It can be hard to feel beautiful when you are angry with someone else. Your jaw gets tense, your eyes narrow, and your whole body seems to contract. Of course, every once in a while, things happen that warrant your anger. You don’t want the world to push you around. Sometimes, you have to stand up for yourself.
But, if you find that you are often angry with other people and feel as though they let you down, then you might be judging them too harshly, which can lead you to take offense more often than you need to.
You might wonder, what makes someone judge others more often?
If you look at basic personality traits, three dimensions are important here: agreeableness, openness, and emotional stability. When you are low in agreeableness, then you tend to be critical of others. When you are low in openness, then you tend to be resistant to new ideas and new ways of doing things. When you are low in emotional stability, then you tend to get angry when things do not go the way you expect. People who are low in all three are the ones who are most prone to judge others.
If you want to be more accepting, here’s what you can do:
First, when you find yourself getting angry with someone else, try to disengage from the situation. The best way to do that is to put some psychological distance between you and the event that upset you. One good way to create that distance is to imagine looking back on the event a year from now. Will it still matter to you?
Second, consider the situation. A lot of times, when you look at other people’s behavior, you focus on what must have been wrong with them as a person that made them act that way. When you do that, you may not notice the situation that they are in that probably also affected their behavior. Letting yourself mentally walk a mile in their shoes can help you see some of the other forces that affected their behavior.
Third, change your focus to the positive. When you start to get down on other people, it can feed on itself. You start to see all of the negative things that are happening around you. At those times, it can begin to feel like everyone in the world exists just to annoy you. In those situations, make a list of all of the good things that the people around you are doing. Make an effort to find one or two good things that someone has done before you think about mentioning any of the bad things. By doing this, you can help yourself to get in the habit of thinking about the positive qualities of the people around you.
Finally, find a way to relax. Anger is an emotion that heats up quickly. When you are angry, the psychological mechanisms that prevent you from saying things you shouldn’t don’t work that well. You can make a small problem worse by the things you say. When you find that anger rising, give yourself a chance to be alone for a few minutes. Close your eyes and breathe deeply. The more you can do to keep your anger from overflowing, the more problems you prevent from happening.
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