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Positive Reversal

 

Techniques Happiness > Positive Reversal

Description | Discussion | See also

 

Description

When you are feeling negative about something or someone, reverse your position and make a positive argument for the other side.

Make the reverse argument genuine and heartfelt. Avoid cynicism by considering how it makes sense and seems realistically fair to the other side.

For example if you are feeling aggrieved about getting a parking ticket, think of good reasons for the parking restrictions, how important it is for public servants to do their job well, and how you have learned a useful lesson.

Discussion

It is very easy to fall into a negative mood that spoils your whole day and maybe your week. In that negative state it is common to blame other people, the government or the world in general for the problem, thinking that 'it is not fair' by seeing it only from your own viewpoint. To make it seem unfair, we tend to polarize our arguments, making ourselves totally right and other completely to blame.

By genuinely looking at it from another position, it is surprising how often you can find good reason for why things happened as they did and, in doing so, the fire of your grievance calms down.

This also works when you are beating yourself by being self-critical. Taking the reverse position can help you cope with the situation better and, importantly, make you happier.

See also

Remind Yourself, Act Happy, Fundamental Attribution Error, Polarization

 

 

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