Na-na-na-na No-no: A guide to post-election etiquette

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Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton
With the election over, now comes the hard part of how to behave around each other.
Robyn Beck | AFP | Getty Images file

It's finally over. Election 2016 is in the books.

Now comes the hard part: How to behave around each other now that there are winners and losers.

It's an especially touchy subject this year, given the nastiness of the presidential race — and not just from the candidates. Partisanship is on the rise this year, and throughout the campaign season, voters have engaged in some decidedly uncivil behavior, from punching or throwing eggs at Trump supporters to burning a black church in Mississippi and vandalizing it with a "Vote Trump" slogan.

So how to navigate the office — even the dinner table — this holiday season, when someone there is sure to have voted for the other candidate(s)? How can you navigate election results as magnanimous winners — or gracious losers?

Lizzie Post and Dan Post Senning, the great-great-grandchildren of etiquette expert Emily Post and hosts of the American Public Media podcast "Awesome Etiquette", offer up these tips.

If your candidate won...

A guide to post-election etiquette01
There's no room for taunting Wednesday morning.
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This one is obvious: Don't gloat. Don't walk around saying "In your face!" or worse, "na-na-na-na-boo-boo."

"Just because you were victorious doesn't necessarily mean you are right to gloat, and you can spoil that victory so quickly by not handling it well," Post Senning said. "You don't want to rub anyone's nose in it, you don't want to do anything that's going to make someone else feel bad about what happened. You can take pleasure yourself that you won."

A guide to post-election etiquette02
For lots of voters, issues matter
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Remember that people vote for certain candidates because of issues that are meaningful to them. Whoever is in charge can profoundly change life for many Americans when it comes to enacting policies on health care, immigration and more.

"To someone whose candidate doesn't win, a lot of the beliefs and things they hold dear are potentially not going to be executed," said Post. "That can be very distressing to someone — to live and operate under a country whose governing laws are not things you agree with. That can be unsettling. Remember, this isn't just a game that tomorrow the outcome isn't going to matter — this matters to people."

If your candidate lost...

A guide to post-election etiquette03
Remember those "good game" handshakes after every game in Little League?
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Who likes a sore loser? Nobody.

Post Senning offers up this sports analogy:

"One of the the things I loved about playing hockey in Vermont growing up was that after a game, everyone lined up and shook hands," he said. It taught good sportsmanship, especially for the losing side.

"That opportunity to be a loser who holds your head up high, keeps your chin up, can wish your opponent a good game and commit to practicing harder, playing tougher and being better next time — win or lose — I think that's an important lesson."

A guide to post-election etiquette04
Although it might feel dire, it's not zombie apocalypse time yet.
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Post Senning cautions against being overly dramatic.

No matter who wins, "it's also probably true that the sun will rise tomorrow," he said. "Showing too much catastrophic concerns start to be out of proportion with what's happened."

Also remember that the U.S. is a nation with a system of checks and balances.

"This one person will not rule everything, no matter who they are," said Post.

Video: Kids tell us how to be a good sport

APM producer Chris Roberts contributed to this report.

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