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When you watch a chess game, it's easy to spot when another player made a big mistake. But when we play ourselves, we often make the same mistakes.
The reason this happens is known as "the rule of the chess player:" It's easier to see potential mistakes when we're not emotionally attached to the game and don't feel the stress.
When you're in an emotionally intense situation, your perspective will be very different than when you're not in that situation.
The rule of the chess player is based on the perspective gap, a psychological principle. It states that we often misjudge how we would react when facing a situation.
When you see someone make a big mistake, you may think, "Well, that's what they get." or "I've been there; it will help them toughen up." Those reactions are unhelpful. They don't do anything for the person who's suffering nor for your relationship with them.
In contrast, using the rule of the chess player helps you to realise that you would make the same mistakes if you were in similar circumstances. Your default changes from "judgmental" to "helpful", which can strengthen your connections with others.
Chess Masters and Grandmasters practice dealing with different scenarios they might encounter. By practising the moves over and over, they develop habits and processes they can repeat effortlessly.
You can do the same thing with your emotions. Training your feelings and emotional responses can help you to form habits you can rely on under pressure. When you're under emotional stress, you'll avoid panicking, which will help you to make good decisions.
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