Monday, June 17, 2013

Aw, Fuck That $hit

Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is an evidence-based intervention for the treatment of anxiety and depression.

One of the components of CBT involves examining our automatic negative thoughts and challenging their validity, accuracy, evidence, likelihood, and so on:
  • what evidence do I have that this thought is true?  
  • what other thoughts might explain this event?  
  • how likely is it that my thought may be true? 
  • even if it is true, what is the worst that can happen?

Negative thinking, unrealistic expectations, shaming, stigma, fear, criticism, put downs, oppression, condescension, pressure to be perfect and never make a mistake, and imposed limitations can come from the outside (from uptight haters) or from the inside (from the inner critic/mean troll that lives in our head).

In Spanish, fear of stigma (bullshit that comes from the outside) is described as fear of "el que diran" (what "they" will say - "they" meaning polite society). So the antidote is: "a la gente decente se les miente" or lie to "decent" people/polite society.

But I like to say (mostly to myself), "Fuck that shit."

If doing something is gonna make me feel guilty - that is, doesn't jibe with my values - then I won't do it.  I'm a grown up.

If doing something is gonna elicit judgment from others even though I am okay with it (doesn't offend my own values) then I do it and say, "Fuck the judgments."  I'm a grown up.

When someone tries negging me - my internal eyes roll and I think to myself, "Fuck that shit."

Negging is a new word for me - I've heard it used recently to describe a phenomenon where someone finds your insecurity or assumes you have a common insecurity (for example: "I am not smart" or "I am not pretty" or "I am not loveable" or "I am not competent") and uses it to try to put you down so that you are motivated to overcompensate and attempt to please them.  Because if they break you down, they think they own you.

Fuck that shit, right??  Feel free to use this powerful phrase liberally and as appropriate when faced with put downs of any kind.

Also, feel free to believe and affirm that you are smart, pretty, loveable and competent.  They'll assume falsely that this is an insecurity when it is NOT and you will therefore be immune to the lame trick of negging.  I've witnessed men, women and employers try to use it.  Lame.

Caution:  "Fuck that shit" is mostly a note to self.  Saying it out loud in social settings might have very negative consequences.  Fortunately, thinking it in your head and feeling the sentiment in your bones and in your loins is protection enough.

Tip:  I usually pump both middle fingers in the air when employing this CBT anti-negative thoughts intervention (Fuck that shit) - it seems to intensify the effect. 

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