Believe it or not, the ability to imagine another’s point of view develops over time.
Psychologist Jean Piaget suggests that most of us only started developing this ability around the age of four. It may be a complex skill, but now that we’ve worked it out, we should make use of it. It can help us to see our setback from another person’s perspective, and therefore reassess our interpretation of the event.
Give it a go
Next time you’re in a tricky situation take a second to breathe before you react.
Use this time to consider your initial reaction from a different perspective. Not only will this help you to feel more in control, but it will also give you a chance to challenge your beliefs about the situation, which as we already know, will ultimately lead to more positive emotional consequences. This might be challenging at first, but the more you practise the easier it will become.
Humour is a great way to shift your perspective.
It can help to create psychological distance between ourselves and the adverse situation we may be facing. This prevents us from feeling overwhelmed. In fact, researchers have found that bereaved individuals who laughed and smiled when speaking about their recent loss, adjusted to the loss better in the years that followed than those who didn’t.
So, if you’re struggling to see the flip side, why not try and see the funny side instead.