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    Going through a hard time? Think about yourself in the third person

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    Going through a hard time? Think about yourself in the third person: Being detached from problems helps deal with trauma

    Having problems in life? Then you need to detach from your issues and try to see the world through someone else's eyes.

    Research has found the best way to tackle a heartbreaking or personal trauma is to distance yourself and think about the problem in the third person.

    During tests, people faced with the idea of a cheating spouse, for example, were more likely to think wisely about the situation, if they considered it as an observer would.

    Scientists have claimed that people who are trying to recover from personal trauma such as a cheating spouse are more likely to make more rational decisions if they imagine themselves in someone else's shoes, rather than trying to cope with making their own decision

    Professor Igor Grossmann, of the University of Waterloo, Canada, and Professor Ethan Kross from the University of Michigan, asked study participants to reflect on a relationship conflict of their own or someone else’s, such as a spouse’s infidelity with a close friend, and think about the conflict in the first and third person.

    DO WE GET WISER WITH AGE?

    • A previous study by the University of California found you do get wiser when you get older.
    • According to research, although the brain slows down with age, this simply helps older men and women develop greater insight.
    • The reason for this is that, unlike the young, elderly brains are not ruled by the chemicals that fuel emotion and impulse. So their slower responses really are more thoughtful and 'wiser'.
    • For the study, scientists looked at the brain scans of 3,000 Californians aged between 60 and 100.
    • These showed that what older people lose in reaction times, they make up for in better decision-making.


    Results from the experiments indicated that participants who were asked to reason about a friend’s relationship conflict made wiser responses than those who were asked to reason about their own.

    In a second experiment, Grossmann and Kross investigated whether personal distance might make a difference.

    The procedure was similar to the first experiment, but this time they explicitly asked participants to take either a first-person perspective ('put yourself in this situation') or a third-person perspective ('put yourself in your friend’s shoes') when reasoning about the conflict.

    The results supported those from the first experiment: participants who thought about their own relationship conflict from a first-person perspective showed less wise reasoning than those who thought about a friend’s relationship conflict.

    But taking an outsider’s perspective seemed to eliminate this bias: participants who thought about their own relationship conflict through a friend’s eyes were just as wise as those who thought about a friend’s conflict.

    The findings suggest people are also able to make better decisions for their friends as opposed to tackling their own problems, because it is more easy to make a rational decision when someone is emotionally detached from a situation.

    'These results are the first to demonstrate a new type of bias within ourselves when it comes to wise reasoning about an interpersonal relationship dilemma,' said Professor Grossmann.

    'We call the bias Solomon’s Paradox, after the king who was known for his wisdom, but who still failed at making personal decisions.'

    The experiments indicated that we are wiser when reasoning about others’ problems compared to our own. The reason for this discrepancy is because we distance ourselves from the issue.

    In a third experiment the researchers compared results from younger adults aged 20 to 40 and those aged 60 to 80.
    Contrary to the adage that with age comes wisdom, the older adults were not more likely to reason wisely about their personal dilemma than their younger counterparts.

    'We are the first to demonstrate that there is a simple way to eliminate this bias in reasoning by talking about ourselves in the third person and using our name when reflecting on a relationship conflict,' said Professor Grossmann.

    'When we employ this strategy, we are more likely to think wisely about an issue.'
    The findings will appear in an upcoming issue of Psychological Science.

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    Re: Going through a hard time? Think about yourself in the third person

    Greetings and peace be with you Signor; thanks for sharing;

    I could look at this research from another angle, it is far easier giving advice than taking advice. When you give advice to a friend, you don't have to act on it, they do. When a friend gives you good advice, you are emotionally involved, and you listen, but don't take their advice.

    I can remember my parents giving me good advice, after listening, I remember walking out the door, and doing things my way. I give my kids good advice, but, I don't hold out much hope for them following my advice, simply because I know they have the same regard as I did, when I was a kid.

    As we grow older, we learn to perfect our mistakes, in other words, we do our mistakes perfectly. Or, and it is a big OR, we learn to change, I believe that means turning more to God, and striving to do things God's way.

    In the spirit of striving to change,

    Eric
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    Going through a hard time? Think about yourself in the third person

    You will never look into the eyes of anyone who does not matter to God.

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    Re: Going through a hard time? Think about yourself in the third person

    Quote Originally Posted by Eric H View Post
    Greetings and peace be with you Signor; thanks for sharing;

    I could look at this research from another angle, it is far easier giving advice than taking advice. When you give advice to a friend, you don't have to act on it, they do. When a friend gives you good advice, you are emotionally involved, and you listen, but don't take their advice.

    I can remember my parents giving me good advice, after listening, I remember walking out the door, and doing things my way. I give my kids good advice, but, I don't hold out much hope for them following my advice, simply because I know they have the same regard as I did, when I was a kid.

    As we grow older, we learn to perfect our mistakes, in other words, we do our mistakes perfectly. Or, and it is a big OR, we learn to change, I believe that means turning more to God, and striving to do things God's way.

    In the spirit of striving to change,

    Eric
    Greetings Eric H,Nice to read your thoughts.

    The idea about resolving your own problems by looking with third person's eyes is pretty old actually.I am sure at some point in life you must have heard "you can't change a system while residing(and getting benefit from) within it.Personally,I don't find the idea in OP workable for all.For instance,those people who due to some or other reason are alone for the most part of their lives,learn to micro manage every aspect in their limited capacity.With time this practice gets old and firm and its get difficult for them to think from an outsider's perspective.We become what we repeatedly do.

    Apart from exclusive cases,Human biases are natural which influence our thoughts and ultimately actions.

    Taking heed from others mistakes,I agree with what you said.When we try to teach people about our mistakes, we falsely hope our experiences will prevent them from repeating history. There's no doubt that the lessons we learn from others may give us pause before we jump into the same missteps, but it usually doesn't prevent us from doing the same thing.

    Perhaps because advice is made up of words, not sentiments.Watching others suffer makes us more aware of our surroundings, but it is not until we personally experience the reality ourselves that we appreciate the seriousness of the fault.We can impart lessons learned from our mistakes, we can tell people how we got to the point of making it, but it's impossible for us to share the feelings caused by our mistakes.

    Why young people refuse advice,Possibility is they have read those words of Mary Schmich

    Be careful whose advice you buy, but be patient with those who supply it. Advice is a form of nostalgia. Dispensing it is a way of fishing the past from the disposal, wiping it off, painting over the ugly parts and recycling it for more than it's worth.
    I was joking.There are other factors such as individual differences that may lead them to think we would deal with and react differently to what other people do,then we have circumstances,no two human beings go through the same life experiences.

    I believe we should learn from other inner sights but not take them as articles of faith so we can apply and act on them as and when a situation requires.

    Peace and Blessings!
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