Find the Opposite. What you do after seriously considering the
questions above, is to ask yourself to consider carefully if the truth lies
in other directions different from your (upsetting) thinking or beliefs.
Examples: instead of believing Julie doesnt understand me; she is
mad at me and she shouldnt be, perhaps you might gain some
insight by asking Was I first mad at her? or Am I angry with myself
because I dont understand myself? Or because I havent made myself
clear to her? Or because I cant understand why Julie feels the way
she does? Other questions: Could it be that she actually shouldnt be
understanding of me? Do I really have to have her understand me?
Am I less understanding of her than I could be? There are many
turnarounds to ask. Often a little truth is found in each turnaround
question. The goal is to accept whatever is going to happen, however
the world unfolds, even the things you dread.
Turnarounds can be revealing, disclosing facets of your inner self
and your feelings that are usually hidden. These are valuable insights.
Examples: if you are thinking she ignores me, then turn this around
to think seriously about: she likes me or she wants me to be more
independent or I ignore her or I ignore myself or I am very
needy and want her attention badly or I resent her relating with
someone else and so on. If you are thinking John shouldnt
so much, then ask
yourself or say John should
do these things
, or I like when
does these things, or I shouldnt
do these things, or I like
do these things, or I am very critical when I do
these things, or
My mother used to bitch about these things, or John does these
things to get away from me, or John does these things instead of
doing more upsetting things, etc. This is an exercise in flexible,
My experience has been that many people have a difficult time
correcting their own thinking. It is no surprise that we tend to believe
what we think; we do that even when we have Alzheimers and know
our thinking is frequently confused and in error. So, challenging the
validity of our own thinking or beliefs which arouse unwanted emotions
is a difficult task. Nevertheless, as you can see from the recent pages,
many techniques have been proposed for correcting our untrue or
irrational thinking. Many of these techniques are presented as easy to
use and sure bets to straighten out your disturbing thoughts.
Unfortunately, very few (maybe none) of these self-help methods have
been carefully researched as a self-help technique. Hundreds or
thousands of studies are needed to objectively evaluate the methods
being sold in self-help books. We are too focused on trying to make
1). If you have made significant changes in your thinking resulting in a
reduction of unpleasant, unwanted emotions, please write me by going
to Self-Change Stories on the Table of Contents page.
Effectiveness, advantages and dangers