It's hard to set your emotions aside when you're faced with a difficult decision. This is problematic, since our emotions often cause us to make the wrong decision in important areas of life, including in our relationships, our finances, and our health.
The egocentric bias is a cognitive bias that causes people to rely too heavily on their own point of view when they examine events in their life or when they try to see things from other people's perspective.
It occurs primarily due to the fact that we tend to naturally examine and remember events primarily through our personal point of view.
Even when we realize that we should adjust our perspective to see things through other people’s eyes, we tend to anchor this new perspective to our own, and we often fail to adjust from our original viewpoint enough to properly assess how other people feel.
Self-distancing enables people to focus on the bigger picture rather than concentrating on immediate feelings. It improves the sense of emotional regulation, self-control, and general poise.
In a study, participants were asked to practice self-distancing when faced with various kinds of food - for example, fruit instead of candy. When participants asked, "What does David want?" instead of "What do I want?" they were more likely to choose the healthier option.