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On Playing the Victim

Throughout my life, I have been very passive. If something upset me, I just ignored it and moved on. Something snapped within me when was at my former workplace 2 years ago. I wasn’t being treated well by the boss and simply couldn’t take it anymore. Luckily, I seized the opportunity to transfer to another office and all was right with the world. From that simple experience, I learned (perhaps pretty late in life) that if I didn’t like something, I was allowed to CHANGE IT.

20140219-113650.jpg (source) Someone tried to take advantage of me yesterday and I immediately spoke up about it. This was at work so I’m not going to broadcast details of the exchange to the entire internet. Let’s just say that I used to shy away from causing conflict, but I am now more likely to stand up for myself when necessary. The best part was that the other person understood my point and the issue was pretty much resolved. It drives me CRAZY when others get upset about things they CAN control. Even I do this often, so I’m not saying that it’s easy to change irrational thought patterns. BUT, I think we should all at least make the effort to do so. I-statements are a good way to start 😉 Instead of feeling trapped, I think it’s better to uncover why I feel trapped. Through doing this, I can lead a happier life. My thoughts affect my feelings, which affect how I behave.

20140219-124914.jpg (source) This is part of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (click the link if you’re curious to learn more about CBT!) Here is my example from yesterday: Thoughts: my coworker said xyz and there is nothing I can do about it. Feelings: SUPER PISSED OFF. Behavior: Significantly less friendly than usual. Sadly, this thought process was a road I headed down for a little while yesterday UNTIL I realized that I had control over the situation and my perception of it. I immediately spoke up about how I felt, using I-statements, and was able to change my situation. There actually was a solution to my problem in this case 😀 My point is that nothing is set in stone and you are not a prisoner in your own life. If you don’t like something, change it! If you can’t change it, then change your thoughts about it. I completely believe that this strategy makes a HUGE difference.

20140219-135958.jpg This Snapple cap is so wise….