are conversing with is "mistaken"
or "incorrect" but not "idiotic" or worse, "a moron" or "a liar".
Debates are never won that way.
10 - No matter how old or smart you are, life has always something to