Strategies to improve how you feel by changing how you think:
Don’t approach interactions with the goal of explaining or convincing someone of your point of view. When you disagree with someone, instead of attempting to prove your viewpoint as “right,” attempt to see how both viewpoints may exist and hold truth.
Try to find commonalities in seeming opposites. Although some things may appear to be mutually exclusive, search for how they are in fact a part of a whole. It could mean that you are light- hearted and serious, forgiving and angry, doing your best and needing to do better. On the surface these may appear to contradictory, but they are all part of a whole.
Give up on a search for one final indisputable truth. Think of all the times in history when we believed we knew the truth—that the world was flat, that Vikings wore horns on their helmets, that Crisco was a healthy alternative to butter, that women don’t have the intellectual capacity to vote, that the earth was the center of the universe. Acknowledge that our sense of “truth” evolves over time. Allow yourself to loosen your hold on any “truths” that may change with time and circumstances.
Let go of extreme language. The words that we use have an impact on how we feel. Using words such as never, always, must, should, shouldn’t, fair, unfair, ideal are ALWAYS BAD (just kidding. see?) Allow yourself to think about what works, rather than how things “should be.”
Remember that all interactions occur in a social world. We are influenced by our past experiences and our current life circumstances. Each person’s view developed based on these very different experiences are neither right nor wrong. Rather they are different based on each person’s history. When you interact with others, don’t assume that their social context and therefore their beliefs developed in the same way that yours did. When you interpret someone’s behavior remember that it occurs in a context and that you can never fully know that context. Although it’s different from yours, other viewpoints can hold personal truth. “Rude” is a social construct.