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Smoothing Things Over
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I guess the metaphor "bumps in the road" can be met with "smoothing things over" which in no way implies that anything has been resolved, but that ruffled feathers have been soothed and bruised egos tended to.

It's interesting that we have so many verbal expressions for making people feel better, so they will accept their lot in life, the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune, but so few that refer to fixing things: solution, resolution being two. An answer or a reply is not the same thing; in fact they are more likely to be defensive instead.

A corollary is that proactive problem solvers are often perceived as problem makers, because resolution of a concern means facing it, defining it and then taking action. Smoothing it over means ignoring the problem and making people feel better in some vague undefined way.

Moral of the entry: Don't go to your boss with a solution to a problem; go with a kind word and a reassuring attitude. He'll love you for it. Leave the thorny resolutions to the side; maybe time will magically take care of them and they will just fade away. If issues do blow up, have someone in mind onto whom you can shift the blame.

What people remember (and value) is not the problems you solved, but how you made them feel.

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