Life Hack for Overcoming Depression: Pretend to Be Good


In The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin (an awesome book, by the way), the author says something I really, really like. See, she’s something of a researcher (something of? she’s a researcher), and her book is stock full of these awesome little scientific ideas. One of them that I just love is this:

People subconsciously transfer to you the traits you give to others.

That’s right. When you say something negative about someone, that comment “bounces off of them and sticks to you.”

And when you compliment someone, the same thing happens–and, suddenly, you’re golden.

It’s called “spontaneous trait transference,” and it’s totally real. And when I heard about it, I just had to share. After all, what’s an easier way to look good than to just start complimenting others more? It might even be considered–well, what exactly? I know: An “angel hack!” All of the great rep points but none of the work!

Doesn’t get any better than that.


“This is the kind of writing that makes me feel as if I’d sat down with the author on the sofa with cups of tea and we were talking together for hours. The style is so vulnerable …” – Heather

“I don’t know what to say other than it is the most beautiful book that I have ever read.” – Ashley

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“I loved the book!! I couldn’t stop reading it!! It touched me so very much.” – Haydee

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“Player’s chatty style evokes a realism and empathy for the story. One is able to feel her pain.” – Anonymous 

Get What I Learned from Jane on Amazon.


More Stuff to Read:

Some Spiritual Practices Actually Work. It’s Amazing.

There are hundreds of spiritual techniques for overcoming depression and increasing inner peace. Only one blog talks about whether or not they work. With ratings. (Take that, God.)

I Suspect Inner Peace Is Just a Myth. Here Are Interviews With People Who Disagree.

Some people are such show-offs. But that doesn’t mean they’re not worth listening to.

There’s a Book for That, Too

It’s a great time to get suddenly awesome. So many teachers. So many books.

I’m a Partner, a Mom, a Friend, a Mom, a Sister, a Daughter, a Businessperson and a Mom. Here’s What Helps.



  1. The book sounds well worth a read. “Spontaneous trait transference” is perhaps another way of describing karma or “cause and effect”. Great article by the way! Thanks.


  2. Hi Mollie:
    “Spontaneous trait transference”

    It’s why I’m always careful with my words. When I’m with my BEST friend especially, I want to build her up as she has (in her own words) has told me that no one’s ever done so before.

    I do this with all of my friends though, not just w/my best friend. It’s what I think draws people to me. They understand that if they get into my inner circle that I will protect them that I will honor them.



  3. Karma? In a way, it sounds like that. If I treat enough people good and nice (and combine that with positive thinking about myself) I will create a positive energy flow (aura) around myself to attract nice things and nice people.
    Sounds fine, to me.


  4. Yeah, I think there’s something to the idea pf karma, although not what people think. I don’t believe in “bad” karma at all … just creation of our lives, kinda like what you said, Scott. Have you ever read the book “Dying to Be Me” by someone who experienced death? Very good.


  5. The word that comes to mind is “Resonance”. As in how you choose to be and act, is what the universe will reflect back to you, not unlike a mirror.


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