“I Refuse To Upset Myself”

Generally considered to be one of the originators of the cognitive revolutionary paradigm shift in psychotherapy, Albert Ellis  (1913-2007) author of How to Stubbornly Refuse to Make Yourself Miserable About Anything—Yes, Anything!  would want you to know;

People don’t just get upset. They contribute to their upsetness. Whenever obnoxious or unpleasant activating events occur in people’s lives, they have a choice of making themselves feel healthily and self-helpingly sorry, disappointed, frustrated, and annoyed, or making themselves feel unhealthily and self-defeatingly horrified, terrified, panicked, depressed, self-hating, and self-pitying.

Neurosis still comes mainly from you. . And you can choose to stop your nonsense and to stubbornly refuse to make yourself neurotic about virtually anything.


Some of us walk around all day long getting on our own cases: “I’ve got to do this. I’ve got to do that. I should have said this to that person. I need to be more that. I ought to be more organized. I should be more attractive, intelligent, witty, popular and personable. I ought to be more assertive.  I need to be less aggressive. I’ve got to speak up more. I really need to keep my mouth shut.” … Some of us “should on ourselves” all day long!

Although emotions may sometimes exist without thought, it appears to be almost impossible to sustain an emotional outburst without bolstering it by repeated ideas.

If people stopped looking on their emotions as ethereal, almost inhuman processes, and realistically viewed them as being largely composed of perceptions, thoughts, evaluations, and internalized sentences, they would find it quite possible to work calmly and concertedly at changing them.

The more sinful and guilty a person tends to feel, the less chance there is that he will be a happy, healthy, or law-abiding citizen. He will often become a compulsive wrongdoer. This is because he does not nearly blame his behavior—but also blames his total self, his entire being.

This is the essence of intellectual fascism: it is a belief about humans which convinces not only the believers, but usually their victims as well,that people acquire intrinsic worth not from merely being, but from being intelligent, talented, competent, or achieving. It is politico-social fascism with the trait names changed—the same hearse with different license plates.

vespas_by_koyamori-d6h11b1To help people gain unconditional self-acceptance and to believe that they are okay or are good just because they exist had better be taught to all children in the course of their schooling, from early childhood onward.

Practically all humans are born very gullible or teachable, especially in the course of their childhood, and consequently they accept many kinds of ideas, feelings, and actions that their parents and other caretakers tell them are beneficial and often reward them for believing, feeling, and behaving.they exist had better be taught to all children in the course of their schooling, from early childhood onward.

We need to teach every child how to rarely seriously disturb himself or herself and how to overcome disturbance when it occurs.

The best years of your life are the ones in which you decide your problems are your own. You don’t blame them on your parents, the ecology or the president. You realize that you control your own destiny.

The emotionally sound person should be able to take risks, to ask himself what he really would like to do in life, and then to try to do this, even though he has to risk defeat or failure. He should be adventurous (though not necessarily foolhardy); be willing to try almost anything once, just to see how he likes it; and look forward to some breaks in his usual life routines.


Quotes: Albert Ellis,  Source: NYTimes

1 Comment

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