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Why find fault with ourselves?

November 16, 2011

Here’s A Great Idea …

In his book, The Happiness Hypothesis, Jonathan Haidt says, “Finding fault with yourself is the key to overcoming the hypocrisy and judgmentalism that damage so many valuable relationships. The instant you see some contribution you made to a conflict, your anger softens—maybe just a bit, but enough that you might be able to acknowledge some merit on the other side.”

In Other Words …

When we find ourselves in an argument with someone, be it a neighbor, a spouse, or a co-worker, we often become very narrow-minded and can only see things our way. Our views become polarized, placing us entirely in the right and others entirely in the wrong. However, when we take a step back and try to look at the situation objectively, we may be able to see some part we have played in adding to the conflict. This can start to open the door to resolving disagreements and mending relationships.

Here’s How You Can Use this Idea to Have a Better Life …

The next time you have a disagreement with someone, pause. Take a few moments to calm down. When you are feeling more peaceful, look at the situation again, finding the ways that you have contributed to the situation’s unpleasantness. This will help soften your rigid view of the other person so that you can work towards a solution.

To Find Out More …

about personal well-being, check out The Personal Journey or Managing Stress programs at arfamilies.org, follow us at facebook.com/navigatinglife or contact your local county Extension agent. You can also read The Happiness Hypothesis.

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