This nine-part series will illustrate the emotional intelligence (EI) theory intervention paradigm. The content of these dialogues may be of interest to the casual reader as well as the therapist seeking to increase h/er understanding and application of EI theory. An update of the problem solving adventure between Elliot and his EI guide will be posted each day, for nine daysElliot: I wish I didn’t have to be gay. It would make things a lot easier.
EI Guide: What do you tell yourself about being gay? I mean, if someone said, ‘Elliot, you are a big faggot,’ what would you tell yourself?
Elliot: I don’t know.
Elliot: I don’t like it. That’s for sure.
EI Guide: What about it don’t you like?
Elliot: My God, where do I begin?
EI Guide: Listen for words like should, ought, must, have to and need. Look for self-talk that contains those words. Just say whatever comes to your mind.
Elliot: People shouldn’t talk to me that way. People should be more courteous. I should be less obvious and not appear to be gay. I should learn to act straight. I thought I had, but I must not be doing a good job. If I act gay, I am a piece of shit. If I act straight I am good. It’s my fault that people are making fun of me. Acting gay is bad. If people know I’m gay that means I am not like other people and that is really bad. If someone calls me a faggot, I will have to stand up for myself and fight them. I really don’t want to fight people. But if I don’t fight them, that makes me a faggot. I don’t want to be a faggot or fight. So I am just standing there. I’m not fighting and I am not running. But I look like a coward and a faggot and there’s nothing I can do about it.
EI Guide: That’s a lot to think about.
Elliot: You asked for it.
EI Guide: Yes, I did.
Elliot: I never have just listened to my own thoughts, but I am surprised at what I am thinking about. To be honest with you, I think a lot of the fear I have of being viewed as a gay person is that people will confront me and I will have to do something back to them. That really is my big problem. Of course I still think I am a piece of shit anyway. But my biggest problem is that I feel like I have to do something if people make fun of me. I am not really a good fighter. If I say something back, it might cause a fight. It’s pretty much a problem with standing up for myself. If I didn’t think people would fight me, it would be a different thing altogether.
EI Guide: Is that your only option? Fight or be a coward?
Elliot: I suppose:
EI Guide: Could you do anything else?
Elliot: You can always do something else.
EI Guide: What thoughts would you have to give up, to do something differently – something that you would be happy with doing? If you had one wish that would help handle this situation, what would it be?
Elliot: That they would burst into flames?
EI Guide: That’s one option. How about something that is more related to you and your thinking.
Elliot: I’m not sure what to do. That’s why I came here. This is sort of the same thing my dad did. He didn’t say I was a faggot, but he might as well have.
- The Case of Elliot (part six) (eitheory.com)
- The Case of Elliot (part seven) (eitheory.com)
- The Case of Elliot (part four) (eitheory.com)
- The Case of Elliot (part five) (eitheory.com)
- The Case of Elliot (part eight) (eitheory.com)
- REBT vs. eitheory for the win! (eitheory.com)
- The Case of Elliot (part two) (eitheory.com)
- The Case of Elliot (part three) (eitheory.com)
- The Case of Elliot (part one) (eitheory.com)
- Next Post (eitheory.com)