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Self-distancing

The act of increasing the psychological distance from your own subjective perspective when assessing events that you experience.

Is an external perspective that you can use when thinking about an event that you’ve experienced, where the self who is analyzing the event is considered to be distinct from the self who experienced it. 

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  • It can help people cope with difficult events from their past.
  • It can  help people deal with socially distressful situations.
  • Useful because of our tendency to display high levels of wise reasoning when we give advice to others, but not when we decide how to act for ourselves.
  • It reduces decisional biases and improves decision-making during times of information overload.
  • Use self-distancing language:  refer to yourself in the second or third-person.
  • Try to view the situation from an alternative viewpoint, that is different from your own.
  • Try to visualize the perspective of  someone you admire, and then ask yourself what would they do in that situation.
  • Try expressive writing: write about your thoughts and feelings when you’re trying to analyze an event that you’ve experienced.

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Sadness as a Person

A study found that people feel less sad if the feeling of sadness is personified, as it leads to a certain distance between the person and the emotion.

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IDEAS

  • When you are giving a public talk, you assume that your nervousness is more apparent to others than is actually the case.
  • You overestimate the amount of work that you contributed to a group project.
  • You might believe that your colleagues all share your political beliefs and social values.
  • You might remember yourself as having been the key player in a past event, despite the fact that you only played a relatively minor role in it.

In an emotionally charged situation, for example, an argument, take a break for 15 minutes or physically leave the space, such as taking a walk.

By stepping out of the situation, you can disrupt the immediate intention and reframe the situation.