REBT Self-Help Form
What is the situation that you are upset about?
Answer: Christmas, loneliness, dumped by a coffee date
What are the unhealthy negative emotions that you are experiencing?
Answer: anxiety, depression, shame, embarrassment, hurt
What self-defeating behaviors would you like to change?
Answer: exercise avoidance, withdrawal, unassertiveness
What demand are you making about the situation?
Answer: The idea that it is a dire necessity for an adult human being to be loved or approved by virtually every significant other person in their community.
Dispute: Why do I have to?
It’s impossible to be liked or loved by everybody.
No matter how popular you are, there will always be someone who doesn’t like you.
Even if you could get everybody to like or love you, you would never know if they liked you enough, or if they still liked you.
Different people have different tastes. Some people might like (for example) your new hairstyle; other people might hate it.
Therefore, no matter what you do, some people will admire you, and some people won’t.
Getting people to like you takes time and effort. If you try to get everyone to like you, you won’t have any time or energy left over to do the things that you want to do.
If you demand others’ approval, you’ll always be doing what they want you to do, instead of doing what you want to do with your time and your life.
Your life will no longer be your own.
If you try too hard to be loved or approved, people will soon tire of your constant sycophancy, and they will not respect you.
Paying too much attention to how much love and approval you are receiving,means you won’t pay enough attention to how much love and approval you are giving.
There’s no harm in trying to be popular, but it’s best not to try too hard.
In other words, it’s self-helping to want to be popular, but it’s self-defeating to need to be popular.
Having love and approval means you’ll find it easier to have friends, to find and keep a job, to find accommodation, etc.
But just because other people approve of you doesn’t mean that you’ll like yourself.
It’s better to strive for unconditional self-acceptance; i.e., you accept yourself, regardless of what others think of you.
It’s not pleasant when other people don’t like you, but it’s not awful, it’s not the end of the world, and it’s not fatal.
What are you saying to yourself about the situation that indicates low frustration tolerance?
Answer: I can’t stand being alone
Dispute: Where is the evidence that I can’t stand it
Rational Belief: There is no evidence. Besides, I’m not alone, I have me
What are your new healthy negative emotions?
Answer: sadness, concern, disappointment
What are your new self-helping behaviors?
Answer: talking to strangers, asking for what I want, find nicer friends.
Warning: This form should not be considered a substitute for individualized treatment with a mental health professional. If you are seeing a counselor or a therapist, it is recommended that you print this page and discuss your responses with him or her.
Designed by Will Ross © 2006
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