A very wise therapist who's prone to analogies, told me that in the midst of someone else's meltdown, to think of myself as a soda machine. Inanimate, strong, cool, large, implacable, an entity with no emotion, actions, input, no ability to argue, yell, fight, be snarky . . . I love the concept: be the soda machine. Putting it into practice is ENTIRELY something else.
Not naming names, I just have to add that 5th grade is exhausting from a purely emotional place. The anxiety surrounding an audition for the 5th grade play is like an endless stomach ache. For me.