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Alternatively, we could also indulge in self-destructive, sinful habits to make ourselves feel better in the face of hardships. In our coaching session, Tim uncovered and disclosed his feelings of anger, hurt, frustration, and hopelessness. We unearthed the initial incident and started to repair the damage from the past so that the two departments could cooperate and collaborate once again. This is not a unique situation. Actions are taken, things happen, and we react. If you didn't react, there would be something wrong. Feelings are an integral part of being human. It is how you deal with your feeling that is critical. In this particular situation, the feelings were internalized instead of being addressed. If we dissect the situation between Tim and Jay, it looks something like the case-building chart. Consider utilizing home technology for self-observation and reflection. Begin with audio recordings. Virtually every cell phone and smartphone now has an audio recording device that comes as a built-in feature, so if you own a cell phone of some kind, you already have this tool. The more we listen to the consolations of the Holy Spirit urging us toward meaningful, intimate, and virtuous action, the more we are delivered from our anxiety as our lives become more abundant and fulfilling. The more we act on desolations that urge us toward powerlessness, isolation, self-pity, and self-indulgence, the more our anxiety grows as we feel suffocated by the smaller and smaller life we create for ourselves -- doing less, relating less, and trying to feel less by numbing ourselves more. Your exercise is to record yourself speaking candidly about your feelings regarding a difficulty you're having with a friend or family member. In three days or so listen carefully to the recording in private. (It is likely that you will be very surprised how you sound, especially if you have never heard yourself played back from a recording device. Don't let that scare you off; stay focused and listen to the content.) Listen to your choice of words and tone of voice. This is an amazing tool for self-reflection.

The audio recording doesn't lie or exaggerate or take any bias; it is purely objective. By studying yourself in this way, you will begin to understand more clearly how others hear you when you speak about your feelings. And it is likely that you will decide to change your choice of words and to even present your feelings in a new way when the time comes to actually address your feelings with someone directly. Queenie also thought that my son, the boys' father, might have ADD. He and I have somewhat different views about things medical, so I wasn't too surprised when his response suggested that he doesn't believe in ADD. I personally haven't seen anything that made me think that he has it. He did have some trouble with school as a child, but when he had a good teacher he did very well. It never occurred to me that my father or grandfather might have had ADD. Now that I think about it, I never saw my father just watching TV. He was always doing some paperwork from the store at the same time. And he always double-checked the door lock at the store. But I never saw him rushing around frantically looking for his keys, or being late, or forgetting to show up. I don't think he had ADD. His father, my grandfather, was messy, a terrible driver, had zero patience and a horrible temper. But he didn't show any other symptoms. Maybe? In your journal, jot down, in detail, ways you think your ego-centered perfectionism has or may have negatively affected you as well as others. I know this is not easy, but awareness is a key factor in helping you to overcome this self-defeating habit! So, are you ready to do something about your ego-centered perfectionism? Keeping in mind your reflections in Exercises 9.1 and 9.2, let's get started!

Think of a case in which a particular person disagreed with one of your strongly held views on a controversial subject, which disturbed you greatly. Maybe it was a political view or a view about a social issue such as abortion. Briefly describe your point of view--for example, "Abortion is always wrong." Congratulations! Your completed template is the reasoning you used to upset yourself when someone disagrees with your point of view. In addition to the Meaningfulness, Intimacy, and Virtue test, cognitive-behavioral therapists have identified fifteen unhealthy thinking habits called cognitive distortions. The degree to which these cognitive distortions are present in our self-talk tends to be the degree to which we experience emotional distress. Some examples of these distortions that relate most to anxiety include the following: Filtering (Selective-Abstraction) -- Paying attention only to information that confirms my anxiety and ignoring information that could help me feel more confident. For instance, a student who has severe test anxiety, and says it is only "luck" that she almost always gets A's and B's, creates anxious self-talk by filtering out all the evidence of her competence. Feelings control your attitudes, moods, and sense of well-being. They are natural expressions of your internal condition. Feelings are a barometer of your reality that indicate whether someone is an ally or an adversary; whether something is desirable or rejected; whether to halt or proceed. Feelings are pivotal to the physical, mental, and emotional health of every human being, along with the decision-making process. Feelings exist to orient and reorient you to yourself and your world. They connect you with your inner truth regardless of whether it is "right" or "wrong." They also integrate you with your essential self. By allowing and releasing your feelings, you become free to live life fully. Your feelings give you immediate feedback regarding your relationship with yourself and others. Your sense of well being with yourself has greater impact on your happiness and fulfillment than anything else; feelings give you important information about your overall condition and wellbeing. After doing this exercise a few times, find a willing partner to record a conversation with. Don't choose someone with whom you are angry. Record a conversation about something that is emotional for you but not upsetting to the other person or confrontational, yet still very personal.

Then, again, wait a few days before listening to the recording. When you do listen, you will learn even more about how you communicate in a conversation. If you and your significant other are brave, consider recording a conversation about a subject that you do not see eye to eye on. (Not contentious.) Record the conversation, and then listen to it in a few days. You can listen back separately or sitting together. I suggest that you take notes and then discuss the notes later. Doing this on video would be even better, but save that until later after you are acclimated to witnessing yourself through visual media. The recordings can in a way act as a third person, an impartial witness. Sometimes it just seems obvious that someone has ADD; the pattern screams out the diagnosis. But sometimes in less severe or less typical cases it's more subtle. And some things, like anxiety or depression, can mimic ADD. Diagnosis is best done by a professional, who will look at childhood history, family history, current difficulties, and often at results of testing. They might also interview family members or others who have been close to the person, preferably for a long time. The pencil and paper tests for ADD are very helpful, but they alone cannot definitely say someone does or does not have ADD. Some of the typical problems of ADHD are not limited to people with ADHD. Many people sometimes procrastinate, or sometimes lose things, and so on. But we ADHDers do almost all of these things, and we do them almost all of the time; that's the difference. In those ways, our ADHD lives look very similar to each other and different from nonADHDers. Face it: the fact that others don't agree with you doesn't make them wrong. So you think that the political candidate you endorse is better than your coworker's choice, and you think your reasons are better than his?

Well, it won't prove anything to call him a four-letter name because he refuses to agree with you. Imagine that someone treated you this way. There you are, having your views trashed, or being personally attacked, by another self-proclaimed reality guru. Would you accept that? Clearly not! So what gives you the right to set yourself up as a reality guru? Why would your subjectivity be any more credible than anyone else's? Because it's yours? Anyone can make that same vacuous claim! But that doesn't follow logically from the fact that it is contrary. Of course, you can allow others to have their own contrary views, if you want. But won't is not the same as can't. "Can't" means it's not possible to tolerate differences of opinion. "Won't" means you choose not to. Unfortunately, when you can'tstipate yourself by holding on to your "can't" and refusing to let it go, you don't relieve the cramps generated by your old stagnant ideas, unenlightened by alternative points of view! Polarized Thinking -- Seeing everything in terms of success or failure, instead of recognizing that everything involves a learning curve and giving myself credit for steady improvement. For instance, I didn't perform perfectly the first time I was learning a new task, so I beat myself up the rest of the day for being an incompetent idiot who is probably going to get fired. Overgeneralization -- Tending to take one situation and generalize it to every part of my life. For instance, a person who has been unsuccessful once in an attempt to make a change in his life, rather than seeking new tools, support, or resources, decides that it is impossible ever to successfully make any changes at all. Catastrophizing -- Tending to assume that the worst is always just around the corner and that even the tiniest bad thing that happens is a harbinger of disasters to come.