Psychological Self-Help

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bravado and domination is a scared Child and an insecure Adult.
Realize how we hook such a person's Parent--by being rebellious,
sloppy, late, weak, lazy, whiny, passive-aggressive, or, in short, by
letting our Child take over (so put your Adult in charge and stop doing
those things). Realize the Parent doesn't think, it only plays
authoritarian tapes over and over, so if you are going to reason with
such a person, your Adult will have to talk with his/her Adult. Thus,
telling this person he/she is a "obnoxious, closed-minded, arrogant
tyrant" or "coming out of his/her Critical Parent ego state" isn't going
to help. But saying to a parent, "You feel strongly about what I should
be doing. How did you come to this conclusion?" or "Why don't you
write down these ideas?" or "How are we going to decide what to do
next Thanksgiving?" or "You have a point there but I see it a little
differently" may work by engaging his/her Adult and pacifying his/her
Parent. Compliments, moving closer, empathy responses, awareness
of his/her Child's needs and hopes may provide a way to lessen the
tension and hostility. Clearly, these first aid measures do not provide
the Parent-dominated person, who is giving you a hard time, with
great insight and a new personality but these steps may help the
immediate situation. See handling difficult people in chapters 7 and
The most important task, however, is to act out--to live--the new
script. Like any other change, this requires setting specific behavioral,
emotional, skill, and cognitive goals. The "reframing process"
discussed in the next section may by helpful in overcoming your
resistances to change. Remember, your original life script was
perpetuated by constant needs, urges, and messages coming,
supposedly, from the depths of your psyche. You do not have these
automatic, constant reminders helping you do what you have rationally
decided you want to do with your life, not unless you have learned to
use your brain to constantly remind you to attend to the values and
goals you want to achieve. It isn't easy to remake a life. But there is
always help: Young and Klosko (1993) recommend a variety of
cognitive techniques to deal with many problems, such as low self-
esteem, phobias, anger, poor relationships, stemming from childhood
STEP THREE:  Understanding the myths or stories we live by.
There are two fundamental ways of understanding the world: by
believing what we are told or by making our own observations. One
involves listening to the opinions and stories of parents, teachers,
preachers, politicians, bosses, experts, authorities, etc. and then using
these views as a basis for our own personal beliefs. The other way
involves observing the world ourselves, i.e. being our own scientist--
careful observation of facts and causal relationships. Scientific
observations can be repeated and proven by others. Personal opinions
far out number verifiable facts about human life, thus far. But even
though scientific information is gaining more of a role in our view of
life, most of our life is lived according to fairy tales, sometimes called
our personal myths. For example, many people have a clear but very
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