Thought-Emotion-Behavior Connection

This is about every instance large and small of the mean things we do to each other every day, like the road-ragers screaming obscenities and using interesting hand gestures while driving, to the shopping cart bullies fighting for supremacy and how do we stop the madness.  Often my clients get stuck in a  place that they shouldn’t be in because of meanness.  I may hear during an individual or group therapy session “what did I do to deserve this”, or “I must have done something”, this is also applied to others in “he/she must have done something to deserve that” or “why did they make me do it”.  None of those statements are at all true; you don’t deserve to be treated badly and you don’t get the right to treat anyone else badly.    When you talk to the biggest culprits of mean they will say “he/she made me do it” which is called “the blame game”.

The blame game takes the responsibility from the person who is being mean and puts it squarely on the victim.  Life would be great if we never had to really take responsibility of the things we do in this world and could always blame the victims, or so we think.  Never taking responsibility hurts you way more than the victim in most cases because you never learn self-control.  How important is self-control? It may be the difference between living in the light and being locked up or dead in the dark.  The first steps to learning self-control is being aware of what you think and what emotions you have attached to those thoughts.    An example of this thought/emotion connection can be used with the word “respect” (okay go with me here…….).  If you have placed a high value on your idea of respect (whatever that is) then connected respect to your view of self  (for example: to be a man I need to be treated a certain way (respected) and if this does not happen I now believe that you don’t see me as a man and so I now don’t see me as the man I thought I was +  intense anger = physical confrontation or fighting). Because you placed a high value on the connection of respect + view of self + high emotion (anger) it led to acting out on that anger creating a bad situation which may end at worst incarceration or death.

The next step to gaining self-control is once you have made the connection between thought and emotion start working on changing those thoughts and breaking that emotional connection.  No one “makes” you do anything as human beings we make choices every minute of every day in how we react to the things and people around us.  If you are the person being mean, break the connection and if you are the victim understand that the situation was not caused by you its about the mental, and emotional place the other person is in.

Bye for now.