Everybody, once in a while, feels the destructive influence of negative emotions on our well-being, especially when it comes to challenging or difficult events we often experience during our life. It’s obvious that each person reacts differently to a situation, and it depends on the features of a character, personality temperament and a lot more. But there are life circumstances when some bad situation gets stuck deep in your head and heart, and soon you realize you are tossed around in a spin cycle of negative emotions.
If you feel you can’t get out of a constant rumination of all the words or critical comments of your friend, colleague or a relative that have been said to you, it’s high time to learn how to react from a self-distanced perspective. It’s a teachable skill that will come in handy every time you feel offended and have no desire to compromise.
Self-distanced perspective gives you a chance to step back from the emotionally arousing details and see yourself in the more objective way. Researches with groups of different people of all ages feature that practicing of distancing yourself will yield a lot of benefits. For instance, all of the participants saw a reduction in angry feelings, aggressive thoughts, and behavior.
Here are four great ways to better manage relationship conflicts. This simple steps may be used by anybody; whether you are a student of an educator who works with little children, they will be useful in every situation and with everybody.
Stop using the pronoun “I.”
When we had a fight with someone we keep thinking about our negative emotions and how we feel in that situation: “I’m so angry with him,” “I can’t be wrong, I know that,” “I deserve better.” But this isn’t a good way to solve a problem. To better understand your opponent and see yourself objectively you need to stop using the word “I” and try to concentrate on other third-person pronouns, such as “They,” “He,” and “She.” When you are involved in self-talk, it’s also a good idea to use your own names. In that way, you will feel distanced from the emotions you experience and see both of you from the side.
Even most writers who want to show their unbiased standpoint don’t use the pronoun “I” and use more words such as “because,” “that’s why” in their books.
Visualize a distanced observer.
Another excellent way to stop fixating on destructive thoughts is to imagine someone listening to you during your fight or observing your behavior at that very moment. Injecting the third person in the situation and having in mind what he can probably think of it and what he would recommend avoiding negativity will help you to practice self-distancing better. It’s like listening to someone who has an unbiased standpoint and can tell so sure.
The study of the latest years featured the power of visualizing a distanced observer even by little children. They were asked to think about the latest unpleasant event that involved them and their friends and imagine one of the superheroes standing nearby and listening to them. The kids started to think “What would the hero do?”. This simple technique helped them to feel secure and create an emotional block more effectively.
Write a narrative about the situation.
Try to avoid emotional words and phrases while writing, but focus on the facts. Use the real names and talk about it calmly. The story you are creating will become a chance to make sense of a difficult event.
Sometimes we can’t think rationally when it comes to the situations like this, because our emotions eclipse our mind. But when we put our thoughts on a piece of paper and read it after it’s finished, we realize that, maybe, we were wrong at some point.
Remember about the impermanence of everything.
Try to think about your future self rather than focusing on the negative thoughts that absorb you from the inside now. Not all the bad feelings will matter the next day or a year after that. Everything goes over time, and sometimes we spend too much of our energy on trivia.
Ask yourself “Will it bother me a week from today? If no, why do I care so much?!”. The awareness of the fact that nothing is eternal will help you to speed up our emotional recovery.
If you want to learn how to understand your emotions and feelings better and get rid of them as soon as possible, these simple ways to gain perspective on negative events will be really helpful and come in handy in the future. Follow the step by step, and you will realize how easy it is to reflect on difficult situations without ruminating and recrimination.