Tag Archives: #psychology#


Source: Happy faces carved from bamboo, photo taken by me in HoiAn, Vietnam

The “As if Principle” by Richard Wiseman

When you get angry in the workplace, how would you react? Some anger management programs suggest an anger management room where employees can kick a do-do doll and get it out of their system, rather than bottle everything inside.

Psychologist Brad Bushman from Iowa University carried out several experiments on how feelings of anger can be squashed by acting like a calm person.

Bushman demonstrated the calming power of prayer. He angered a group of Christian college students by giving them extremely negative feedback about their work and then asked them to read a newspaper article about a woman with a rare form of disease. Next, he had 2 groups.
1) some were asked to spend 5 min putting their hands together and pray for the woman.
2) some were asked to think about her

The experiment showed that those who prayed were significantly less angry than those who thought about the woman.

Wiseman suggested:
1) Acting in a relaxed and calm way produced relaxed and calming thoughts
2) Smiling can make you feel happy. Acting in a calm fashion will quickly make you feel calm
3) Try deep breathing.

Have you noticed that when you’re having a bad day, everyone seems to be out to get you and irritate you?

According to John Bates from “The Art of People” by Dave Kerpen, we all have mirror neurons that mirror the emotions of the person speaking to us.

Someone’s bad mood can rub off on you.

A mirror neuron is a neuron that fires both when an animal acts and when the animal observes the same action performed by another animal.

We are social
Thus the neuron “mirrors” the behavior of the other, as though the observer were itself acting.

If you’re a public speaker and you take the stage in a bad mood, your audience will likely sense it and become a “bad” audience, Dave Kerpen advises.

Point to note when going for your next interview. If you’re nervous and tense, the interviewer can sense and become a bad interviewer.

However, if you happen to chance an interviewer who’s not in the best of mood, my suggestion is to resist the temptation to mirror his/her mood.

Instead, rise above the situation and hopefully your positiveness will be mirrored by the other person’s mirror neuron.

Photo: Taken by me at the 2017 Edible Gardens Festival, Hort Park, Singapore.

Life is a shipwreck but don’t forget to sing in the lifeboats. – Voltaire