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What Prevents Us From Thinking Rationally? - Self-development
What Prevents Us From Thinking Rationally? - Self-development

Video: What Prevents Us From Thinking Rationally? - Self-development

Video: What Prevents Us From Thinking Rationally? - Self-development
Video: The Dark Side of Self Improvement | Suzanne Eder | TEDxWilmington 2023, March
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Where do our negative emotions come from? It's simple, you say: something happened, and our reaction was not long in coming. But is it really so?

The founder of rational-emotive therapy, Albert Ellis, a cognitive therapist, introduced the concept of irrational attitudes, showing that people are prone to illogical, irrational thought constructs.

In fact, many of our problems and negative feelings arise not because of an external event, but because of the peculiarities of thinking and our negative interpretation of this event. That is, a person's problems are the result of his thinking.

Negative emotions arise from various irrational beliefs learned from childhood and throughout life

According to Albert Ellis, every person is born with a certain potential, which contains two sides: rational and irrational, constructive and destructive.

Why are irrational attitudes dangerous?

They prevent us from seeing the real picture and, as a result, thinking rationally and choosing constructive ways to solve problems.

How can we track such installations?

There are several so-called irrational scenarios or strategies. Let's take a closer look at them.

Scenario number 1. "Mind reading"

Conclusions are based not so much on external signs that the other person really thought so, as on our tendency to predict. We cannot get into the head of another person, we can only read his external behavioral characteristics or ask directly.

With this strategy, for a person, they think out his possible assessment of a particular situation. For example, a spouse at a new job gets more tired, is delayed, the wife has the thought: "He stopped loving me!" Or at work, the boss asked the employee to redo the report, and immediately a panicky thought appears in the subordinate's head: "He thinks I'm a bad employee." There are a lot of such situations, if you think about it.

What is behind this strategy? The foundation of "mind reading" is the problem of relationships and socialization in general. For example, a person's lack of feedback, especially in childhood. When there are no clear criteria and an understanding of what is true / not true, what is approved is necessary. Inability to analyze and work with facts, difficulties in finding and tracking arguments and confirmation of their theory - "I don't know why, but I feel this way …".

How can this setting be worked out?

1st STEP. Ask yourself the question: what is your belief based on, where did you get the idea that this is so?

2nd STEP. Form a new way to analyze the situation, search for objective arguments, learn to build feedback with your interlocutor.

3rd STEP. Realize the benefits of the new way of handling the situation and the disadvantages of the previous one.

STEP 4. Weigh the pros and cons of a new way of thinking. Ask yourself: do you really want to know what is going on, or have you decided to continue living with illusions and speculation?

5th STEP. At this stage, the automatic skill of applying new ways of thinking is formed. Apply this analysis framework in different situations.

Scenario number 2. "Fortune-telling"

The future is seen in a dark light - things are getting worse, there are many dangers and negativity in the future. Such inferences are not based on an analysis of the real situation, but are associated with a person's inner anxiety, fear of not coping with something.

This strategy is based on anxiety, negative thinking, fear of difficulties. For example, before the interview, the applicant winds himself up that he will not cope, will not get this job, thereby depriving him of the opportunity to soberly assess the situation and correctly show himself. The forecast of a negative future acts as a kind of conditional way to cope with anxiety. An unfavorable prognosis, as it were, paralyzes actions, acting as a defense against unwanted, frightening activities. This strategy is more typical for anxiety syndrome in various diseases.

How can this setting be corrected?

1st STEP. Ask yourself: how can the situation be improved, what exactly can you do to achieve this?

2nd STEP. Make plans with corrections periodically. To do this, we transform three to five negative formulations into positive ones and draw up an action plan for each day.

3rd STEP. Develop skills in prioritizing the action plan. Indicate how many points you are ready to do and at what time.

STEP 4. Technique of "cognitive rehearsal". For example, when preparing for an interview, imagine in advance how you are going to the interview, what you will wear, how you will come, how you will conduct the conversation, what questions may arise, what difficulties will arise.

Scenario number 3. "Catastrophic"

Something terrible and unbearable is supposed to happen when any situation is perceived as a disaster, regardless of the outcome. The basis of this strategy will be irrational or automatic attitudes - "it will be awful if I fail," "it will be awful if they refuse me …", etc. Thoughts arise: what if something happens? The logic of reality perception is distorted through negative representations.

How can this attitude be worked out?

1st STEP. Try to "unwind" the situation to the point of absurdity. Ask yourself: "What will happen next?" And again: "And then what will happen next?" So you can find a distortion of logic that prevents us from objectively looking at the situation.

2nd STEP. Describe the criteria for a disaster. By what signs can you determine that it is coming?

For example, with the fear of flying, a person is very worried about the trip. What can be done? Mark for yourself by what criteria you will be able to notice in advance that something is going wrong. For example, niches with oxygen masks opened, informational messages from the captain appeared, the staff began to fuss. And already during the flight itself, note whether something is happening that portends trouble. If not, calmly continue to fly further. This creates a sense of control over the situation.

Scenario No. 4. "Sticking labels"

Evaluation of oneself, people, events is done using a "stamp" or "label". The label acts as a kind of simplified description plus a strong emotional intensity - affectivity. For example - "I'm a loser", a child who got bad grades in school - "brainless", etc.

This strategy is based on the fact that a person does not know how to see himself and others from different sides, multifaceted. And his behavior is built on the basis of this label.

How can this setting be worked out?

1st STEP. It is necessary to learn to expand the idea of yourself or others, to answer the question: "What else am I?", "What else can they be?"

2nd STEP. Make a list of situations you may find yourself in in the future. For example, if a child is a poor student, imagine the situations in which he can show positive qualities. This will create a new, expanded image of yourself or someone else.

3rd STEP. Make a list of situations and write down a set of qualities that will be useful in each of them, will be optimal for her. It will also help to look at oneself or another in a more diverse way and increase the efficiency of activities.

In an effort to analyze your thoughts and actions in various situations, you can learn to think rationally, get rid of labels and far-fetched fears

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