012: You Don’t Get Your Just Deserts

The expression “getting your just deserts,” according to Merriam-Webster, means receiving the punishment that you deserve. This episode looks at rewards as well as punishment. The idea is to explore whether we can be said to deserve something or not. I explain that there are three separate meanings for this notion: Merit — What we earnContinue reading “012: You Don’t Get Your Just Deserts”

011: Three Little Words That Can Mess up Your Life (Part 3) — Want

Today’s topic is about the word “want.” Even though we spent the last two episodes talking about how having preferences is a healthy alternative to imposing “shoulds” or “needs” upon ourselves. I present here three reasons why we fall into some thinking traps when we use the word “want.” Those reasons are: We don’t reallyContinue reading “011: Three Little Words That Can Mess up Your Life (Part 3) — Want”

010: Three Little Words That Can Mess up Your Life (Part 2) — Need

In this second part of a miniseries on the words we say to ourselves that create tension and distress, today’s word is “Need.” Today we talk about: The psychological theories of needs, which are in fact theories of human motivation. Byron Katie’s radical approach to needs. Buddhist notions of taṇhā (thirst) and chanda (wholesome desire).Continue reading “010: Three Little Words That Can Mess up Your Life (Part 2) — Need”

009: Three Little Words That Can Mess up Your Life (Part 1) — Should

Are you “shoulding” all over yourself? The word “Should” happens to be one of the most insidious in the English language. In today’s episode, we talk about how: Psychoanalyst Karen Horney called “The Tyranny of the Should” this tendency to create an idealized self and a rejection of the real self. Albert Ellis spoke aboutContinue reading “009: Three Little Words That Can Mess up Your Life (Part 1) — Should”

008: There Are Only Three Kinds of Business

Byron Katie likes to say that there are only three kinds of business in the world: mine, yours, and God’s. God’s business refers to the forces of Nature or to events that are beyond human control. Your business, is someone else’s life, including what they feel, think, and choose to do. My business is what’sContinue reading “008: There Are Only Three Kinds of Business”

006: Thinking Traps (Part 3) — Personalization

The next 4 Thinking Traps are grouped under the category Personalization. We commit these distortions when we cannot step outside of our own egocentric perspective. Thinking Traps: Personalization Personalization (Me, Self-Blame) Helplessness Blame (Them, Other-Blame) Always Being Right Emotional Reasoning (Naïve Realism, Affective Realism) Should (Should Statement, “Musturbation”) Perfectionism Comparison Fallacy of Fairness Antidotes Reattribution Continue reading “006: Thinking Traps (Part 3) — Personalization”

005: Thinking Traps (Part 2) — Arbitrary Inferences

The next 4 Thinking Traps I am going to talk about are grouped under the category Arbitrary Inferences. They consist of making interpretations without having examined all the data. Thinking Traps: Arbitrary Inferences Jumping to Conclusions (also: Inference-Observation Confusion); Fortune Telling; Mind Reading; Labeling (also: Mislabeling) Antidotes Examine the Evidence Consider Alternate Possibilities Keep aContinue reading “005: Thinking Traps (Part 2) — Arbitrary Inferences”

004: Thinking Traps (Part 1) — Thinking in Extremes

We’re looking here at the most common Thinking Traps, especially the ones that cause mental distress.  Cognitive Distortions vs. Cognitive Biases The difference between Thinking Traps (Cognitive Distortions) and Thinking Errors (Cognitive Biases) is that Thinking Traps result in difficult emotions, in mental distress, and in psychopathology. Cognitive Biases are more broadly related to anContinue reading “004: Thinking Traps (Part 1) — Thinking in Extremes”