Do A Grouch A Favor Day

February 16, 2012 by staff 

Do A Grouch A Favor Day, Susan’s story of the committee grouch sprang to mind when I noticed that Thursday is National Do a Grouch a Favor Day. We all encounter grouches in life; it’s not our fault that they are miserable, and they may not even intend to be cruel. But the last thing we usually want to do is a favor for someone who hurts us.

It’s time to upend our thinking on how to handle prickly, snarky, or even downright mean people.

Not only will keeping our cool help the culprit, but there’s something in it for us too.

Our first reaction to an abrasive person is usually to personalize the attack and scratch right back. The problem then: One grumpy person multiplies into two. Researchers at Emory University have a different suggestion: Intentionally summon feelings of empathy and compassion for that person. This is a kind of compassion meditation, according to psychiatrist Charles Raison and coauthor Geshe Lobsang Tenzin Negi. Compassion meditation differs from traditional meditation, where the goal is to let your mind be free without agenda. With compassion meditation, we have a job. We are asked to go outside of our comfort zone and think positively about people we love (easy), people we ignore (a little harder), people we don’t like (bingo).

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