When we are dogmatic and rigid in our beliefs we are more likely to harm others and harm ourselves. REBT’s concept of unconditional human worth rests on the notion that humans have equal worth regardless of how diverse their behaviors, orientations, identities and other aspects of themselves may be. Unfortunately, too many people think in a conditional way about themselves and others. Conditional beliefs like “Others are okay if they are heterosexual” lead to self-defeating and other defeating emotions that lead to all sorts of oppressive behaviors. We live in a social world and oppression and intolerance hurt all people.
REBT attempts to facilitate acceptance of all people by encouraging unconditional acceptance and flexible thinking. When we unconditionally accept others we are in a better position to live well with all people. We are better able to celebrate our diversity and to actually learn from others. With unconditional other acceptance we are less likely to assume someone is heterosexual because we may be heterosexual. We are more welcoming to all people and better able to avoid contributing to discrimination, prejudice, intolerance, and segregation that only divides people rather than helps us to enjoy each other and be comfortable with each other.
REBT challenges you to question your rigid beliefs and assumptions about all people. Why must we all be a certain way? Why can’t we tolerate diversity and even celebrate it? What assumptions are you making about another person? How are these assumptions impacting your behavior, level of comfort and your perceptions? When you question your beliefs you help yourself and your fellow human by opening your mind and heart to the wide diversity people display. When you learn to think flexibly you enable yourself to live within multiple communities instead of putting others who are different from you down. REBT can bring out the best in you if you use it and question your dogmatic beliefs about all things, all people and all conditions. Think about it.