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The health benefits of compassion and tips for dealing with unpleasant people, interactions

Previous research suggests that the negative moods and behaviors of those we interact with have far-reaching effects. For example, findings published in August showed workplace stress and co-worker rudeness can spill over into a person's home life, strain their relationships outside of the office and, even, impact their partner's job.

Today, the Chart takes a closer look at how others' coarseness, impatience or irritability can result in negative emotions that erode our lives and the health benefits of engaging in acts of kindness and being compassionate. Amanda Enayati writes:

a slew of studies confirm that kinder people tend to live longer and lead healthier lives; volunteers have fewer aches and pains; and compassionate people are more likely to be healthier and successful.

Widespread incivility, on the other hand, can wreak havoc. Mean people, writes Stanford professor Robert Sutton, have “devastating effects, partly because nasty interactions have a far bigger impact on our moods than positive interactions - five times the punch.”

Says Sutton: “You have to overwhelm the negative with so much positive, it’s ridiculous!”

Sutton goes on to provide a few tips for constructively dealing with uncivil situations and run-ins with unpleasant people.

Previously: Stanford class teaches students how to live a happier, healthier life, The secret to living longer? It’s all in the ‘tude and A positive outlook on life may boost heart health

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