Sometimes us human folks fail to watch
our Goldens close enough and we miss the big picture. We fail to understand how
they are able to manage the ups and downs of life, and seem so stress-free. So, Golden Mom
Rochelle, School Psychologist, is giving you a second chance.
Below is a short version
of the way that I teach children and adults to think better. That's because, if you THINK
better, you will FEEL better. This approach, Rational-Emotive
Behavior Therapy, was created by the incredible Dr.
Albert Ellis. And, the fun ideas that follow come from the crazy way that Dr. Tom Miller
has of doing REBT.
adults teach children that, "Sticks and stones can break your bones. But,
words can never hurt you." Of course, 99% of the world doesn't really
believe that. They think words hurt, and that we should never hurt
peoples feelings by saying such things. But, that causes lots of people to be upset
lots of the time.
Did you know that when
people get themselves upset they are suffering from . . . .
Stand It-itis & Musterbation or are Awfulizing and Shoulding
1. First, lets have some fun by making a
modified Johnny Carson Scale. Think back to when Johnny Carson had his late night talk
show. Remember, Johnnys monologue, when he would say to the audience, Boy, it
was hot in California today and the audience would respond, HOW HOT WAS
IT? Well, this scale will help with HOW BAD IS IT?
2. On a lined piece of paper, list on the left side
of your paper (going down), the numbers 100, 95, 90, 85, 80,
, 5, 3, and
finally number 1.
Now, on a separate sheet, list some
events that would cause you emotional distress. Include things like car breaking down,
losing wallet, smashing new car, passing gas at a party, losing job, best friend hates
you, lister flames you in front of all, Golden diagnosed with cancer, child fails grade,
being abandoned by fellow listers you believed to be friends, husband cheating on you,
etc. Now, just in case you didnt include certain events, be sure to realize the
following: The worst thing that could possibly happen (a 100!) would be to have your
entire family (2 & 4-legged) tortured and killed in front of your eyes, with you
helpless to intercede. From there, you should be able to gage what a 1 would
3. Go back and plug in these written events to
match your numbers listed on your first sheet. For example, 100 - Family tortured & killed in front of you, you
can do nothing to stop it, etc., down to 1.
Now, lets truly consider how terrible, horrible, awful, horrendous, catastrophic it
is to experience the wrath of some fellow listers. Where did you place that event? Was it
a 5? Was it a 50? And, just to let you know, if you didnt know already, the
emotional pain in suffering a death to a loved family member is far greater and longer
lasting than that for smashing a car or feeling humiliated or hurt by one you believed to
be your friend. Thats why it would always get a higher number.
5. But, theres another important aspect to
this little exercise. And, that is what you tell yourself about this event. Were you
telling yourself that it was horrid, terrible, awful, and that you just COULDNT
STAND IT? Well, I hate to tell you, unless that event has killed you (and thats not
possible if you are reading this now), you actually already did stand it. Or, were you
SHOULDING ON YOURSELF? You know, like
..I should always be polite. I should never
make mistakes. I should always do for others before myself. I should always have my Golden
well groomed. I should always have a clean house if someone is coming over. I should
always be there when anyone needs me. And, so on. Of course, you may have been
MUSTERBATING. Read further to learn about this wonderful ailment!
6. Please remember we are being extremely logical
and rational about this type of cognitive or thinking strategy. There are very few things
we MUST do and have no choice about. We pay taxes out of choice, because we dont
like the consequences. The only real MUSTs are dying and those dealing with the laws
of physics (while we are on earth). That is, if you go up on the roof and jump, you MUST
go down. The rational component for must is to not demand. If you were a genie, you could
just demand things happen, and they would. Or if you ran the whole universe, you could
also have your way. But, lets be rational, and try to sign the following statement
to help shield against MUSTERBATION or SHOULDING on yourself:
I, BEING OF SOUND MIND
AND BODY, DO FULLY REALIZE AND ADMIT THAT I DO NOT, HAVENT EVER, AND WONT EVER
RUN THE UNIVERSE.
Oh, I forgot to tell you! MUST has 5
WICKED WITCH SISTERS: They are SHOULD, OUGHT, HAVE TO, GOT TO, AND NEED TO. But, have no
fear, you can combat them with these GOOD WITCH SUBSTITUTES: WISHING, WANTING, PREFERRING,
DESIRING, PRACTICALITIES, SENSIBILITIES, IT WOULD BE BETTER IFS, ETHICS, MORALS, VALUES,
there are 3 ways to musterbate. You can be 1-ing it, 2-ing it, or 3-ing it.
1 = I MUST . . .
2 = YOU MUST . . . .
3 = THE WORLD MUST . . . .
If you are 1-ing
it, then you are telling yourself that I MUST (NEED TO) GET LOTS OF LOVE, APPROVAL AND
ACCEPTANCE AND I MUST (NEED TO) BEHAVE VERY COMPETENTLY. IF I DONT,
ITS AWFUL AND I CANT STAND IT, BECAUSE THEN I GET TURNED INTO A SH_ _.
Doing this causes these wonderful emotions: hurt or inferiority/inadequacy, anxiety,
If you are 2-ing
it, then you may be telling yourself that YOU MUST BEHAVE IN A REASONABLE AND
COMPETENT MANNER, AND TREAT ME WITH RESPECT AND CONSIDERATION!!! WHEN YOU DONT,
ITS AWFUL AND I CANT STAND IT, YOU ARE ____________***, AND DESERVE TO BE
PUNISHED!!! This is called other-blaming, which causes you to feel anger, hostility and/or
If you 2-ing it,
but turning this belief in on yourself, and thus failing to live up to it, you are doing
self-blaming. This causes you to feel guilty, and looks like this: I MUST
BEHAVE IN A REASONABLE AND COMPETENT MANNER, AND TREAT YOU WITH RESPECT AND
CONSIDERATION!!! WHEN YOU DONT, ITS AWFUL AND I CANT STAND IT. I AM
__________***, AND DESERVE TO BE PUNISHED!!!
If you are 3-ing it,
then you are telling yourself MY LIFE MUST BE COMFORTABLE AND EASY. WHEN IT ISNT,
ITS AWFUL, AND I CANT STAND IT!!! This is just a demand for internal comfort. We have
lots of demands, or some people look at it as questions. Check off which of the following
you suffer from (now be honest!):
These demands are all
followed by when it isnt/doesnt, its awful, and I cant stand
___ 1. My world must be fair!
___ 2. My world must be safe!
___ 3. My world must be kind!
___ 4. My world must be like I want it or expect it to be!
___ 5. My world must make sense!
___ 6. My world must be predictable!
These questions also trap you
because you blame the world and at the same time conclude that there is nothing you can do
about it. Just sit and wait and see if the world changes. Just sit and be miserable and
grumpy, hoping things improve.
___ 7. Why me?
___ 8. What did I do to deserve this?
___ 9. Why must life be so hard?
___ 10. Why doesnt this stop?
___ 11. What did I do wrong?
___ 12. Why was I born so ugly, stupid, poor,