Hey, I know you’re neurotic.
Today’s Installment: Rational Emotive Behavioral Therapy
The main idea with this type of therapy is that it’s your thoughts and what you tell yourself is what makes you a bug. If you follow the A-B-C-D-E model you can get over your bugginess and be less annoying to the people around you.
Here’s how it works:
A- The Activating Event
This is the whatever crap that happens that you think is causing your emotional state. The problem is you’re wrong–it isn’t what happens.
This what you tell yourself about what happened. Example: The guy on the bus farts and it really stinks. You tell yourself that the smell is awful, unbearable and because of it not only does the bus stink but your whole life stinks.
C- The Emotional Consequence
Now because of the horrendous things you’re telling yourself you’re miserable. You’re depressed about your stinking world and the rotten farting bastards in it.
Here’s what you do about it:
Dispute your irrational thoughts that make you upset. Is it awful that the guy let a silent but deadly one go or is it just a bit unpleasant? Is it really terrible and does it really speak of the world’s injustice or does it just smell like rotten eggs for a while?
We tell ourselves exaggerated things and that leads to exaggerated emotional responses.
E- Effective new Strategies
Instead of going on and on irrationally about the stink bomb why not tell yourself something like this:
“I’d really prefer to not make my morning commute in a gaseous billow of funk but I certainly can deal with it. Even it is temporarily unpleasant I can still live a somewhat happy life. All of life doesn’t smell of decaying Fritos and though it’s not great right now, I can still make it a good day.
There you go. it’s what you tell yourself about what happens in life, not what really happens.
In short, deal with the farts and don’t get worked up about it.
Thanks to famed shrink Albert Ellis for coming up with this.