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refuting irrational thoughts: Judge and JuryLike replacing bad habits with good ones, your irrational thoughts must be replaced with more rational, helpful  ones. Hopefully you have identified those thoughts that tend to plague you.

Maybe even filled out the BELIEFS INVENTORY.

Because now we are going to take a closer look at each of those pesky irrational thoughts spelled out in What are You Thinking.

We looked at our irrational need for approval  and perfectionism already.  Now it’s time to move on to Irrational Belief #3 – our tendency to judge others harshly.  We need to learn how to squash this bad habit that can really sour your relationships Because, let’s face it: we all screw up.  And we would all like those we love to go easy on the judgement.

Let’s get started!

Irrational Belief #3:  

Certain acts are awful or wicked and people who perform such acts should be severely punished/blamed/damned 

Rational Thought:

No matter how evil an act, there are reasons for it. If we put ourselves in the other person’s situation and mental condition, we would see it from his/her point of view and understand the motives behind the behavior.

Understanding the reasons for behavior does not mean we condone it. Understanding does not equal approval. It means that we can separate the “awful/wicked” actions from the human being and condemn the action rather than the person.

Likewise, our own mean behavior (and, let’s face it – we all act badly sometimes) should be understood by ourselves and others. We are not bad or wicked even if we sometimes act inappropriately. Most of us have no trouble justifying our own behaviors in ways that allow us to still consider ourselves “good people.”

Seeking to understand another’s motivation when we feel mistreated allows us discuss the wrong done to us and decide how to make it right. We can stop blaming and accusing and take constructive action toward change.

Countering Irrational Beliefs 3: Here’s a handy little printable worksheet to help you learn to counteract that voice in your head (and in your gut) that tends to assign “evil” motivations to other people.  Try it out.  You CAN change how you think.  And that WILL change how you feel and how you act.

Next up: Irrational Belief #4 – The idea that it is horrible when things are not the way we like them to be.  Don’t miss it!