Psychological Self-Help

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be more bold and things will be "lovely." Since B isn't sure of how G
feels, he may be cautious, asking a mutual friend or looking for signs
as they talk casually. 
I ASSUME: Every time I assume what you are thinking, feeling or doing, I make an ASS
out of U and ME.
R. D. Laing (Laing, Phillipson & Lee, 1972; Laing, 1972)
has made the point that we must learn to live in the real world, not
a world of false assumptions. To do this we must check out our
assumptions about others. Most of our interpersonal relations are
based on our interpretations of what the other person is thinking,
feeling and trying to do. The following is an example adapted from
Jane's Thoughts & Words
Joe's Thoughts & Words
1. I'm upset! "I had a terrible
1. I see Jane is unhappy. "Sorry,
let's have a nice evening."
2. He doesn't understand. I'll tell
him all that happened.
2. She needs to forget about
work. I'll get her mind off work.
3. Joe's so unconcerned about my
3. I'll help Jane by staying calm.
4. If Joe cared, he'd get upset too.
4. She's getting more upset. I'll
stay very calm.
5. He knows I'm very upset! "Hey,
Joe, why are you so uncaring?" 
5. Hey, is Jane accusing me of
hurting her? What's going on?
6. He knows his being calm upsets
me; Joe must want to hurt me.
6. I'm only trying to help. "Why
are you on my case?"
7. No real friend would be so
unconcerned. "Joe, you are mean;
I hate talking to you!"
7. Jane is really mad at me;
what's wrong with her? "Jane, you
are neurotic! I give up."
How many problems are caused by these kinds of
misunderstandings? Lots. The more people understand each other's
point of view and inner experience, the better they can accept and
adjust to each other. See chapter 9 for more discussion. 
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