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PsychNotes December 2017
by Monica A. Frank, Ph.D.
Clinical and Sport Psychologist

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December 18, 2017

Why Didn't S/he Do Something About It? Emotional Differences Between a Real Situation and an Imagined Situation

Just walk a mile in his moccasins
Before you abuse, criticize and accuse. Mary T. Lathrap Frequently, people question other people's decisions and behavior. “Why did she stay with an abusive husband?” or “Why did he lie and deceive?” or “Why didn't they make better financial decisions?” or “How could a parent abandon his or her family?”

We typically believe that in a similar situation we wouldn't make the same choices. As a result, we may be judgmental and critical of the decisions others' make. Yet, when faced with a similar situation, what we want to believe we would do and what we actually do can be very different.

It is often said that to truly understand someone else we need to walk a mile in their shoes (see the poem below from where this idiom may have been derived). Research shows us, though, that we can't just imagine what someone else experiences and decide what we would do in their situation. Imagining can lead us to the wrong conclusion. Read more...



December 11, 2017

Cognitive Diary Example: "My co-workers should respect me!"

Now on Kindle! Dr. Frank's articles on cognitive behavioral therapy: The Cognitive Diary Method to Changing Your Life. Tap to purchase on Amazon for $2.99

Event: Starting a new job and wanting to be shown respect.

Emotions: resentful, hostile, revengeful

Distress Rating: 9--Feeling Desperate

Thoughts: Every place I work it is always the same. I work hard and contribute more to the company I work for than anyone else. Yet, at every job I've had the other employees don't respond to my requests and then laugh at me behind my back. My bosses never recognize my accomplishments. They should show me respect because I have more talent than all of them put together. I will make their lives miserable until they show me the proper respect!

Can You Identify the Irrational Thinking in this Example? There are at least 3 irrational beliefs.

How Can You Change the Thinking? What is another way of thinking about the situation that won't cause the feelings of resentment, hostility, and vengefulness?

Tap Here For Answer

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