Rational Thinking The Weapon Of Greater Good

@wolfie34 (26793)
United Kingdom
August 27, 2009 1:45pm CST
How often do you use rational thinking in every day life? Do you know how to use rational thinking when things go wrong for you or you struggle to deal with something that has happened which has upset you or hurt you. Do you take it personally if someone insults you, criticizes you, or if something happens it always happens to you? Not my current therapist, but her predecessor once told me that rational thinking would help me when I am dealing with negativity, hurt, or if someone has hurt or criticized me. It's not easy rational thinking especially when you are negative, and the amount of times I used to have little battle scenarios in my head, like good v evil, negativity fighting it out against positivity, in the past negativity always won. But I did try and experiment with a few situations that had happened to me, I tried hard to use rational thinking just like my therapist had told me and it worked, it truly worked, I was surprised at the result and my therapist was pleased at how I managed to cope just by using a bit of rational thinking But when you put rational thinking into the equation you start to think differently about things and you actually turn it around, for example if a person is nasty to you, you turn it around, his problem, he's had a bad day, it's because you were the first person he has had a chance to take his problems out on. Doesn't mean that you are the person everyone picks on. It's a wonderful weapon to use in life, providing that you can master it, kind of like a complex spell that has to be remembered and recast But I guess with anything it's practice. So do you use rational thinking to help you with problems you face in life, do you manage to deal with difficult situations and difficult times in your life by using rational thinking? Or do you still struggle with the notion that rational thinking is above you and is too complex to put into operation?
4 people like this
13 responses
@nannacroc (4049)
27 Aug 09
According to Mr Croc there is nothing rational about the way I think or deal with things. Most of the time nowadays if someone says anything negative to me I don't worry about it. But, there are some days when I let things get to me. Mr Croc and my girls are the only people who could really upset me for any period of time if they were negative toward me. Even then if it was Mr Croc I'd have to think about what sort of day he was having and if it was me he was being negative to or if it was his depression talking. I'm glad it's working for you. Remember you're special and you need to build your confidence for when we're on that island and you're being treated like a little brother. Take care.
2 people like this
@wolfie34 (26793)
• United Kingdom
27 Aug 09
I'm working on dear sister, working real hard, today I had the courage to pick up the phone and ask for more help, it won't be easy but I need to get to grips with the way I am and if means reaching out then that is what I have to do x
1 person likes this
@nannacroc (4049)
27 Aug 09
That's a giant step, Wolfie. Well done. Keep up the good work and I won't have to bully you too much. I'll have to bully you a bit because it's what big sisters do. Take care.
1 person likes this
@wolfie34 (26793)
• United Kingdom
27 Aug 09
Thanks sis, I've even considered seeing my doc in regards to antidepressants as well, I'm willing and desperate to try anything to get my life back on track again and start enjoying life instead of dreading it xxx
1 person likes this
• United States
28 Aug 09
Angry women are best to stay away from - How an angry woman may express themselves
Rational thinking for me is to put myself in the other person's place...what were they thinking when they made that comment or when they did that to me; Or I ask myself questions such as: Now if I had the chance to say that to someone, would I actually say it? - I try to reason it out in my own mind. I have to realize that I am not perfect, and I certainly must say things that spook people or irritate them, without realizing it. Additionally, there are many of us who don't think alike, therefore what I take for insensitivity, might not be looked at the same by other people. Also, when someone jokes with me, I believe that they think I am Miss Tuff Guy, and that I can take a joke...because I too like to joke around. Unfortunately I don't hang a sign off my neck saying that "I may be tuff on the outside, but I'm very sensitive on the inside", so there is no way someone would know that. Also, how you treat others is the way they will treat you...if we joke insensitively to others, or ssay some unkind word, they will undoubtedly feel that they can do the same to us. So as you see I do alot of rational thinking when a situation comes up that is confrontational. I have to rationalize, because if I didn't my emotions would take over, and I would be outraged by everyone I come in contact with.
2 people like this
@wolfie34 (26793)
• United Kingdom
30 Aug 09
Liked the image you added, as they say a woman scorned! My emotions run rollercoaster over my life and I guess that rational thinking goes out of the window when I am faced with a difficult or upsetting situation, it's only afterwards when I am out of the situation that I can focus properly and put rational thinking into play. But at the time it's usually hate, anger, frustration and negativity that jump into play and they are not helpful emotions, but for me they are defensive emotions and they are also triggers from the past as well.
• United States
30 Aug 09
Defensive emotions are the ones tuffest to live with....I find I am very emotional when someone is very condescending to me, or arrogant in their remarks. My insides just curdle like sour milk, the tears flow and all I can just about do is walk out of the room. Usually at that time the person who made the remark has no clue of what he or she did, and is standing there with a big question mark written all over their face - like "what did I do to her?" I try to tuffen up my defenses, but it is something that we often can't control.
@dawnald (84146)
• Shingle Springs, California
27 Aug 09
I am a very rational, logical thinker. Too much sometimes maybe. I probably see both sides of things in situations where I should genuinely feel outraged or upset or hurt or whatever. I need to learn to get back in touch with my emotions more, actually.
1 person likes this
@wolfie34 (26793)
• United Kingdom
27 Aug 09
I find it very hard to see both sides of things I tend to err on the negative side and that side is very influential in my life, being negative myself!
3 people like this
@dawnald (84146)
• Shingle Springs, California
27 Aug 09
It's probably more pleasant to always see the positive side if you're only going to see one side. You'd probably get taken advantage of a lot though. I had this one friend, every time somebody did something he didn't like he'd call them evil. I'd say they have the following good qualities and start listing them. He got mad as all heck and said that if I was defending evil people like that, I was no better than they were. Now that's seeing only the negative!!!
1 person likes this
@FFFrocks (306)
• Canada
29 Aug 09
First of all, it sounds to me like you are making some positive strides Mr. Wolfie! Good for you! I am more emotional than I am rational. It does bite me in the but at times. For example, if I got critisized at work for an error, I would take it personally. You know, I suck, I'm so stupid, I should have known better... blah blah blah. It took me a while to learn that it wasn't an attack on my intellect but a correction of my actions. I still do it to this day. I will take things personally, but what counts is that I can get to the realization that it isn't a personal attack. In situations like that, work related or otherwise, I usually have to step back and give myself time and think things through before I can see the rational side. As for random people lashing out, I rarely take it personally. I have a rule of always giving a person the benefit of the doubt. We all have our ugly moments, yes? Besides, I don't like giving those people the power to bring me down. Keep it up mister.
1 person likes this
@wolfie34 (26793)
• United Kingdom
30 Aug 09
Good to see you my friend. Sometimes I do think I am too sensitive for my own good, although I need to understand that some people actually like sensitivity and it can be a quality, it's just the people I have met have used it against me, being vulnerable and sensitive is a great attraction for those that like to bully and manipulate. I do also think that I need to be more assertive. I tend to be passive aggressive which is not good, as I take it inwardly too and it doesn't confront issues by running away from them. Perhaps with rational thinking, positivity will come!
@derek_a (10902)
28 Aug 09
I rarely use rational thinking to resolve emotional reactions in myself. I have found through my self and my clients as a therapist that rational thinking rarely works when faces with emotional upsets, although sometimes it can do. However, sometimes, it can even have a reverse effect and we can begin to feel worse. Acceptance and observation is the way forward then. Just being with the experience without have a reason to do so. As we then focus on it, we are beginning the process of closure and eventually it will just be a memory without any emotional charge at all. As a Zen practitioner, through my zazen over the years I have learned to let go of what most would consider to be an insult or criticism. Sometimes it can hurt though, but as I have mentioned above, I accept what has been said or done, and delve into my own responses. In other words, I take “ownership” of the entire situation. Now this is not rational, and is a case where rational thinking is next to useless. Me telling myself, “I am better than that. Don’t rise to the bait” or whatever, is what I would call rational thinking. Me just being with it is saying, for instance, “fine, that’s what he/she feels about me and I accept their reality” is irrational, but is dealing with emotional responses on an emotional level. Through rational thing is seems that you may have discovered some truth in what I have said above when you have said, “fighting it out against positivity, in the past negativity always won”. So maybe that’s true for you too. Meditation is only way sometimes to expose our own inner truths. - Derek
1 person likes this
@wolfie34 (26793)
• United Kingdom
30 Aug 09
I am looking forward to the meditation course I have booked myself on, it's just a taster to see how I get on. I did try meditation briefly before in a Buddhist centre but it didn't work, but I am going to give it another try, it's booked for a whole day in November, if I get on well with it I will continue. But yes my emotions take over in an uncomfortable situation and rational thinking doesn't even come into play, it needs a few days or away from the situation to be able to view what happened in a calm, relaxed way. Thank you for your imput, appreciated.
@vandana7 (67609)
• India
28 Aug 09
Well, I take pride in thinking that I am a rational thinker, whether it is true or not only others can tell me. I get upset no doubt. At that point of time rational thinking does come to my aid. But the problem is I cant really change others way of thinking can I? Since I cant convince them what is wrong with their thinking, I just back off, or flare up. I do take things personally. No - I dont think things always happen to me. There I think I am ok. I do have my own bouts of negativity, and scenario planning where I keep thinking of ways to hurt others. But most of them are innocuous as locking them up in stinking loo, or with stinking socks. :-) But it takes me just a few seconds to come out of this phase. Rational thinking I think is not always possible because there are some traditional notions that people are not willing to discard, as of now. So my rational thinking is use it when it can be used. When it cannot be, just keep quiet and walk out. I know it sounds like a loser, but that is what my rational thinking is telling. Convincing people who see something to their advantage in traditional ways is obviously not going to happen.
@wolfie34 (26793)
• United Kingdom
30 Aug 09
Rational thinking for me is delayed because emotions tend to take over when I am in a confrontation and it's only after the event and I am away from the situation can I start putting rational thinking into play, which can be a handicap because your responses are controlled by emotions and you may do something at the time as revenge or retaliate but when you have really thought about it you could have handled it so much better.
@guybrush (4660)
• Australia
28 Aug 09
Your therapist was very wise, Wolfie! Far too many times we take on other people's burdens and blame ourselves - when really, it's the other person who has the problem. Everyone has a bad day now and then, or projects their own misery on to others - so as long as we are able to step back and see the situation for what it really is, it's always possible to look at things in a positive light. I'm so glad it's working for you!
1 person likes this
@wolfie34 (26793)
• United Kingdom
30 Aug 09
With practice comes perfection, I do think that my negativity can be obstructive in my efforts to put rational thinking into practice. And sometimes I can't immediately put rational thinking into practice and it takes a while for me to deal with the situation, I guess the emotions jump into play first and then afterwards, you can get a clear head and think more clearer about what has happened.
• Malaysia
28 Aug 09
hi wolfie .. rational thinking is good but sometimes i am the big loser ... let me give you an example of what happened yesterday .. It is 12mn, i am tired and sleepy .. my husband needs to complite his homework, he is watching tv and dictating to me and i have to type the whole thing ... i need to be in office next day at 8am until 8pm , for him his class finishes at 11am and he is back home to sleep .. let me tell you, day before that i have been doing another project work with him too ... Rational Thinking : 1) He should be doing his own work like other students 2) I should be resting as i need to go to work next day But does he think that way : - his rational thinking differs 1) I am faster at my typing 2) I am good at my "computer research work" At the end ... whos' rational thinking is right ?? Me or His ... and now who is sleepy in the office ??? and who is sleeping at home I help him because, otherwise he will not be talking with me for 3 ~ 4 days . I am almost a looser for "rational thinking" made me a good person but a tired person
1 person likes this
@wolfie34 (26793)
• United Kingdom
30 Aug 09
I admire you for doing it! I hope he appreciates you for what you do for him! He does need to know that you shouldn't be put upon, after all you have had a long day, you work too and look after him. It's all about compromise as well.
@Pose123 (21667)
• Canada
27 Aug 09
Hi wolfie, I try to use rational thinking and I agree that it works wonders. I think there are times when we refuse to use it, maybe because we want to pity ourselves a little, but of course that doesn't work. Blessings.
1 person likes this
@wolfie34 (26793)
• United Kingdom
27 Aug 09
I sometimes do that, wallow in self pity and you are right it doesn't work and it's just negativity taking over and self pity can be just as hard work as rational thinking, better to get rational thinking off to a fine art than pity!
1 person likes this
• India
27 Aug 09
I would like to think that I've got the rational thinking down, but somedays it's nowhere to be found and I need my buddy to show me the light. Most of the time I'm ok, it usually withers if I have had one thing flung at me after another and I've not had enough time to process the first jolt before the next comes. But as soon as I can sit by myself and talk it out with myself it usually goes bingo!
1 person likes this
@wolfie34 (26793)
• United Kingdom
27 Aug 09
I think a lot of us need time, when things happen to us we cannot see or think clearly until we've had time to digest what has happened, in the heat of the moment the emotions clearly take over, it's only with a clear head that we can then work out what happened and deal with it in a rational positive way.
1 person likes this
@maximax8 (28558)
• United Kingdom
27 Aug 09
I think that a person that says something nasty about someone is being impolite and possibly hurtful. They might be picking on that person because they have insecurities that they find difficult to deal with. I used rational thinking that when I heard British Gas had a payment meter in my wall that it was the couple that had lived in my house before I had moved there that had used that system. I knew over the last four years I have been paying more for the electricity supply that I should have. Therefore recently I changed it to a bill then I pay them. I have been able to build up an excellent credit history. I had a miserable time at an appointment with my toddler son this week. He was crying his eyes out and the consultant was making him stand with his gaiters on. He suggested all kinds of horrible things for my son's development. I used rational thinking to know I want my son to be happy and comfortable. Deep down I know he won't ever walk and I accept that. Tomorrow I will take him for a hospital appointment and with my rational thinking I know what I will say to their suggestions. I hope that you are having a lovely day my friend Wolfie.
1 person likes this
@wolfie34 (26793)
• United Kingdom
27 Aug 09
It is very difficult when children are concerned my friend, you want the best for them and they don't understand, for them it's pain and upset and fear and you can't always relate to them that what is happening is to help them and if the child sees his mum upset too he intensifies his anguish and upset. I wish you all the best dear friends and hope things go well for you both!
1 person likes this
@PeacefulWmn9 (10424)
• United States
30 Aug 09
Another very interesting topic, Wolfie. I used to take almost everything personally, but I have learned how to remove the emotional heat from a hurt and look at it from various logical angles. When I do this, I can often conclude that indeed, the world and the people in it are NOT out to get me. People can sometimes take their own issues and insecurities out on others. THat is when it is good to lay the problem back on their shoulders rather than taking it upon one's own shoulders by personalizing it. Karen
@wolfie34 (26793)
• United Kingdom
30 Aug 09
Hi Karen, and sometimes it can be that green eyed monster called jealousy that people feel they have to criticize and hurt others, through insecurities etc indeed. It's when we take their insecurities and jealousies and carry them around with us, as if we haven't got enough on our shoulders as it is.
1 person likes this
• United States
1 Sep 09
Oh yes, jealousy and insecurities that go with it often lay at the base of such things. No reason to take those upon ourselves!
@hsofyan (3448)
• Jakarta, Indonesia
27 Aug 09
Yes, it is ideal if you are able to control between the rational, emotional and spiritual balance. Rely ratio is not enough. Emotion is also needed when the ratio does not solve the problem correctly. There is one more component that never lies, that is conscience. Hence there is the science of IQ, EQ and SQ. But this is something that is easy to learn, but difficult to implement. I'm trained conscience, to be able to control the ratio and emotion.
@wolfie34 (26793)
• United Kingdom
27 Aug 09
Wow that was a profound pyschological response, thank you!
1 person likes this