·He did an idiotic thing and is an idiot. (Leads to anger)
·He did a very bad thing and is a bad person. (Leads to anger)
·She did a stupid thing and is stupid. (Leads to anger)
·She did a selfish thing and is a selfish person. (Leads to anger)
·I did a foolish thing and I am a fool. (Leads to self-loathing, humiliation, shame, self-directed anger)
·He is very accomplished and is a great person. (Leads to hero worshipping, overgeneralizing about the person, and can lead to self-downing and unhealthy envy).
People easily overcategorize and overgeneralize about themselves and others. This gets us in emotional trouble and distorts our view of reality. See that people cannot be rated as people but the things people do can be rated in the context of one’s goals. So REBT pushes you to see that people are too complex to be rated in a valid way because people are in a state of evolution and are very complex. To validly rate a person we would have to rate every single deed, decision, and characteristic from their birth to their death. This is impossible to do. People do many good things, bad things, and even neutral things. If you stop rating yourself and others you will experience greater emotional well-being when people misbehave or when you misbehave. You will not feel guilt and shame when you misbehave or fall short of your standards of conduct. It is better to feel remorse and disappointment when you fall short of your standards as you will only be rating what you did not the kind of person you are. Rating yourself does not tend to help you change your behavior. When you rate what people do you may get disappointed, displeased, or annoyed at their behavior but you will not be angry at them or rating them as people. This will help you assert yourself with them and engage in problem-solving.
Self and other acceptance are emphasized in REBT. You can hold people responsible for their behaviors, decisions, and deeds without condemning them as people or rating them as people. Acceptance of the person does NOT mean they are no longer responsible for their actions. Acceptance helps lead to sane and useful emotions about what people do. This is a complex idea that is rarely taught in our society. It is a habit of thinking that will take some time to develop. It will help you live considerably better with the fallible humans of your lives. It will very much also help you live better with yourself. Rating behaviors, deeds, decisions, and characteristics of the person and stopping the rating process there opens the door to self and other acceptance. Such self and other acceptance is very important for emotional well-being.