Helpful Ideas from Self-Help Books
Let's say you watch the news, and end up getting upset about illegal logging in Brazil. What do you do next? You might vent to your friends at a dinner party. Or you might leave a furious comment on a website. Either way, you're still seething. Thankfully, Wharton School professor Adam Grant, author of Originals: How Non-Conformists Move the World (out in February), offers concrete suggestions on how to reframe our unwieldy frustrations into "empathetic anger." "Instead of venting about the harm that a perpetrator has done, we need to reflect on the victims who have suffered from it," Grant writes. In a recent study, conducted by social scientists from Harvard and Columbia, people who watched a CEO overpay himself, while underpaying an employee, were spurred to action when encouraged to focus on the suffering person(the employee) rather than the villain (the CEO). In other words, when we zero in on the bad guy, we usually get mad, rant and don't do much. When we look at the victim, we find a way to help—and end up feeling empowered.