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Self-Distancing: What It Is and How You Can Use It to Make Better Decisions

How to create self-distance

  • 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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Self-Distancing: What It Is and How You Can Use It to Make Better Decisions

Self-Distancing: What It Is and How You Can Use It to Make Better Decisions

https://effectiviology.com/self-distancing-rational-decisions/

effectiviology.com

3

Key Ideas

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. 

Benefits of self-distancing

  • 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.

How to create self-distance

  • 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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