Click here for the introductory document in this series.
Irrational Idea #5
“I can’t help it if I’m unhappy; it’s all because of (this situation/this person)!”
Blaming other people or circumstances for unhappiness takes the power out of your hands and leaves you out of control of your own happiness. It is irrational because:
- With the exceptions of physically harming you or depriving you of tangible items, other people cannot harm you.
- Statements like: “It hurts me when someone is mean to me” means you allow others to affect your mood.
- Happiness must come from within. By believing that happiness depends on everything going well, you give the power over your feelings to other people and situations.
- When you allow your happiness to be controlled by others and situations; you aren’t in control of your feelings. This places too much importance on others—and gives them power over you.
- Placing conditions on happiness can keep you from enjoying life and “living in the moment.” It creates an inability to see the good in a situation when focusing on what you feel other people should do for you.
- Blaming others for something you should control (e.g. your feelings) is a product of immaturity.
Rational Idea: “I’m the only one who can make myself happy or unhappy.”
- When upset, understand when you have allowed a person or situation to make you unhappy.
For a happy and emotionally healthy life, contact CrossRoads for counseling at 317-842-8881 if you are in the Central Indiana area. This series was inspired by and sourced from “A Guide to Rational Living” by Albert Ellis and Robert Harper.