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The eleven irrational and rational beliefs, according to Albert Ellis

The eleven irrational and rational beliefs, according to Albert Ellis

Albert Ellis, is the creator of Emotional Rational Therapy.

Rational Emotion Therapy (RET) It is a form of therapy that is framed within cognitive-behavioral therapies and has Albert Ellis as the main author, who proposed the model during the second half of the twentieth century.

Here are some examples of irrational beliefs according to Ellis, the accompanying reasoning and the rational belief that could be carried out.

1. Irrational Belief

"It is an extreme necessity for the adult human being to be loved and approved by virtually every significant person in society."

Why is it irrational?

The demand to be approved by all is an unattainable goal. If approval is extremely needed, there will always be a concern about how much one will be accepted. It is impossible for one to always be friendly or pleasant to others.

Although one could reach the approval of others, that will require a tremendous amount of effort and energy. Trying to be approved by others would generate a subservience where their own needs would have to be abandoned.

The uncertainty of not getting the approval of others would generate an unsafe and annoying behavior thereby losing the interest of others.

Rational thinking

It is appropriate that you seek more approval for your facts, activities and behaviors than for yourself.

Not being considered by others is frustrating but not horrifying or catastrophic. It is good that you ask yourself: What do I want to do in the course of my relatively short life? More than what do I think others would like me to do?

To get the love of others, one of the best ways is to give it.

2. Irrational Belief

"To consider yourself valuable you must be very competent, sufficient and capable of achieving anything in every possible way."

Why is it irrational?

No human being can be fully competent in all aspects or in most of them.

Trying to succeed is fine, but demanding to be successful is the best way to make yourself feel incompetent and incapable. Forcing more of the account brings stress and psychosomatic diseases.

The individual who fights for total success is in continuous comparison with others before whom he feels invariably inferior. The ambition of success entails wanting to be superior to others, which invariably conflicts with others.

Seeking success distracts the individual from his true goal of being happier in life.

Concern for success leads to fear of failure and mistakes, making it easy to generate a dislike for work and a tendency for real failure in it.

Rational thinking

Focus on enjoying the process of acting more than the result.

When you try to act well it is more for your own satisfaction, than to please or be better than others.

You must question yourself frequently if you are struggling to achieve your own goal, or to please others.

In the struggle to achieve your goals you must accept your own mistakes and confusion instead of being horrified by them.

You must accept the need to practice and practice things before you succeed.

You must force yourself to do from time to time what you fear to fail, accepting the fact that human beings are not perfect.

3. Irrational Belief

"Some kind of people are vile, evil and infamous and they must be seriously blamed and punished for their evil."

Why is it irrational?

People are limited beings that most of the time we act automatically and unconsciously without "conscious evil."

The individual who acts badly in most cases is an ignorant or disturbed person who is not aware of the consequences of his behavior for others and for himself.

Punishing or severely blaming the person who makes mistakes usually leads him to continue committing them, on the contrary a more tolerant and rational attitude when considering his mistakes favors him more positive change.

Blaming oneself creates depression, anguish or anxiety, and blaming others rage and hostility, all this does not lead to anything other than personal or social conflict.

Rational thinking

You should not criticize or blame others for their failures, but understand that they are committed by simplicity, ignorance or emotional disturbance.

When someone blames you for something, you should ask yourself if you really did it wrong, and if so, try to improve your behavior, but if you have not done so, understand that the criticism of others is their problem, for some kind of defense or disturbance

It is positive to understand why people act as they do from their point of view, and if there is a calm way to make them understand their mistakes, practice it. If it is not possible you will have to tell yourself "this is bad, but not necessarily catastrophic".

You can try to understand that your own mistakes like those of others are the result of ignorance or emotional disturbance.

4. Irrational Belief

It is tremendous and catastrophic that things do not go the way one would like them to be. "

Why is it irrational?

There is no reason to think that things should be different from what they really are, another thing is that we like it or not.

Being dejected by circumstances will not help us improve them, and it is possible that we will make them worse.

When things don't come out, it's okay to fight to change them, but when this is impossible, the healthiest thing is to accept things as they are.

Although we are frustrated or deprived of something we want, feeling very unhappy is only a consequence of mistakenly considering our desire as a fundamental need.

Rational thinking

You must discern if the circumstances are really negative, or if you are exaggerating their frustrating characteristics.

The catastrophic sense is sometimes given with these expressions: 'It's terrible', 'My God', 'Can't stand it'. Make learn to change these expressions for more rational and realistic ones: 'They are negative but not catastrophic', 'I am convinced that I can stand it'.

Make trying to take difficult situations as a challenge you have to learn from.

5. Irrational Belief

"Human misfortune is caused by external causes and people have little or no capacity to control their sorrows and disturbances"

Why is it irrational?

The verbal attacks of others will affect us only to the extent that we pay attention to our assessments and interpretations.

The expression "it hurts that my friends ignore me" is wrong, since what hurts me is that I tell it giving it a value of terrible or unbearable.

Although most people may believe that negative emotions cannot be changed and simply suffer, experience shows that it is feasible to change them.

Rational thinking

When you experience a painful emotion, you must recognize that you are the creator of that emotion, and that as you originate it, you can also eradicate it.

When you objectively observe your painful emotions, discover the illogical thoughts and phrases that are associated with that emotion.

And when you are able to change your own verbalizations radically, you can transform self-destructive emotions.

6. Irrational Belief

"If something is or can be dangerous or fearsome, you should feel terribly restless about it and you should constantly think about the possibility of this happening.

Why is it irrational?

If you are very concerned about a risk issue, nervousness prevents you from really seeing the seriousness of the matter.

Intense anxiety about the possibility of a danger occurring prevents it from being dealt with effectively when it actually occurs.

Worrying that something happens not only does not prevent it from happening, but often contributes to its appearance. To worry about a dangerous situation involves exaggerating the possibilities that occur, even if this is very unlikely.

When unavoidable events such as illness or death have to come, it is worth worrying in advance about them.

Most of the feared and dangerous facts (such as illnesses) are much less catastrophic when they do occur, but the anxiety or fear of their occurrence if it constitutes something even more painful than the feared situation itself.

Rational thinking

You must understand that most concerns are not caused by external dangers, but the way you speak to yourself.

You have to realize that fears do not help us avoid dangers, rather the opposite.

You must understand that most fears have in their origin the fear of what others think of me. Therefore realize the irrational of this argument.

You should, from time to time, do the things that scare you most (like speaking in public, defending your rights or showing your views with superiors) to show you that those fears are not so terrible.

You should not be affected by fears that seemed already overcome again appear again, you must work to eradicate them by facing them until they no longer affect you.

7. Irrational Belief

"It is easier to avoid than to face certain responsibilities and difficulties in life."

Why is it irrational?

Although it is sometimes comfortable to abandon certain activities because they are considered unpleasant, this brings great negative consequences, for example, stop studying, working or performing any activity that requires physical or psychological effort.

The process of making the decision not to do something that is considered difficult but helpful, is usually long and tortuous and usually involves more suffering than doing the unpleasant activity.

Self-confidence only comes from doing activities and not avoiding them. If they are avoided, the existence will become easier but at the same time the degree of insecurity and personal distrust will increase.

Although many people assume that an easy life, elusive and without responsibilities is something desirable, experience shows that the happiness of the human being is greater when he is committed to a difficult and long-term goal.

Rational thinking

You should strive to do the unpleasant things that need to be done and finish them as soon as possible.

You should not assume that behind every evasion of our problems there is an indolent attitude 'by nature', but suppose that this is the result of irrational beliefs that you must discover and change.

You should not impose a rigid or exaggerated self-discipline but plan the activities and objectives in a reasonable way, setting goals in the short, medium and long term.

A rational individual accepts life with what it entails from difficulties, resting or avoiding problems only serves to please them.

8. Irrational Belief

"You must depend on others and you need someone stronger to trust."

Why is it irrational?

Although it is normal to have a certain degree of dependence on others, we must not reach the point where others choose or think for us. The more you depend on others, the less you choose for yourself and the more you act for others, thereby losing the possibility of being yourself. The more decisions are left in others, the less chance one has to learn. So acting like this generates more dependence, insecurity and loss of self-esteem. When one depends on others, one remains at the mercy of them, and this implies that life takes on an uncontrollable aspect since others may disappear or die.

Rational thinking

You must accept the fact that you are alone in the world, and that it is not so terrible to rely on yourself and make decisions. Understand that the failure to achieve the objectives is not terrible, and that the failures have nothing to do with the value as a human being. It is better to take risks and make mistakes of your own choice than to sell your soul for unnecessary help from others. You should not, in a rebellious or defensive manner, refuse any help from others, to prove how 'strong' you are. It is positive that you accept the help of others when necessary.

9. Irrational Belief

"The past history of one is a decisive determinant of current behavior, and that something that ever happened and shocked him must continue to affect him indefinitely."

Why is it irrational?

Although a person has had to suffer the excesses and conditionings of others, for example being excessively complacent to the parents, that does not mean that for example 20 years later it must continue to be so.

The more influenced by the past, the more solutions are used to the problems that were used then but that today may be ineffective and therefore the opportunity to find current and more useful ones is lost.

The past can be used as an excuse to avoid facing changes in the present and thus not to make the required personal effort.

The importance of the past is exaggerated when instead of saying "because of my past I find it difficult to change", it is said "because of my past I find it impossible to change".

Rational thinking

A rational individual accepts the fact that the past is important and knows about its influence in the present, but knows at the same time that his present is the past of tomorrow and that by striving to transform it, he can make his tomorrow different, and presumably more satisfying.

Instead of performing the same behaviors of the past automatically, you must stop and challenge those behaviors both verbally and actively.

Instead of rebelling against each other and most past influences, you should value, question, challenge and rebel only with those acquired ideas that are clearly harmful.

10. Irrational Belief

"One should feel very worried about the problems and disturbances of others"

Why is it irrational?

The problems of others often have nothing to do with us and there is no reason why we should be concerned about them.

Although others perform behaviors that disturb us, our anger does not come from their behavior but from what we say to ourselves.

As much as we get upset by the behavior of others, this probably won't change it, we have to accept that we don't have the power to change others. And if we succeed, we have paid a high price with our disturbance, and we must seek other less destructive ways of trying, without altering ourselves, that others correct their mistakes.

Engaging in the problems of others is often used as a subtle excuse for not facing our own problems.

Rational thinking

You should ask yourself if it is really worth worrying about the behaviors of others, and you should be interested only when you care enough, when you think you can help change or that your help can really be useful.

When those who worry you are acting wrongly, you should not worry about their behaviors and let them see their mistakes calmly and objectively.

If you cannot eliminate the self-destructive behavior of others, you should at least not be angry with yourself for not getting it and give up the ideas of improving that situation.

11. Irrational Belief

"There is invariably a precise, correct and perfect solution for human problems, and that if this perfect solution is not found, the catastrophe ensues."

Why is it irrational?

There is neither security nor perfection nor absolute truth in the world. The search for security only generates anxiety and false expectations.

The disasters that people imagine will come to them if they do not get a correct solution to their problems, do not have an objective existence but are disasters created in their mind, that as they are created something catastrophic will occur (such as an intense state of panic or hopelessness).

Perfectionism leads to solve problems much less "perfectly" than if it were not perfectionist.

Rational thinking

A rational individual does not commit the stupidity of telling himself that reality must be fully known, or must control it, or there must be perfect solutions to all problems.

When faced with a problem, a rational individual will think of several possible solutions to choose from, and will choose the most feasible and not the 'perfect' one, knowing that everything has its advantages and disadvantages.

You should look between the extreme options (white or black) for intermediate and moderate points (gray).

You must know that to err is of humans and that your actions have nothing to do with your value as a human being.

Knowing that we only learn from making attempts and mistakes, you must experiment again and again until you solve your problems.

Bibliographic Source

Albert Ellis, Rational Behavioral Emotional Therapy

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