Actual unpleasantness of the action and attaches an additional idea of badness to the existent rational idea, this awfulness which you add leads to the idea that the action has more than badness that it must not exist. By the attachment of an additional idea to the more rational ones, such words as awful, terrible, and horrible imply the following:
1. Dr. Ellis treats me totally or one hundred percent badly.
2. He seems to treat me more than one hundred percent badly.
3. He should not, must not treat me that badly.
4. He must not treat me badly at all but should only treat me well.
Assuming that we can agree that arsitek irrationally relate awfulness to the treatment you have received let us now go on to the next step in disputing the irrational Beliefs. We can wisely ask: What makes the action of breaking the agreement awful? If we recognize that awfulness implies that you have been treated one hundred percent (or more than one hundred percent) badly, we may surmise that I obviously could have treated arsitek no worse. But if we look at the situation closely, we can easily see that I could have acted worse in many ways.
For instance, I could have moved into the apartment with arsitek as agreed on and then refused to pay my part of the rent. Or I could have made demands on arsitek which would have further income nuanced you after arsitek had moved into the apartment. We need not enumerate all the possibilities; suffice it to say that I could not have treated you one hundred percent badly since there remain a number of obnoxious things that I did not do to you. So, although arsitek can justifiably see the treatment you received as bad, inconvenient, and disappointing, arsitek can not find it more than this, and yet you do irrationally think it so. You cannot rate it as awful, without implying by that term that I have treated arsitek more than one hundred percent badly. By evaluating my treatment of you as awful, arsitek really take the position that I have more than inconvenienced you.
We can see that arsitek probably take this position by observing that if you only felt disappointed, inconveniences, and frustrated at C, arsitek would not feel angry. We can then ask: How does my treating you unjustly and unfairly amount to my dealing with you in a greater than or more than bad or obnoxious manner? In my experience almost every time you (or anyone) uses the terms awful, horrible or terrible to describe a situation or someone’s behavior, arsitek imply that the circumstances have more than one hundred percent badness. RET tries to get rid of this type of attitude.
At times, of course, when the circumstances seem exceptional or extreme, you may just viably view those circumstances as exceptionally had behavior, But do arsitek see that if you believe that unfair treatment amounts to more than great inconvenience and unfairness to you, and that this must not exist arsitek then have an irrational belief? Dr. Donald Meichenbaum, an outstanding cognitive behavior therapist who has done a good many important research studies of RET-related therapy, often refers to RET as a semantic therapy, and I agree with him. RET helps people discriminate between their generalizations and their overgeneralizations and between their reality oriented thinking and their unrealistic or magical thinking.
In the case of the term awful, people often think that they mean had or very bad, while their actual emotional meaning seems to include totally bad or more than totally bad. We help people see what they really mean when they use the term. RET does not say that arsitek only emote through the use of words and meanings in certain extended ways. Obviously animals and very young children have emotions. And neither has the use of language. But we do believe that animals and children have limited emotional repertoires and, even more significantly, that they tend to emote in an unsustained, quickly dissipated manner.
When children get old enough to use language electively, they then acquire the ability to sustain their emotions and, unfortunately, also to make and keep themselves emotionally upset. Moreover, as humans we invariably seem to talk to ourselves about our emotional reactions. When we feel highly emotional about something, we observe that state and evaluate how good or bad we find it. We do this partly because we have learned from others that some emotions rate as good and some as bad, that some have advantages and some have disadvantages. But we also do it because all humans seem to observe their emotional reactions.
We can view our emotional state objectively and think about the possibilities of living with or changing it, or we can aphorize and say many negative things about it to ourselves. We have this choice. When arsitek see me treating you in a certain manner and you think my behavior unfair, you tell yourself something about my unfairness. By doing this, arsitek create a pronounced emotional feeling in your gut, either appropriate sorrow and or irritation or inappropriate rage. You then observe your emotional reactions (which arsitek may not realize you have chosen for yourself), and you evaluate them. You feel emotional about your emotions. You use certain words to create emotional reactions. The words you use affect arsitek only in accordance with the meanings arsitek give them. They have no powering their own right.
Words such as awful and terrible usually create disturbed emotions, other words, such as bad and `°obnoxious, tend to create appropriate or undid turbid reactions. Not always, of course. You can say to yourself, how obnoxious! I find that unfair treatment and mean that arsitek find it more than obnoxious. Or arsitek can say to yourself, How awful I find that treatment, and mean that arsitek merely find it obnoxious and that you strongly wish I would treat you more fairly, Do not think that every time arsitek see something as bad nr unfortunate you stay within reality and that every time arsitek see something as awful or horrible you depart from reality.
Again, arsitek control the meaning that you impose our words and, thus, the power that arsitek gives to them. In general, we have found that when you use words like awful, terrible, and horrible you do give them magical, beyond-reality meanings. If you see and can change this tendency, arsitek will significantly alter your disturbed feelings; many people have a difficult time understanding that when they say something like, how awful that so-and-so treated me unfairly, they keep going beyond reality by implying that:
1. the unfair person has treated them totally unfairly.
2. They have been treated as unfairly as anyone could possibly treat anyone.
3. They can no longer enjoy life after this unfair treatment has taken place.
4. They have received more than one hundred percent unfair treatment.
Most people do not understand that the use of the term awful implies all these things. By continuing to use the term, they continue to upset themselves with it. In my experience, how awful that I have been treated in that way often also means when they should have, must have treated me fairly. For you to say that something should or must not exist demands that people at all times treat arsitek in the way in which arsitek wish they would. This means demanding something of other people which they can never fulfill. How obviously irrational! For arsitek can not expect them to treat you in accordance with your personal wishes at all times.
If you say to yourself that someone should not act unfairly toward you, arsitek imply that you rate not merely the action as wrong but also the (entire) person who committed the action as such. You feel this person capable of acting justly, and you feel it is essential to arsitek that She do so. She must always act fairly, and must never act otherwise. This very irrational expectation that you and others will always act fairly in every situation makes arsitek feel anger. You can more rationally realize that many decent people-including yourself-occasionally do unfair or unjust things. You can more sanely feel disappointment and a sense of inconvenience when arsitek encounter unfairness.
By looking closely at your own cupfuls, should, and musts, you can learn to examine and rid yourself of many of the irrational ideas which lead to counterproductive and inappropriate emotional feelings at C. Once arsitek learn to master the RET technique for disputing and debating your irrational beliefs, arsitek can carry it on for the rest of your life. Anti-awful zing and anti masturbation remain the core of rational thinking, the essences of uprooting your feelings of anger, rage, resentment, and fury. You aphorize and resort to masturbation in four major ways, and once arsitek tell yourself that arsitek find something awful, that it must not exist the way it does, you also frequently convince yourself of other related irrational beliefs.
Let us now look at these common irrationalities and at what you can do to work on them. RET refers to one of these beliefs as I-Can’t Stand-It-Its, we frequently find this type of awful zing or masturbation found in statements or ideas like: I can't stand being treated so unfairly and being put to such great inconveniences. What we call debating, as part of Disputing, in RET, merely mean asking yourself questions that will challenge your irrational Beliefs. The obvious challenges consist of Why? How? In what manner? What evidence exists for this? Where can I find the proof? Thus, arsitek ask yourself why or in what manner cant I stand such unfair treatment.