YOU MAKE ME UNHAPPY

The following excerpt is from the self help
psychology book, Be Your Own Therapist.


This is the favorite accusation of millions. How convenient! I don't have to assume any responsibility for changing my unhappiness, and I can blame you for all of it. An unpleasant fact I usually overlook is that change by you is most unlikely to happen upon my demand. Therefore, I am likely to live forever with this unhappiness. "And it is all your fault that I am so stuck." Such is a common thought process of victims, and of those who are blaming ethnic groups for their problems.


It is only recently that major segments of the women's movement and the African-American movement have challenged the notion of being perpetual victims. These people are now choosing to take more responsibility for their own happiness and for their own lives, instead of remaining stuck in the blame game.


Most everyone causes themselves distress every day because of their judgments of others.

There is a major difference between the responses of children and the responses of adults. As children, many of us were squelched in any number of ways. Back then we really were made unhappy by what happened to us, (though most of us learned to cover over our unhappiness and to put on a compliant happy face). As children we usually had no real choice but to comply. If we believe this to be true today about our adult responses, then we are still letting others control our happiness, still acting the part of the helpless child. We have given our personal power away to others, most often to our most disliked others: white males, feminists, racists, sexists, homophobes and funda- mentalists.


The major question is then, what about "real" victims, like you and me and the groups to which we belong? Our choice to see ourselves as victims violates a number of religious and spiritual beliefs (like "God's Will," the "inky finger of fate" and "karma"). If we deeply hold such spiritual beliefs, is it possible for any of us ever to be victims? No! While such spiritual beliefs are held by a majority of the world's population, they still represent only a minority in the USA, albeit a fast-growing group that is nearing majority status. There is a choice to be made, believe in victimhood or believe in self-responsibility. The former guarantees unhappiness, whereas the latter permits a route out of unhappiness. Straddling these two beliefs is the most common USA choice today, believing in responsibility for some things but in victimization in other instances. Unfortunately, straddling does not lead to happiness, though it presently seems to be the socially-correct view for millions of us.


Do you want to continue your straddling?

Next Excerpt  


More Excerpts This Chapter
   LET ME HIT YOU WITH A SLEDGEHAMMER
   THE TYRANNY OF JUDGMENTS
   THAT IS THE WAY I AM
   YOU MAKE ME UNHAPPY
   YOU HURT MY FEELINGS- THEREFORE YOU SHOULD CHANGE
   STICKS AND STONES
   WE DIG THINKING RUTS
   SIZE AND CONTENTS OF THE UNCONSCIOUS
   NATURE VS. NURTURE VS. LIFEPLAN
   THE PERFECTION THAT YOU ARE NOW
   BE HAPPY GETTING WHAT YOU DON'T WANT
   YOU'LL SEE IT WHEN YOU BELIEVE IT
   YOU GET WHAT YOU BELIEVE IN
   HOW CLOSE CAN WE COME TO "HAPPILY EVER AFTER"?

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