A How-To list for Dysfunctional Living

One of the ways you can enhance the power of your mind is by learning to create contrasts and oppositions that make clear precisely what you need to avoid. In other words, by making poor habits of thought more and more explicit, you get better and better at avoiding them.

Consider the following, and ask yourself how many of these dysfunctional ways of thinking you engage in:
1. Surround yourself with people who think like you. Then no one will criticize you.
2. Don’t question your relationships. You then can avoid dealing with problems within them.
3. If critiqued by a friend or lover, look sad and dejected and say, “I thought you were my friend!” or “I thought you loved me!”
4. When you do something unreasonable, always be ready with an excuse. h en you won’t have to take responsibility. If you can’t think of an excuse, look sorry and say, “I can’t help how I am!”
5. Focus on the negative side of life. h en you can make yourself miserable and blame it on others.
6. Blame others for your mistakes. h en you won’t have to feel responsible for your mistakes. Nor will you have to do anything about them.
7. Verbally attack those who criticize you. h en you don’t have to bother listening to what they say.
8. Go along with the groups you are in. h en you won’t have to figure out anything for yourself.
9. Act out when you don’t get what you want. If questioned, look indignant and say, “I’m just an emotional person. At least I don’t keep my feelings bottled up!”
10. Focus on getting what you want. If questioned, say, “If I don’t look out for number one, who will?”

As you can see, this list would be almost laughable if these irrational ways of thinking didn’t lead to problems in life. But they do. And often. Only when you are faced with the absurdity of dysfunctional or even pathological thinking and can see it at work in your life do you have a chance to alter it.