Terms of Enragement


Terms of Enragement

  1. The belief that you HAVE TO be loved and approved of by all the significant people in your life.  In the absence of cooperation, you can never be truly happy.
  2. The belief that you SHOULD always be completely competent, productive and successful. If you’re not, you are a failure and can never be truly happy.
  3. The belief that people OUGHT to never act obnoxiously or unfairly toward you or toward people you care about.  If that happens, you can never be truly happy.
  4. The belief that people who act foolishly, make poor choices or behave irresponsibly SHOULD be damned.
  5. The belief that you HAVE TO view things you don’t like as awful, terrible, horrible and catastrophic.
  6. The belief that you MUST be miserable and unhappy when you have pressures and difficult experiences and that you CANNOT be happy in your life until you have no difficulties.
  7. The belief that you have VERY LITTLE CONTROL over your disturbed feelings.
  8. The belief that the past will always influence and will forever determine your feelings and behavior in the present.
  9. The belief that people and things absolutely MUST be better than they are.

These nine beliefs represent what we teach children about their emotional potential.  These beliefs often become the framework from which children build an understanding of their social worlds. Children have greater potential to utilize their brain’s plasticity (ability to re-form itself) and their innate trait for emotional flexibility.  In fact, we all have the potential for emotional flexibility, at any age.  We just don’t use it much after we put away our toys. We might better express these nine absolute beliefs as:

Terms of Engagement

  1. The belief that you can experience disapproval and dissatisfaction from others without concluding that criticism is proof of your worthlessness as a human being.
  2. The belief that you can make mistakes, learn, take chances, express and change your opinion, and fail without concluding that you are a complete failure.
  3. The belief that people do not have to behave perfectly or according to your standards in order for you to be happy living a world with them.
  4. The belief that people who act foolishly, make poor choices or behave irresponsibly can be excused, pardoned and forgiven.
  5. The belief that experiencing things you don’t like are temporary inconveniences.  If you increase your frustration tolerance for things you don’t like, you will be more comfortable the next time the same or similar shit happens.
  6. The belief that your life will include experiences that are unpleasant and that you will never be free of all difficulties.
  7. The belief that you and only you control how you think and therefore how you feel.
  8. The belief that your past has as much influence over your present as you think it does.
  9. The belief that people and things are the way they are and if you’re in a better frame of mind, people will be more likely to hear you and you may be in a better position to strengthen your relationships with others.
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5 responses

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