“Other people must treat me fairly, kindly, and well."
REBT Disputing Questions:
- Do other people always get treated fairly, kindly, and well by the people in their lives? If not then why must I be treated fairly, kindly, and well by the people in my life? What makes me so special?
- When I tell myself people must treat me fairly, kindly, and well and they do not treat me this way do I react well and effectively to such poor treatment or poorly and ineffectively?
- I want to be treated well, fairly, and kindly by other people but does it follow that therefore I must be treated well, fairly, and kindly by other people?
REBT’s Suggested Rational Attitude:
I want people to treat me kindly, fairly, and well but they do not absolutely have to treat me kindly, fairly, and well. When I demand this type of preferential treatment I tend to get angry when I do not get what I must get. Anger is self-defeating because I tend not to be creative and effective when I get angry in the face of mistreatment by others. As Thomas Jefferson wisely pointed out “Nothing gives one person so much advantage over another as to remain always cool and unruffled under all circumstances.”
Homework that Will Lead to Emotional-Behavioral Change:
Write the above suggested rational attitude 3-5 times per day for a week or two on a piece of paper. Writing it will help you recall it when you are mistreated by others. It is only when you are mistreated AND you recall to mind the above Rational Attitude that you will develop conviction in the attitude. First internalize it through daily writing and this will get you ready for the moment someone treats you unkindly, unfairly, or poorly. You know that will sooner or later happen so why not ready yourself now?