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8 Things Successful People Do When They Don't Like Someone

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Lindsay Dodgson/Business Insider

May 11, 2017

Unless you're a genetic anomaly, it's likely you will meet people you don't like throughout your lifetime. Whether it's your mother-in-law or one of your colleagues, you're bound to come across someone you simply don't click with.

According to Deep Patel, author of the book A Paperboy's Fable: The 11 Principles of Success , it helps to remember nobody's perfect. That includes you.

In a blog post for Entrepreneur.com , Patel highlights some tips successful people use to deal with people they don't get along with. After all, it's unlikely you'll simply be able to avoid people you don't like - in fact, Patel argues if you restrict who you can work with, you are only limiting yourself.

Instead of burying your head in the sand, try and shift your perspective in the ways successful people do. Here are some tips from Patel and other sources such as Psychology Today .

1. Accept that you can't get on with everyone.

As much as we hope to like everyone we meet, it often simply isn't the case. Patel says the first step to dealing with the people you don't click with is accepting nobody gets on with everyone, and that's okay. It doesn't mean you're a bad person, and it doesn't mean they are either (not necessarily, anyway.)

According to psychologist Dr Susan Krauss in a blog post on Psychology Today , it's likely that you and the person just aren't a good fit. Consultant and author Beverly D. Flaxington explains in another blog post on Psychology Today that our behavioural styles can get come between people. Some are dominant, whereas others are timid. Some people are optimists and others consider themselves "realists."

A research paper by Hamstra et al looked at something called "regulatory fit," which translates as: we are much more likely to put effort into the things we like doing. Chances are you don't enjoy interacting with the people you don't like, and so you don't put much effort in. Over time, this lack of effort can turn into contempt.

2. Try and put a positive spin on what they are saying.

Krauss says you could try and look at how people are acting differently. Your in-laws might not have meant to imply that you aren't smart, and your co-worker may not actually be trying to sabotage you.

Even if the person you're having difficulty with is aggravating you on purpose, getting angry about it will probably just make you look bad. So try and give them the benefit of the doubt.

3. Be aware of your own emotions.

Patel says it's important to remember your own emotions matter, but ultimately you alone have control over how you react to situations. People will only drive you crazy if you allow them to. So don't let your anger spin out of control.

If someone is rubbing you the wrong way, recognise those feelings and then let them go without engaging with the person. Sometimes just smiling and nodding will do the trick.

The key, Patel says, is in treating everyone you meet with the same level of respect. That doesn't mean you have to agree with a person you don't like or go along with what they say, but you should act civilised and be polite. In doing this, you can remain firm on your issues but not come across like you're attacking someone personally, which should give you the upper hand.

4. Don't take it personally and get some space.

More often than not a disagreement is probably a misunderstanding. If not, and you really do fundamentally disagree with someone, then try and see it from their perspective.

Try not to overreact, because they may overreact in return, meaning things escalate quickly and fiercely. Try to rise above it all by focusing on facts, and try to ignore how the other person is reacting, no matter how ridiculous or irrational. Concentrate on the issue, Patel says, not the person.

If you need some space, take it. You're perfectly within your rights to establish boundaries and decide when you interact with someone. If you feel yourself getting worked up, take a time-out and get some breathing space. President of TalentSmart Dr. Travis Bradberry explains it simply in a post on LinkedIn : if they were smoking, would you sit there all afternoon inhaling the second-hand smoke? No, you'd move away and get some fresh air.

5. Express your feelings calmly and consider using a referee.

Usually, the way we communicate is more important than what we actually say. If someone is repeatedly annoying you and it's leading to bigger problems, Patel says it's probably time to say something.

However, confrontation doesn't have to be aggressive. Patel recommends you use "I" statements, such as "I feel annoyed when you do this, so could you please do this instead."

Being as specific as possible will make it more likely the person will take what you're saying on board. It will also give them a better opportunity to share their side of the story.

Krauss says it might be a good idea to use another person as a mediator in these discussions because they can bring a level of objectivity to a situation. You may not end up as friends, but you might find out a way to communicate and work together in an effective way. She says learning to work with people you find difficult is a very fulfilling experience, and it could become one more way of showing how well you overcome barriers.

6. Pick your battles.

Sometimes it might just be easier to let things go. Not everything is worth your time and attention. You have to ask yourself whether you really want to engage with the person, or your effort might be better spent just getting on with your work, or whatever else you're doing.

Patel says the best way to figure this out is weighing up whether the issue is situational. Will it go away in time, or could it get worse? If it's the latter, it might be better expending energy into sorting it out sooner or later. If it's just a matter of circumstance, you'll probably get over it fairly quickly.

7. Don't be defensive.

If you find someone is constantly belittling you or focusing on your flaws , don't bite. The worst thing you can do is be defensive. Patel says this will only give them more power. Instead, turn the spotlight on them and start asking them probing questions, such as what in particular their problem is with what you're doing.

If they start bullying you, call them out on it. If they want you to treat them with respect, they have to earn it by being civil to you, too. Dr Berit Brogaard, a neuroscientist, explains in a blog post on Psychology Today that workplace gossip and bullying can be a method of power play, or a way of bullying others into submission.

If you want to be sneaky to get someone to agree with you, there are psychological tricks you can use. Research suggests you should speak faster when disagreeing with someone so they have less time to process what you're saying. If you think they might be agreeing with you, then slow down so they have time to take in your message .

8. Ultimately, remember you are in control of your own happiness.

If someone is really getting on your nerves, it can be difficult to see the bigger picture. However, you should never let someone else limit your happiness or success.

If you're finding their comments are really getting to you, ask yourself why that is. Are you self-conscious about something, or are you anxious about something at work? If so, focus on this instead of listening to other people's complaints.

You alone have control over your feelings, so stop comparing yourself to anyone else. Instead, remind yourself of all your achievements, and don't let someone gain power over you just because they momentarily darken your day.

This story originally appeared on Business Insider.

http://time.com/money/4774379/how-to-deal-with-people-you-dont-like/

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      By Brittany Jackson
       
      https://www.mindbodygreen.com/articles/how-to-love-a-highly-sensitive-person?utm_source=mbg&utm_medium=email&utm_content=daily&utm_campaign=170601
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    • Guest Nicole
      By Guest Nicole
      by Donald Miller
      I’ve only had two friends (that I know about) who’ve looked me in the eye and told me lies. Both of them were trying to cover up mistakes. I certainly had grace for their mistakes, but I’ve wondered looking back if I didn’t have grace for their lies.
      Neither of these two friends are in contact anymore. We don’t talk. Being in a relationship with somebody who lies is tough. It’s not that you don’t love them or care about them, it’s just that you can’t connect.
      Without trust, there’s no relationship.
      Henry Cloud and John Townsend say people lie for one of two reasons.
      The first is out of shame or fear. Somebody may believe they won’t be accepted if they tell the truth about who they are, so they lie. You can see how religious communities that use shame and fear to motivate might increase a person’s temptation to lie.
      People who lie for this reason can get better and learn to tell the truth. Until they do, however, it’s impossible to connect with them, all the same.
      The second kind of liar is less fortunate.
      Some people lie simply because they are selfish. These liars are pathological. They will lie even when it would be easier to tell the truth. Cloud and Townsend warn that we need to stay away from these people. Personally, I think people like this are pretty rare, but I agree, we simply can’t depend on them emotionally or practically.
      Still I wonder if people who lie understand what they’re doing.
      I think some people want grace and certainly they can get grace, but when we lie, we make the people we are lying to feel badly about the relationships and about themselves. We like people who make us feel respected, cared about and honored. Lying to somebody communicates the opposite.
      Here are the things that lies did to my two relationships:
      When my friends lied, I felt disrespected and unimportant. They didn’t seem to care about me or trust me enough to tell the truth. This made me feel bad about myself, as though I were not important or trustworthy enough to be told the truth.
      When I found out the extent of one of the lies, I felt like a fool. Technically, my one friend didn’t really lie. She just told me “part” of the truth. It was as though she were testing out whether she was safe to be vulnerable. (She told many other lies, but this was just one of them). But it backfired. When I found out things were worse than she’d made them seem, I felt tricked and deceived. Again, without meaning to, she’d made me feel bad about myself because I felt like somebody who could be conned.
      I thought less of my friends. I knew they were willing to “cheat” in relationships. When we lie, we are stealing social commodity without having earned it. People can lie their way into power, and in one instance with a friend, she lied her way into moral superiority. Still, none of the authority or moral superiority (such a thing exists, and while it’s misused, it’s not a bad thing not unlike intellectual superiority or athletic superiority. It just is. An appropriate use of those two examples of superiority might be to lead a team or teach a class.)
      I felt sad and lonely. When we think we are getting to know somebody, we are giving them parts of our hearts. But when they lie, we know they’ve actually held back their hearts while we’ve been giving them ours. This made me feel lonely and dumb.
      I felt like I couldn’t trust them. The only thing more important than love in a relationship is trust. Trust is the soil love grows in. If there’s not trust, there’s no relationship. When my friends lied, our trust died. As much as I wanted to forgive them, and feel like I did and have, interacting with them was no longer the same. I doubted much of what they said. Sadly, I think both of them began to tell more and more of the truth. But it didn’t matter. Once trust is broken, it’s extremely hard to rebuild.
      If they didn’t confess (or lied in their confession) I felt like they didn’t care enough about me to come clean and make things right. They were still thinking of themselves.
      Here’s what didn’t happen.
      I didn’t think less of them. While I was angry, I wasn’t angry because I thought they were a bad person. The person who lied probably assumed I felt such things, but I didn’t. What really happened was I felt terrible about myself and when somebody makes us feel bad about ourselves, we tend to get hurt and move away.
      To be sure, somebody who lies has a lot of other stuff going on and it’s not so easy to come clean.
      For a liar to change, they need a lot of help.
      Lying is manipulation, so if a person is a manipulator and gets caught lying, they are most likely going to keep manipulating. They may tell more lies to cover their lies, or manipulate by playing the victim. They may try to find things other people have done that they see as worse and try to make people focus on that. What they will have a hard time doing is facing the truth (which would be the easiest way out of their dilemma. It’s just that they don’t know how to do it. (They’re survivors, scrappers and have learned to cheat to stay alive socially.)
      If you’ve lied in a relationship, though, and are truly wanting to LEARN to live on the up and up, what can you do? Well, there’s plenty.
      Life isn’t over yet. Here’s some places to start.
      Confess. And don’t half confess (just another lie) but actually confess.
      This may take some time for you. You may have to sit down with a pen and paper and write it all down. Your mind will want to lie, but you have to tame your mind. It may take you some time to even understand what the truth really is. You’re going to feel ashamed and at risk, but you have to go there anyway. People are much more kind and forgiving than you think. 
      And if they’re not, you should confess and find people who are more safe.
      Accept the consequences. You’re going to have to pay for your lies.
      People will not and should not trust you as much as they did before. However, getting caught in a lie and confessing a lie are two different things. The former will cost you everything. The latter will cost you a bit, but you can rebuild quickly. Another thing to consider is that the truth might have lost you a small battle, but you’d have won the war because in the long run people would have trusted you. From here on out, be willing to suffer the slight, daily consequences of telling the truth. You’d be surprised at how much less tension there is in your life when you walk openly and honestly.
      Don’t expect the relationship to be the same.If the person doesn’t forgive you, just know you can move on.
      You’ve confessed and hopefully apologized and you aren’t beholden to them anymore. They need to wrestle with forgiving you and that’s now their burden. It’s an unfair burden, but we all have to face such things.
      Don’t lie anymore. It’s not important that everybody like you or approve of you. Allow people to get used to who you are. Telling the truth may mean you don’t get to be in control anymore or that people won’t like you as much. That’s fine. At least they are interacting with the real you. The deep connections you’ll make from telling the truth are worth it.
      http://storylineblog.com/2015/05/22/the-devastating-power-of-lies-in-a-relationship/
    • Guest Nicole
      By Guest Nicole
      “Like a sandcastle, all is temporary. Build it, tend it, enjoy it. And when the time comes, let it go.” ~Jack Kornfield
      I picked up the butter cookies and a small postcard-sized painting I had brought for her.
      I took the third-floor hotel elevator down.
      Closing my eyes, I took several deep breaths.
      The elevator ride was less than five seconds, but our time spent apart was five years.
      Five years after the divorce I had flown up to see her again.
      I’m not sure what led to this meeting. We had emailed each other a couple times out of the blue, and before you know it, we were meeting.
      It could have been our final goodbye, the closure we needed. Or maybe even in the back of my mind, it was the new beginning that I’d secretly imagined.
      I don’t know. I walked out to see her after a five-year hiatus. In our memories were the international long-distance romance we had, the difficult marriage we had endured, and the painful divorce we had gone through together.
      When we initially parted ways, she was still pursuing her education and getting adjusted to life in America.
      Yet, today she was different. She spoke of her new travels, new experiences, new house, and new job.
      She talked about the ups and downs of the different relationships in her life.
      Close friends, social events, and the search for the “one”—her “one”—were her focus.
      As we spent the day together, a startling but simple realization came over me.
      She had moved on.
      Life was on the up and up. She seemed to have let go of everything we had shared.
      She was a bird that was soaring, while I felt like a bird that hadn’t gone very far from the same branch I was still sitting on.
      She seemed to have moved on like our past had never happened. I was holding on like it was still happening.
      I realized it was way past time to completely let go of what we had shared.
      She had moved on, and I need to finally move on as well.
      If your ex has already moved on, perhaps my lessons will help you do the same.
      Shift your perspective on the relationship.
      Whatever story you’re telling yourself about the relationship, you need to be retell it. You’re likely holding onto the sad and tragic version. You were left behind as the victim as your ex was the heartbreaker who didn’t give the relationship a chance.
      Shift the story to the one that is the most empowering for you. How about a story of how you both gave it your best? You fought, you loved, you laughed, and you cried. You tried over and over when things didn’t seem to work. You fought, forgave, broke up, got back together, and finally called it off for good.
      You both gave it your all but it didn’t work out. It wasn’t for lack of trying. It was you coming to the conclusion that you were different people, both good people, who were incompatible for each other. You both helped each other grow and become better versions of yourself.
      The more you can flip your perspective on your ex and the relationship, the easier it will be to move on.
      Release blame, anger, and resentment once and for all.
      If you haven’t completely let go of the relationship, you may still be holding on to instances of on injustices by your ex. You may still be feeling betrayed, hurt, or angry about something your ex did.
      Until you can let go of these feelings of resentment on anger, you’re not going to be able to let go or move on.
      You’re not going to lose anything by releasing these feelings, but you will gain your peace of mind and freedom.
      Let go for yourself.
      Even if your ex was entirely at fault and deserves the worst kind of karma, you’re not going to get caught up on it. You are not the universe’s policeman.
      Your ex is human and made mistakes. You’re going to release the resentment and anger and forgive your ex for what they did.
      If you made mistakes, you have to be willing to forgive those too.
      When you don’t forgive your ex or yourself, it keeps the past injustices and pain still burning like it happened today.
      Forgive for yourself. Forgive for your peace of mind.
      Thank your ex for how far they brought you forward in your life.
      Instead of focusing of how much better off your ex is doing or how you’re falling behind, while they are moving ahead, reflect on how far you’ve come yourself.
      While our marriage was difficult and our divorce was soul-crushing, honestly, I grew so much from this relationship. I had so many insights about myself, made drastic life changes, and became an entirely new person.
      You can either compare and mourn or thank your ex and appreciate how far they’ve brought you along.
      You might not have welcomed the pain, but it’s likely made you into a newer and improved version of yourself.
      Remind yourself of how far you’ve come.
      Yes, when you’re comparing yourself to your ex, you might feel bad about yourself and like you’re stuck, but it’s not wise to compare yourself to someone else. If you feel a need to compare, then compare yourself to where you were before.
      In my case, I was stuck in dysfunctional relationship patterns, I was carrying around a lot of emotional baggage, and I was stuck in a soul-crushing career.
      Regardless of where she’s at today, enough therapy and learning has helped me become a new person. I have many more tools to navigate life, and I’m doing work that sometimes doesn’t even feel like work.
      I’m living more in line with my values today and have the freedom to pursue my creativity and writing.
      You don’t have to be soaring like your ex.
      Just remember that you’re not stuck crawling like you were in the past.
      Remind yourself that today is the only thing you can do something about.
      You cannot change the past, the relationship, or your ex.
      You cannot go back and un-do your mistakes or do something different.
      There’s no point in wallowing in regret, past disappointments, and failures that you can’t do anything about.
      Focus on what you can control—the changes you make today.
      You can become the person you’re capable of becoming today.
      You can create the life you want today.
      Keep bringing yourself to the moment you can do something about: the present moment. In this moment, you can shift your perspective. You can make different choices. You can create the life you want.
      Live less in the futile past and more in the hopefulness of today.
      See the uncertainty in your life as an adventure.
      The most difficult part of my marriage ending was the uncertainty of my life.
      See, when you’re married or in a relationship, you have a location. The world identifies you in a certain way. You know who you’re spending your weekends with or who you have to plan the holidays with. You know who you list in the relationship column of Facebook.
      Yet, after a breakup, all these questions are uncertain and more than likely, unknown. I’ve discovered that I, and humans in general, hate uncertainty.
      We would rather tolerate an unbearable situation than the unknown.
      You can view uncertainty as a tsunami about to happen or a surfing vacation in Hawaii.
      The more you see your future life as an adventure that is filled with excitement and novelty, the easier it will be for your to welcome in the life waiting for you.
      Pursue the life you visualize every day.
      You can get stuck focusing on where your ex is at or what your ex is doing, but this is neither healthy nor productive.
      Instead, get super clear on what you want.
      What is the life you envision for yourself every day? What values and principles do you want to guide your life?
      How would you like your life to look each day?
      Now, you may not be able to create that life instantly, but you can start doing small things each day that get you closer to the life you want.
      If you envision spirituality in your life each day, create time for a spiritual practice or class.
      If you see creativity in your life each day, make time for your creative ventures.
      If you see self-care as a necessity for your best life, reduce your commitments and take better care of yourself.
      You might not have the life you envisioned right now, but if you start taking small steps each day to live the life you want, before you know it, your visions will be your reality.
      What’s helped you let go of the past when your ex has already moved on?
      https://tinybuddha.com/blog/how-to-move-on-when-your-ex-already-has/
    • Guest Nicole
      By Guest Nicole
    • Guest Nicole
      By Guest Nicole
      Relationship issues are inevitable; they are a part of our human experience. And this part of our life, essential to our well-being, can bring us to our knees or make us feel bad about who we are.
      Have you ever heard yourself say these things?
      "I hate the way you make me feel." "What you are doing makes me insecure, and when you stop doing that, I will be happy." "I can't deal with the way this relationship makes me feel anymore." We are all affected by our relationships in some way. However, no matter what you are experiencing, there is one thing you can always do that will immediately affect how you feel and, in addition, will empower you and make you feel good about who you are instead of leaving you feeling depleted, exhausted, or lost. So what can you do in the moment that you are at your wit's end, feeling hurt, upset, or confused?
      Simply reconnect to yourself and use this very challenge, issue, or difficulty to become stronger and more of who you are meant to be. Use this challenge to become stronger and more powerful instead of allowing it to break you down or make you feel like a victim.
      Here are three ways to take back the reins of your life and immediately change how you feel about yourself and your relationship:
      1. Let go of the concept of "right and wrong."
      Very simply, instead of focusing on what the other person did or didn't do, observe how you're feeling and identify what you need. By doing this, you are turning your attention back to yourself instead of being paralyzed and disempowered by pointing the finger at the other person.
      If you've ever said, "If you would just change, everything would be OK," you know how easy it is to focus your attention on what the other person has said or done. The next time you find yourself doing this, ask yourself, "If this is the perfect person to help me become who I'm meant to be, what am I supposed to be learning from this relationship?"
      2. Give up trying to change the other person.
      Although this isn't easy, make a commitment to yourself to work on accepting the other person as they are. Each person brings their own "stuff" to a relationship—we all have our own history with our own issues, wounds, and challenges to overcome.
      The next time you feel yourself taking on the other person's issue or trying to "fix" them, remind yourself that the only person you can change is you. And affirm for yourself, "I will focus on how I'm being affected and what I need to work through and will allow the other person space to work through their issues as well." By declaring this, you will be better equipped to not take on the other person's issues or take their actions personally.
      3. Learn how to stop basing your worth on the condition of your relationship.
      Give yourself the gift of diving deeper into your own inner exploration and development. By doing this, you will become more at peace with who you are and will know at a deep level that you are OK—even when your relationship isn't perfect or when things are happening that are hurtful or upsetting.
      Begin by making a commitment to your growth. Affirm that reconnecting to yourself is the most important journey you will ever take. Then take one simple action this week: Start reading a self-help book, research a personal development course, or take 10 minutes each day to check in with yourself and identify what you need by asking, "What can I do in this moment to reconnect to who I am and what I need?" A few examples could be writing down three things that make you feel good about yourself, looking at some photos that bring a smile to your face, or spending some time in nature today.
      Relationships are in a constant state of flux and bring a level of complexity to our lives that is out of our control. The one thing we always control is whether we will use our challenges to grow, expand, and become more of who we are meant to be or, instead, allow them to hold us back and limit our potential.
      Today, make a declaration that you will use even the most difficult relationship in your life for a monumental purpose—your life's purpose—to grow and evolve into the person you are meant to be. And then do just that.
      https://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-29951/the-one-shift-that-will-immediately-change-how-you-feel-in-your-relationship.html?utm_source=mbg&utm_medium=email&utm_content=daily&utm_campaign=170424
    • Guest Nicole
      By Guest Nicole
      Most mornings as I leave the Y after my swim and shower, I cross paths with a coterie of toddlers entering with their caregivers for a kid-oriented activity. I can’t resist saying hello, requesting a high-five, and wishing them a fun time. I leave the Y grinning from ear to ear, uplifted not just by my own workout but even more so by my interaction with these darling representatives of the next generation.
      What a great way to start the day!
      When I told a fellow swimmer about this experience and mentioned that I was writing a column on the health benefits of positive emotions, she asked, “What do you do about people who are always negative?” She was referring to her parents, whose chronic negativity seems to drag everyone down and make family visits extremely unpleasant.
      I lived for half a century with a man who suffered from periodic bouts of depression, so I understand how challenging negativism can be. I wish I had known years ago about the work Barbara Fredrickson, a psychologist at the University of North Carolina, has done on fostering positive emotions, in particular her theory that accumulating “micro-moments of positivity,” like my daily interaction with children, can, over time, result in greater overall well-being.
      The research that Dr. Fredrickson and others have done demonstrates that the extent to which we can generate positive emotions from even everyday activities can determine who flourishes and who doesn’t. More than a sudden bonanza of good fortune, repeated brief moments of positive feelings can provide a buffer against stress and depression and foster both physical and mental health, their studies show.
      This is not to say that one must always be positive to be healthy and happy. Clearly, there are times and situations that naturally result in negative feelings in the most upbeat of individuals. Worry, sadness, anger and other such “downers” have their place in any normal life. But chronically viewing the glass as half-empty is detrimental both mentally and physically and inhibits one’s ability to bounce back from life’s inevitable stresses.
      Negative feelings activate a region of the brain called the amygdala, which is involved in processing fear and anxiety and other emotions. Dr. Richard J. Davidson, a neuroscientist and founder of the Center for Healthy Minds at the University of Wisconsin — Madison, has shown that people in whom the amygdala recovers slowly from a threat are at greater risk for a variety of health problems than those in whom it recovers quickly.
      Both he and Dr. Fredrickson and their colleagues have demonstrated that the brain is “plastic,” or capable of generating new cells and pathways, and it is possible to train the circuitry in the brain to promote more positive responses. That is, a person can learn to be more positive by practicing certain skills that foster positivity.
      For example, Dr. Fredrickson’s team found that six weeks of training in a form of meditation focused on compassion and kindness resulted in an increase in positive emotions and social connectedness and improved function of one of the main nerves that helps to control heart rate. The result is a more variable heart rate that, she said in an interview, is associated with objective health benefits like better control of blood glucose, less inflammation and faster recovery from a heart attack.
      Dr. Davidson’s team showed that as little as two weeks’ training in compassion and kindness meditation generated changes in brain circuitry linked to an increase in positive social behaviors like generosity.
      “The results suggest that taking time to learn the skills to self-generate positive emotions can help us become healthier, more social, more resilient versions of ourselves,” Dr. Fredrickson reported in the National Institutes of Health monthly newsletter in 2015.
      In other words, Dr. Davidson said, “well-being can be considered a life skill. If you practice, you can actually get better at it.” By learning and regularly practicing skills that promote positive emotions, you can become a happier and healthier person. Thus, there is hope for people like my friend’s parents should they choose to take steps to develop and reinforce positivity.
      In her newest book, “Love 2.0,” Dr. Fredrickson reports that “shared positivity — having two people caught up in the same emotion — may have even a greater impact on health than something positive experienced by oneself.” Consider watching a funny play or movie or TV show with a friend of similar tastes, or sharing good news, a joke or amusing incidents with others. Dr. Fredrickson also teaches “loving-kindness meditation” focused on directing good-hearted wishes to others. This can result in people “feeling more in tune with other people at the end of the day,” she said.
      Activities Dr. Fredrickson and others endorse to foster positive emotions include:
      Do good things for other people. In addition to making others happier, this enhances your own positive feelings. It can be something as simple as helping someone carry heavy packages or providing directions for a stranger.
      Appreciate the world around you. It could be a bird, a tree, a beautiful sunrise or sunset or even an article of clothing someone is wearing. I met a man recently who was reveling in the architectural details of the 19th-century houses in my neighborhood.
      Develop and bolster relationships. Building strong social connections with friends or family members enhances feelings of self-worth and, long-term studies have shown, is associated with better health and a longer life.
      Establish goals that can be accomplished. Perhaps you want to improve your tennis or read more books. But be realistic; a goal that is impractical or too challenging can create unnecessary stress.
      Learn something new. It can be a sport, a language, an instrument or a game that instills a sense of achievement, self-confidence and resilience. But here, too, be realistic about how long this may take and be sure you have the time needed.
      Choose to accept yourself, flaws and all. Rather than imperfections and failures, focus on your positive attributes and achievements. The loveliest people I know have none of the external features of loveliness but shine with the internal beauty of caring, compassion and consideration of others.
      Practice resilience. Rather than let loss, stress, failure or trauma overwhelm you, use them as learning experiences and steppingstones to a better future. Remember the expression: When life hands you a lemon, make lemonade.
      Practice mindfulness. Ruminating on past problems or future difficulties drains mental resources and steals attention from current pleasures. Let go of things you can’t control and focus on the here-and-now. Consider taking a course in insight meditation.

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    • Guest Nicole
      By Guest Nicole
      A girl in a park in Managua, Nicaragua. The country topped the list for gains in happiness.
      Nicolas Garcia/AFP/Getty Images
      Norway can be frigid. And the winters bring lots of darkness. But it's the happiest nation in world, according to the 2017 World Happiness Report.
      Denmark comes in at #2, followed by Iceland and Switzerland. Finland takes 5th place. And, it turns out, these countries have more in common than a tolerance for cold.
      Well-being is shaped by a range of factors. "All of the top countries rank highly on all the main factors found to support happiness: caring, freedom, generosity, honesty, health, income and good governance," according to the report.
      The second tier of the top ten includes the Netherlands, Canada, New Zealand, Australia and Sweden (the last two tied for 9th position).
      The developing world has its share of unhappy countries. According to the report, some of the unhappiest nations in the world are Afghanistan, Chad, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Haiti.
      But there are encouraging signs in low- and middle-income countries. Cameroon, Latvia, Nicaragua and Sierra Leone, for example, are all on the list of the 20 countries reporting the highest gains in happiness.
      Meanwhile, happiness in the U.S. has slipped a bit, according to the report. "The reasons are declining social support" as well as a decline in trust — and an increased sense of corruption, write the co-editors in a summary report. In 2015, the U.S. ranked 13th. This year, it slipped to 14th.
      The report draws on survey data from 155 countries. "We ask people to think of their lives as a whole," explains report co-editor John Helliwell, an economist at the University of British Columbia who studies well-being and comparative economic growth. Each year, researchers survey 1,000 people in each country.
      Some questions are quite simple, such as: In times of trouble, do you have family and/or friends to count on? Other questions measure people's perceived levels of freedom, generosity and trust — both in each other and in their governments and businesses.
      The Nordic countries have among the most generous social safety nets. "Access to higher education, access to high-quality health services are part of it, explains Jon-Åge Øyslebø, minister of communications, cultural affairs and education at the Norwegian Embassy. (We reached out to him before he had heard about the top spot his country had earned in the new report.)
      There are also generous social support programs. For instance, new parents in Norway are eligible for nearly a year of leave with pay. "Norway is a relatively egalitarian society with regard to both to income differences and gender," Øyslebø told us. He says he thinks this is an important part of the happiness equation.
      Another factor, of course, is the economy. Overall, Norway is pretty wealthy, in part due to the natural resource of oil. But even though oil prices have declined, Norwegian level of happiness has risen, at least according to the report.
      "Absolutely there's more to it than money," Øyslebø says. Many studies have shown that after people's basic needs are met, additional income is not necessarily a path to happiness.
      So what's the value of these global ranking? After all, the survey data that they're based on are pretty crude measures. And at any given time, in any nation, some people are suffering while others thrive.
      "The reason for taking this [report] seriously," co-editor John Helliwell told us, is that it offers an alternative to thinking of "income as the measure of progress."
      http://www.npr.org/sections/goatsandsoda/2017/03/20/520859626/global-ranking-of-happiness-has-happy-news-for-norway-and-nicaragua
    • Guest Nicole
      By Guest Nicole
      ‘I’m busy,’ signals you don’t have room for friends; be specific or cut back your calendar
      I recently asked a friend I haven’t seen in months if she wanted to get together and catch up. I envisioned us gabbing over cocktails at the new Vietnamese restaurant in our neighborhood. Or maybe I could fix her dinner.
      Her reply: “Sure. Why don’t you stop by for 45 minutes to an hour on Monday night around 8:30.”
      Continue reading
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