Unfortunately, some people’s assumptions are largely irrational, guiding them to act and react in ways that are inappropriate and that prejudice their chances of happiness and success. Albert Ellis calls these basic irrational assumptions.
Some people irrationally assume that they are failures if they are not loved by everyone they know - they constantly seek approval and repeatedly feel rejected. All their interactions are affected by this assumption, so that a great party can leave them dissatisfied because they don’t get enough compliments.
According to Ellis, these are other common irrational assumptions:
• The idea that one should be thoroughly competent at everything.
• The idea that is it catastrophic when things are not the way you want them to be.
• The idea that people have no control over their happiness.
• The idea that you need someone stronger than yourself to be dependent on.
• The idea that your past history greatly influences your present life.
• The idea that there is a perfect solution to human problems, and it’s a disaster if you don’t find it.
Ellis believes that people often forcefully hold on to this illogical way of thinking, and therefore employs highly emotive techniques to help them vigorously and forcefully change this irrational thinking.