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Inspirational author Stephanie Dowrick shows how simple mindset shifts can turn sour situations into sunny ones.


With Your Family 

You feel unappreciated

Your Instinct

Withdraw or explode

Alternate Outlook

“Choose a relaxed moment to share your perspective,” Dowrick says. “But beware of self- pity. Then open up the conversation by asking how your family feels. It can be exhilarating to talk openly about the different ways kindness can be expressed, including consideration, appreciation, respect, gratitude, and good humor.”


With Your Other Half

There is a loss of interest and romance

Your Instinct

Feel hurt and angry

Alternate Outlook

“Defensive behaviors crush intimacy. For a couple to flourish, each partner needs to ban criticism and cultivate the art of appreciation. If you don’t like something, talk about it—calmly, but talk much more about what you enjoy. And focus on whether you yourself are good company, because you are the only one you can change.”


With Co-workers

Competition is brewing

Your Instinct

View your peers as rivals

Alternate Outlook

“Challenge the culture of a highly competitive workplace by committing to considerate behaviors. When you value thoughtfulness and respect, it’s easy to act generously and cooperatively. The result is that others will instinctively trust and like you. And when your co-workers find you easy to work with, they are less likely to undermine you.”


With Yourself

You can’t keep up with
what’s demanded of you

Your Instinct

Consider yourself a failure 

Alternate Outlook

“Self-respect and self-appreciation are essential to personal kindness. You can’t begin to be kind to others until you learn to support yourself, particularly when you’re feeling overwhelmed. There may be better ways to tackle your to-do list; however, the most crucial thing is that you encourage yourself as you would a dear friend.”


Stephanie Dowrick, Ph.D., is the author of Everyday Kindness: Shortcuts to a Happier and More Confident Life.


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