pick (one's) battle(s)

(redirected from pick his battles)

pick (one's) battle(s)

To choose not to participate in minor, unimportant, or overly difficult arguments, contests, or confrontations, saving one's strength instead for those that will be of greater importance or where one has a greater chance of success. As a parent, you learn to pick your battles with your kids so you don't run yourself ragged with nagging them. The best politicians pick their battles wisely: if one becomes too embroiled in petty debates, one never gets anything done.
See also: pick
References in periodicals archive ?
I'm guessing McWatters will ultimately vote in favor of the appointment, choosing to pick his battles and save dissention for more important issues.
For now he will carve out his reputation at the smaller tracks and pick his battles in the big races.
He may want to pick his battles, though: in just a few years' time the state could seek to seize that property anyway when Ratner moves onto the next phases of the Atlantic Yards mega-project.
In his speech, he said he often got into trouble at Bancroft for breaking the rules, but he learned to pick his battles.
Johnson needs to pick his battles wisely, accepting that many of the cuts are necessary and fiercely opposing those that aren't - or go too far.
He would steadily pick his battles as he would get as high as forth position before turning the car over to the capable hands of Memo Gidley.
He lives right on the edge but we just have to coach him to pick his battles.
Persistence and perseverance in his endeavors, while taking care to pick his battles carefully and admitting, but 'dating,' his setbacks and defeats.