Counterintuitive Self-Improvement Trick: Study People You Hate

When it comes to self improvement, the usual go-to advice revolves around role models. Find people you admire and use their lives as a template to discover better ways of approaching your own and a marker by which to begin to raise your own expectations for yourself. In bite-sized form, this same technique is probably behind the internet’s mania for inspirational quotes.

Step 1: name your nemesis

First identify the people that really trigger negative emotions in you. “Try this: turn your thoughts to that person you keep running into at networking events, whose elevator pitch always leaves you feeling greasy; the columnist whose opinions never fail to stoke the fires of your outrage; the once-cool, indie filmmaker who sold out and started dating fashion models; or the work colleague who seems to have made sucking up to his superiors his job description–any of the people who get under your skin or repel you,” she writes.


The traits that annoy you most in others are probably the issues you most need to work on in yourself, argues one entrepreneur.


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