Psychological Self-Help

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process. There are reasons for everything; thus, everything that happens
must happen and everything that doesn't happen is impossible or "unlawful"
at that moment. Therefore, we should be accepting of ourselves, warts and
all, and tolerant of others, hostility, greed, and all. See determinism in
method #4 in chapter 14.
No man was to be eulogized for what he did or censored for what he did or did
not do, because all of us are the children of conditions, of circumstances, of
environment, of education, of acquired habits and of heredity molding man as
they are and will forever be.
-Abraham Lincoln
By understanding our enemy's background, needs, attitudes, and dreams,
we can see how they feel and think. We may not agree with them but we
"know where they are coming from." We can understand his/her actions and
feelings. Understanding leads to acceptance. 
Try cognitive reality checking and reinterpretation. Clearly, how we
see our situation determines our emotional reaction. Example: you are in a
fender bender: if you believe you were not paying attention, you may feel
anxious and cry, but if you believe the other driver was reckless, you may feel
angry and become verbally abusive. Some people (aggressive males, drunks,
and people with little empathy) are much more prone than others to see
hostile intentions in others. How biased are your perceptions? Are you
frequently mad and thinking critical thoughts of others? Do you often think of
others as stupid, lazy, jerks, losers, ugly, crude, disgusting, etc.? Try to test
out your negative hunches about specific people. Try to realize you are over-
simplifying, dehumanizing, and vilifying others, possibly to rationalize your
own hostility and maybe as a cover up of your own self-hatred. 
Anger can be reduced by (a) asking yourself if there are other less hostile
ways of seeing (interpreting) this situation, (b) actually trying to see the
situation from the other person's viewpoint (try describing the situation from
their point of view), and (c) thinking about the likely consequences before
acting aggressively. Yes, people can do this, reducing their own chronic
Suppose the irritating person can't be stopped or avoided, e.g. a
cantankerous boss or a rebellious child, you can consciously try to attribute
the irritating behavior to new, more acceptable causes. Examples: you may
assume that the boss is under great pressure. You can see your immature 16-
year-old as "trying to find him/herself," "scared of growing up," or "well
trained to be dependent," rather than being "obnoxious" or "hateful and
headed for trouble." 
People who work in provocative situations, like police and bus drivers,
can be inoculated against anger by learning self-control (method #10) or by
viewing the other person's behavior in a new light. For instance, New York
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