Psychological Self-Help

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procrastinator." Such a person holds the irrational beliefs that
"everyone must treat me kindly and do what I want them to do, and, if
not, I have a right to get mad and hate them (including refusing to do
what parents, teachers, and bosses want me to do)." Naturally,
everyone is asked to do things they don't want to do; some accept
that reality, others don't. 
To determine if control and anger are factors in your
procrastination, ask yourself: "Is anyone bothered or inconvenienced
by my taking my time or my being late?" "Do I often question and/or
rebel against rules?" "Do I frequently feel like telling someone to get
off my back"? If you answered yes to any of these questions, you may
be in a battle for control! Passive-aggressiveness is a very powerful
expression of resentment (see chapter 8). Being your own person,
doing your own thing, etc., may seem to prove you are powerful and
independent, but what if you spend a life-time slavishly proving you
are "free" (rather than doing what would be best for you)? Such
people often say, "Gosh, if I changed, I'd have to start being on time,
following rules, getting into a routine...that would mean they won.
Besides, it would be boring and too easy." If anger is part of your
problem, look over chapter 7. 
The fourth and fifth forms of anxiety-based procrastination are
designed to keep someone you need close to you or to keep a
frightening relationship at a distance. Overcoming procrastination and
becoming more independent, successful, decisive, and confident might
remove one from a dependent relationship (see chapter 8) as well as
propel one into an intimate relationship. Ask yourself, "Am I lonely and
uncomfortable if I'm not with someone?" "Do I seek lots of advice and
still hesitate to make a decision on my own?" Or: "Am I hesitating to
get more deeply involved with someone by being indecisive or by not
doing well?" If interpersonal concerns underlie your procrastinating,
see chapters 8, 9 and 10. 
More recently, Sapadin and Maguire (1997) have also classified
procrastinators into types: the "perfectionist" who dreads doing
anything that is less than perfect, the "dreamer" who has great ideas
but hates doing the details, the "worrier" who doesn't think things are
right but fears that changes will make them worse, the "defier" who
resists doing anything suggested or expected by someone else, the
"crisis-maker" who manages to find or make a big problem in any
project (often by starting too late), and the "over-doer" who takes on
way too many tasks. These authors focus more on family
characteristics and personality traits. If you see a description here that
fits you, read about it. Another book that helps you assess your
personal style of procrastination is Roberts (1995). 
Now back to the relaxed, pleasure seeking procrastinator.
This personality seems, at first, to be less complicated, but careful
observation of their thoughts and emotions suggests differently.
Solomon and Rothblum (1984) found this type to be much more
common among college students than the tense-afraid type. Ellis and
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