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How to start seeing the best in people

by Audrey S. Park (follow)
Psychology (88)      Positivity (33)      Friendship (20)      Social psychology (1)      Open-mindedness (1)     

Photo by Katie Treadway
Photo by Katie Treadway

No one wants to be that one person others donít want to introduce their friends to because theyíre afraid youíll be too judgmental, or the one always accused of being too negative and not open-minded enough when meeting new people. If this sounds like you, donít worry. Here are a few tips on how you can start seeing the best in people, and start spreading more positivity in your life and othersí.

Take a look at your own behavior

Mirroring, which means subconsioucly imitating gestures, speech patterns or attitudes of others, comes naturally to most people in social situations, often almost instinctively. If one person is being hostile and closed-off, the other one is likely to start copying the signals they are sending out. However, if you, on the other hand, are being nice and giving them compliments and really try your hardest to initiate an interesting conversation, chances are that the one you are talking to also is going to start mirroring you.

First impressions arenít everything

First impressions are usually the strongest ones, and research suggests that we are very prone to fall victim to confirmation bias - subconsciously only taking in information and impressions that confirm your preconceptions and preconceived notions of someone. Behavioural researchers have observed that learning negative information about someone usually has a stronger and more lasting impact on us than learning positive information about them, however, learning new information about them can lead to you changing your opinion on them, and learning new positive information can make you start seeing them in a more positive light. Being aware of subconscious bias is the first step in overcoming it, which we should definitely strive towards, because even if someone makes a bad first impression on us, if we get to know them, we usually find that there is a lot more to them than just that side.

However, remember that not everyone is worth the effort

Of course, I am not encouraging people to try and redeem irredeemable qualities, or spend a lot of time and effort on people you know you are completely incompatible with. If their beliefs and values go completely against yours, or if they are simply just mean and toxic people, you are probably better off not having them in your life. However, I will say that it is almost always worth giving people a chance, because you might find that you have more in common than you think. Who knows, maybe youíll even make a friend for life if you take the time to get to know them. Just try to be open-minded and to start seeing things from othersí points of view and you will be able to spread more positivity in your life.

# Positivity
# Psychology
# Social psychology
# Friendship
# Open-mindedness
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