Self-Helpapedia

Powerful techniques to optimize your emotions, beliefs, and behaviors

Personality Clusters

Personality Clusters are groups of distorted and self-defeating beliefs, what behavioral scientists call schemas, which form challenging parts of our personality with their habitual emotional and behavioral reactions. Many of these Personality Clusters are the residual effects of trauma and ineffective emotional upbringing. We see examples of these clusters in persons suffering from early emotional abandonment, abuse, deprivation, and parental perfectionism. Often these Personality Clusters or groups of beliefs reside just outside of awareness. We may notice the impact of Personality Clusters when they abruptly emerge in our lives with periods of painful emotions, distorted and self-defeating thoughts, and behavior that pulls us into trouble such as addictions or feeling very remote from others. These clusters of beliefs may powerfully steer our lives in directions we'd rather not go.

What follows is a list of typical Personality Cluster beliefs. These beliefs can be challenged and changed with Emoclear belief change methods and the belief's supporting emotions may be integrated with the Belief Repeater or an integrator. In the end we have a new set of self-enhancing replacement beliefs to fill the void. Further habitual behavior, resulting from the Personality Clusters, are repatterned and replaced with any of the Emoclear behavioral repatterners such as the Pattern Tree, the Habit Cracker, or the Behavioral Repatterner from the book  Your Emotional Power.

When you approach processing, it’s advisable to take one belief from one Personality Cluster at a time. Use the following links to navigate the clusters on this page.

 

Abandonment/Lack of Support: leaves the sense that important people in our lives will fail to provide emotional support and connection because they are unstable, might pass away, or would leave us.

Abuse/Expectation of Bad Treatment: provides a sense that others will abuse, cheat, deceive, humiliate, hurt, or take advantage of us. View the cluster called Mistrust as well. 
 

Addictions: can be applied to those persons addicted to substances or activities to keep them from feeling. Fill in the blanks with your substance or activity.

 

Alienation: gives us a feeling we are different and isolated from others.

 

  

Apathy: concerns itself with indifference, a lack of emotion, and a sense lost desire.

 

 

Approvalitis: places emphasis on getting approval, attention, and recognition. Here our sense of self-acceptance and esteem seems to depend on what we believe others think.  

 

Attention through Illness: concerns itself with using illness and somatic complaints to gain attention.  

 

 

Dissociation: distances us from our emotions, feelings, and physical sensations. Generally this splitting off from our emotions comes when our awareness shifts to our thought processes. 

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Economically Challenged: creates chronic challenges in the area of money making, budgeting, planning, and undertaking courses of action.

 

Emotional Deprivation: gives a sense that others will not provide us with affection, attention, direction, empathy, nurturance, strength, and understanding.

 

Emotional Eating: is involved in compulsive eating to block feeling emotions like anxiety, sadness, boredom, anger, guilt, jealousy, and overwhelm.


Emotionally/Conflict Avoidant: is based on avoiding emotions and conflicts.


 

Emotionally Inhibited: suppresses our feelings and impulses and leads to being stiff and lacking in emotion.

 

 

Envy: is when we compare ourselves to other folks or compare our accomplishments to other folks' accomplishments. A negative self-view fuels envy where we down ourselves.  

 

Failure:  provides us with a sense that we will fail at everything we try because we are dull, inept, unskilled, or untalented.

  

Fusing/Can’t Separate from Others: offers a sense of having to be overly involved or emotionally fused with important others. With fusing we might believe we can't be happy or survive without the close support of another.  

 

Inferiority/Shame: leaves us with the feeling we are defective, inferior, no good, and undesirable. With this cluster we are sensitive to criticism and rejection and are shamed by our appearance and flaws.  

 

Insomnia: is related to sleeplessness. 

 

 

 

Jealousy: is a common human problem where someone rates himself or herself poorly and believes their partner is untrustworthy and will leave them for another.


Loveaholism: is based on the beliefs that we direly need or are addicted to having a specific person or special relationship in order to feel good or block painful emotions.


Learning Dependency:  gives someone the sense that they cannot learn without close supervision. The person with this challenge believes they lack the requisite judgment and skills for self-directed learning.

 

Loneliness: points to feeling alone, empty, and disconnected from others.

 

 

Low Frustration Tolerance: is our intolerance for discomfort, difficulties, frustration, and painful emotions. Here we believe the idea that our situation is too difficult, too much, or unbearable.

 

Mistrust:  involves emotions of fear, extreme anger, hate, betrayal, and shame related to trusting others.

 

Negativity: provides us with a sense of pessimism and a focus on life's negative aspects. Negativity filters out the positive or what might work and instead notices what could go wrong.

  

Oppositionalism: is a very common challenge that we see in folks who struggle with authority and others in a knee jerk and contrary way. These folks are our "Rebels without a Cause".

 

Overdependence: is often fueled by an underlying belief that "I can't do it on my own".



Over-deservingness: points to feeling superior to others and to being entitled to special privileges. Here we should be able to do or to get whatever we want.  

 

Overly Pleasing: is surrendering control to others because we fear abandonment or anger. Your focus is outward to others and you may have a blind spot for your wants and requirements.

 

Passive-aggressive: is a learned behavior often developed in response to over-controling parents during childhood, seeming to outwardly comply with requests, the passive aggressive person will not follow through.


People Pleasingis surrendering control to others because we fear being emotionally abandoned or others becoming angry with us.

Perfectionism:  involves inhuman standards. This cluster gives us a sense that we must meet super standards of performance.

   

Poor Discipline: shows insufficient self-control and frustration intolerance. This person lacks impulse and emotional control and is frequently blocked from completing their goals.

  

Procrastination: focuses on the habit of delaying difficult tasks, decisions, goofing off when work better be done, and not preparing for the future, often mistakenly placing inspiration or motivation prior to action.

 

Punitiveness:  offers us the notion that others should be severely punished for their errors and misdeeds. Puntiveness leads to being angry, impatient, and intolerant with self and others who fail to meet our standards.

 

Relationship Claustrophobia:  is ambivalence about getting involved in close long-term relationships, and when on the verge of a commitment, they experience a deep claustrophobic fear.

 

Sacrifice: gives us a sense of giving up our own needs for the needs of others. We do this to avoid feeling selfish or creating pain for others. This can lead to our resentment.

 

Self-Pressure: is an energy and focus sapping form of self-intolerance that creates a sense of being compelled and hurried with little or no time.

 

Shyness:  is related to social discomfort. Many factors can influence someone being shy.

 

 

Stuckness: gives us a sense of all pervading stuckness like nothing we do works, and we are mired in helplessness and hopelessness.

 

Undesirable: points to being unwanted due to physical appearance or lack of social skills.

 

 

The Victim: focuses on perceiving ourselves as a victim and blaming others for our circumstances.

 

 

Vulnerable: gives us a picture of coming doom or a catastrophe. This outlook focuses on going insane, diseases, heart attacks, criminal assaults, crashes, and natural disasters.

 

Workaholism: can be applied to those persons addicted to work activities to avoid feelings or to establish they’re self-value.

   

 

 

Abandonment/Lack of Support

This cluster leaves the sense that important people in our lives will fail to provide emotional support and connection because they are unstable, might pass away, or would leave us. Beliefs are:

I lack stable emotional support.
I believe the people I love will soon perish.
People close to me will abandon me.
Important relationships never last.
I expect to be alone.
People will leave me if I say what's on my mind.
I worry about losing people close to me.
People close to me are unpredictable--I never know when they might become angry or self-absorbed.
It's hard getting close to others--I never know when people might go.
Nobody can love me long.
I'm meant to be dropped.

I fear important people in my life might leave me for someone else.
My partner is so absorbed in an activity that he/she has no time for me.
People come and go in my life.
I can't get close to others because I don't know when they might leave.
I get desperate when others pull away from me.
My fearful clinging drives people away.
I can't trust anyone not to leave me.
I deserve to be dropped.
I feel desperate and alone when others let me go.


Here are some more possibilities to consider when you're working with abandonment issues:

What mostly likely leads to a sense of abandonment:


1. You lost attention to a new or ill sibling.
2. A parent left through divorce or death.
3. A parent was a substance abuser, depressed, mentally ill, or worked long hours or at a distance.
4. Your family was frequently separated.
5. Warring parents made the environment seem unstable or like the family would break up.
6. You were overprotected and greatly feared handling life alone.
7. Sent to boarding schools, institutions, orphanages, foster homes.


Abandonment issues can show up in relationships:


1. You need excessive reassurance that the other person is not leaving.
2. You greatly fear being set loose or rejected.
3. You choose folks who are unstable or not there: out of work, substance abusers, commitment phobes, criminals, workaholics, gamblers, people who live in other cities, the highly ambivalent, chronically depressed, mentally ill, and folks wanting to keep all their options open.
4. You become jealous easily.
5. You abruptly rage at your partner in an overreaction to a perceived slight.
6. You feel extremely uneasy getting close with another. When you do, you expect the person to leave you.
7. You feel tension and a heightened state of alertness when coupled.
8. You feel tense, lonely, and uneasy when your partner is away even briefly.
9. You demand to be with your partner as much as possible. You want to know what they're doing at all times.



Besides processing the Abandonment Personality Cluster, you may want to do the following:



1. Integrators can be used on your feelings of loneliness and emptiness.
2. Avoid persons who are uncommitted, unstable, and ambivalent and instead involve yourself with persons showing stability and inviting trust.
3. Integrate or process your feelings of jealousy.
4. Check out patterns in your past relationships. What were your feelings about these patterns? What feelings emerged from these patterns? Any emotions for integration?
5. Uncover ways you can treat yourself in a loving and caring manner. Gain access to the wholeness and love contained in your essential nature.
6. The Emo Reviewer or the Emotional Writing Process could be used directly with abandonment memories.

 

 

When you approach processing, it’s advisable to take one belief from one Personality Cluster at a time.

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Abuse/Expectation of Bad Treatment

Abuse/Expectation of Bad Treatment: This cluster provides a sense that others will abuse, cheat, deceive, humiliate, hurt, or take advantage of us. View the cluster called Mistrust as well.  Beliefs include:
 

I must be totally guarded around others.
 People will use me.
 People only act nice when they want something.
 Soon someone will betray me.
 People will emotionally, physically, or sexually abuse me.
 I must be vigilant for other people's tricks.
 People close to me will hurt me.
 I have to test others because they are untrustworthy.
 People only think about themselves.
 I'd be a fool to trust someone.
 Most people are liars and cheats.
 I do it to them before they do it to me.
 Take control or be controlled.
 I'm angry about how others have used me.
 Something's wrong with me if I get treated this way.
 It's my fault I've been abused or tricked

 

When you approach processing, it’s advisable to take one belief from one Personality Cluster at a time.

 

Back to the top: Personality Clusters

 

Addictions

This cluster can be applied to those persons addicted to substances or activities to keep them from feeling. Fill in the blanks with your substance or activity. Beliefs are:

 

I need ______________ to feel good or block painful emotion.
I can't stand frustration or pain.
I deserve to feel good, get high, or block pain.
I can't help my addictive behavior--I'm powerless.
Other people or events cause my feelings, hence my addiction.
I'm an addict, a reject, no good, or a failure.
I'm not addicted--I can control my addiction and handle any problem.
I can't cope without _________________.
I can't stop--why bother?
Once an addict--always an addict.
I can stop later.

A little ____________ won't hurt--what the heck. _______________ makes me confident, a good talker, creative. Just one more--I can handle it. I can control this--I've got will power. I'm not responsible for this condition--others drove me to it. It feels great to use. There's no better feeling. Sure I can hang out where they do it--no problem.

 

When you approach processing, it’s advisable to take one belief from one Personality Cluster at a time.

 

Back to the top: Personality Clusters

Alienation

This cluster gives us a feeling we are different and isolated from others. Beliefs are:


I feel like an outsider.
I'm so different from others.
I'm a loner and feel lonely.
I never fit in anywhere.
I feel outside of groups.
Others are not like me at all.
Am I from another world?
Who would care if I suddenly vanished?
My family is unlike other families.
I feel weird around others.
I'm the odd person out.
Sometimes I make myself superior to others so it doesn't hurt.
Others must think I'm a weirdo.

 

When you approach processing, it’s advisable to take one belief from one Personality Cluster at a time.

 

Back to the top: Personality Clusters

 

Apathy

This cluster of beliefs concerns itself with indifference, a lack of emotion, and a sense lost desire. Typical beliefs are:


Nothing matters--why bother?
My zest for life is gone--everything's meaningless.
I feel nothing.
I just don't care.
I've lost my desire for living--anymore I'm just drifting.
The things that used to interest me have no appeal.
I've forgotten what it's like to be turned on.
No energy--nothing.
All I want to do is lay in bed.
I'm spinning my wheels--I don't give a damn anymore.

 

When you approach processing, it’s advisable to take one belief from one Personality Cluster at a time.

 

Back to the top: Personality Clusters

 

Approvalitis

This cluster places emphasis on getting approval, attention, and recognition. Here our sense of self-acceptance and esteem seems to depend on what we believe others think. This is a Personality Cluster that may speak to both the inflation and your underlying feelings. Acceptance, achievement, admiration, approval, attention, money, and status weigh in heavy here. Fear of rejection is also strong. Beliefs are:


 I must get approval and attention or I am nothing.
 People should notice me or I'm no good.

 I deserve special attention because I worked for it.
 I'm nobody if I don't have money.
 I drive myself hard to get approval.
 I can't stand not being seen as special.
 I deserve recognition.
 How dare they not notice me.
 I can't stand being devalued.
 Without attention and admiration I am nothing.
 I must appear handsome, intelligent, or beautiful or I will be rejected.
 They must know about how wonderful I am or I will be devastated.
 They should pay attention to me alone or I'll become furious.
 They paid more attention to someone else--the bastards.

 

When you approach processing, it’s advisable to take one belief from one Personality Cluster at a time.

 

Back to the top: Personality Clusters

 

Attention Through Illness

This Personality Cluster concerns itself with using illness and somatic complaints to gain attention. Typical beliefs are:


I only feel loved and appreciated when I am ill.
Unless I have pain no one notices me.
Others notice me more when I'm layed up in bed.
I can only experience love and nurture from important others when I am sick or injured.
I must express pain before people will listen to me.
My illness can punish others and make them feel guilty.
Through my aches and pains I can express my wants and needs.
If I remain ill I will have others to attend to my needs and feelings.
I must depend on others to take care of and nurture me.
My worsening condition draws more attention
.

 

When you approach processing, it’s advisable to take one belief from one Personality Cluster at a time.

 

Back to the top: Personality Clusters

 

Dissociation

This cluster of beliefs distances us from our emotions, feelings, and physical sensations. Through the mechanism of dissociation we are out of touch with our biological messages, intuition, and felt sense of self. Generally this splitting off from our emotions comes when our awareness shifts to our thought processes. The dissociation cluster of beliefs halts our ability to emote, feel, and experience compassion and empathy.   Thinking in terms of “one” is often a signal a person is disconnected from emotions.

 

The common beliefs of the dissociation cluster are:

I can't feel my feelings.

My feelings seem like thoughts.

When I try to feel, I feel numb or empty.

My feelings and sensations appear distant.

Sometimes my head's in a cloud.

I think I'm in the present.

One must control their feelings.

I observe myself creating feelings.

I must not show emotions or feelings.

I avoid thinking about my emotions.

I talk or psychologize about my feelings.

One should avoid irrationality or face being overwhelmed.

The possibility of losing control makes me feel distant.

If others get too close, I feel numb.

Emotional people can swallow one up.

I sense I am someone else.

Life seems unreal.

I wonder if I'm two different people.

My body doesn't seem like mine.

I'm a thought form in a body.

I forgot my childhood--it seems unreal if I even discuss it.

Sometimes I believe I'm just another number.

I can't feel when others ask me what I'm feeling.

I'm not sure what love or happiness is.

Most times I'm thinking about the future.

 

The above beliefs can be targets for processing or integration. This work is often best done with our palm on our heart region that assists us in returning to feeling. Folks who are extremely numb or dissociated would better do this work with a trained trauma specialist. Stronger dissociation often comes from severe trauma.

 

When you approach processing, it’s advisable to take one belief from one Personality Cluster at a time.

 

Back to the top: Personality Clusters

 

Economically Challenged

This cluster of beliefs creates chronic challenges in the area of money making, budgeting, planning, and undertaking courses of action. The beliefs are:

I'm always broke or just getting by.
I down myself for not having money.
I feel empty when I think of money.
I direly need money, but I never have it.
My lack of money results from bad luck.
I feel like I'm always strapped and always will be.
My financial plans are doomed from the start.
Without money I am nothing.
I feel powerless to stop overspending.
I can't create a budget--it's too much hassle.
I can't commit to managing my finances or planning ahead.
I can't hold onto money.
Balancing my finances is too hard--it's not me.
Having a decent income feels unnatural.
I believe money can magically appear under the right circumstances.
I shouldn't have to make an effort--money should come easily.
I try to raise my standard of living, but nothing works.
I believe money equals happiness.
My memory is sometimes impaired about my budget.
My economic stability depends on luck and that I don't have.
I need money to be happy, but I never have money.
Work sucks.
Money is a measure of self-worth.
I feel driven to make money and part of me resists this.
Others are responsible for my money woes, not me.
Money will just magically come to me.

 

When you approach processing, it’s advisable to take one belief from one Personality Cluster at a time.

 

Back to the top: Personality Clusters

 

Emotional Deprivation

This cluster gives a sense that others will not provide us with affection, attention, direction, empathy, nurturance, strength, and understanding. Beliefs are:


I don't receive attention or love.
People don't meet my emotional needs.
I often can't find someone for emotional support or information.
Frequently no one nurtures me, cares for me, or shares their self with me.
No one gives me advice or direction.
No one makes me feel special.
No one gives me affection or warmth.
No one listens to me or understands me.
Being with important others makes me feel lonely and misunderstood.

 

When you approach processing, it’s advisable to take one belief from one Personality Cluster at a time.

 

Back to the top: Personality Clusters

 

Emotional Eating

This personality cluster is involved in compulsive eating to block feeling emotions like anxiety, sadness, boredom, anger, guilt, jealousy, and overwhelm. Emotional Eating beliefs are:


I must eat right now.
I need pizza, pasta, sweet foods, ice cream, pretzels, or some cake.
Snacks make me feel good.
I deserve something to eat after all I've been through.
What's a little snackiepoo--what the heck?
When I start to feel like this, I have to eat something.
I can't stand not having what I want.

When nobody listens or gives me attention, I think about food.
I need goodies to feel good and block painful emotions.
I have no control over this. I have to answer my urges.
If I crave something to eat, I have to eat it.
I can't stand being frustrated.
I deserve to eat whenever I want.
If others didn't cause me to feel this way, I wouldn't be eating like this.
A bag of cookies and some chocolates won't hurt. I need to pamper myself.
I'm powerless over snacking and eating.
I'm a _______ once I get going and can't stop.
Being chubby makes me worthless or no good.
Easy for you to say. I have a disease!
I don't have an eating problem.
I'll start watching what I eat...tomorrow.
I never could control this. Why bother?
Once a foodaholic always a foodaholic.
I really feel guilty about eating. I HAVE to eat something.
I can't cope without my Godivas, pizza, or Hostess Twinkies.
I'm not addicted to food--I control it whenever I want. There's no problem.
I can stop later.
A little ____________ won't hurt--what the heck. _______________ makes me feel okay.

I just don't have the will power.
Just one more. Mmmm--they taste sooo good.
I'm not responsible for this condition. It's genetic.
I buy all THIS for my family. I can't let this go to waste?
If I feel bad, food helps.
I can't stop thinking about food.
I can't help giving into my craving.
There's a lot of pressure in my family to eat. I can't help giving in.

 

When you approach processing, it’s advisable to take one belief from one Personality Cluster at a time.

 

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Emotionally/Conflict Avoidant

This cluster is based on avoiding emotions and conflicts. This cluster comes from leftover beliefs formed when growing up in emotionally repressive households where conflict avoidance was modeled. Persons, emotionally and conflict avoidant, have difficulty forming and sustaining close relationships. Often critical of both themselves and others, they distrust emotions and appear rigid and thin-skinned. More prone to anxiety, shyness, approval seeking, unassertiveness, mistrust, and compulsive behavior, they may undergo periods of depression due their limited emotional connection with others and challenges expressing themselves directly. They prefer to keep others at a "safe" distance and may prove elusive and frustrating to persons desiring closer emotional contact. Because of being frequently out of touch with their emotions, they often misread people and situations. They are very security conscious. Typical thoughts of the Emotionally/Conflict Avoidance Personality Cluster are:


Conflicts are scary and uncomfortable.
Anger is frightening and sometimes feels overwhelming.
I can't take feeling out of control.
Strong emotions feel overwhelming.
I hide my feelings to avoid hurting others and being hurt.
I have a secret emotional side that I seldom
show others.
I'm hyper-alert for being criticized and often think people are putting me down.
I prefer comfort and solitude away from others.
There's no need to analyze our feelings and motivations when we disagree.
Conflicts disappear in time, so why bother?
I'm often uninterested in getting involved with others. It's too much bother.
People want more from me than I have to give.
Why talk about issues when they might lead to fights.
Conflicts and fights scare me. I avoid them.
Some areas of my life are best kept secret from my partner.
When I become angry or anxious, I prefer to be left alone and think about other things.
Analyzing a situation psychologically is too much trouble.
Why do people want to know so much about me? They must think I'm abnormal.
Being in a committed relationship makes me feel anxious.
I hate it when people ask me about how I feel--why are they prying?
I feel trapped and hemmed in by others sometimes.
Why do loved ones act so needy?
When I get close to others I feel on edge.
I need space.
Most areas in my relationship won't change.
Talking about our conflicts just makes everything worse--why go there?
It's inappropriate to show strong feelings of anger.
Talking about conflicts feels scary.
Emotional and conflictual discussions should go quickly. I don't have all day to go over conflicts or to beat dead horses.
Let's get this over.
No one needs to change. I certainly don't want to.
No need to disagree--I'm not the disagreeable sort.
Talking about my sadness, anger, or fear makes
me look immature and self-absorbed.
Let's talk about something else.
If I begin to get strong negative feelings I ignore them and get active. I don't notice my feelings then.
I have no need to persuade my partner to my way of thinking. I don't want to be persuaded either.
Thinking positive is my motto.
If I have negative feelings I keep them to myself. They'll go away if I ignore them.
Anger solves nothing.
I never disagree with my partner. Most times we don't talk about what bothers us. No need to.
I feel weird expressing emotions.
Expressing negative feelings is self-centered. I don't want to disturb my partner.
Talking about emotions is BORING!
Life should be comfortable and pleasant. Why rock the boat?

 

When you approach processing, it’s advisable to take one belief from one Personality Cluster at a time.

 

Back to the top: Personality Clusters

 

Emotionally Inhibited

This cluster suppresses our feelings and impulses and leads to being stiff and lacking in emotion. Beliefs are:

I can't lose control.
My anger could get distorted and I could hurt someone.
One must always be in control or one might lose it completely.
A lot of anger is built up inside me.
I can't show my emotions.
Some things should never be the subjects of humor.
I don't have time for chitchat.
I am embarrassed showing my feelings to others.
It's difficult being affectionate and spontaneous.
I am stiff and uptight.
I am unemotional and overcontrolled.
Others must maintain their composure around me.
I must be strong and unyielding or I will be weak.
I must keep my beliefs and principals or I am nothing.
By resisting I will not be overwhelmed.

 

When you approach processing, it’s advisable to take one belief from one Personality Cluster at a time.

 

Back to the top: Personality Clusters

 

Envy

Envy is when we compare ourselves to other folks or compare our accomplishments to other folks' accomplishments. A negative self-view fuels envy where we down ourselves. We see someone accomplishing something before we make a comparison and tell ourselves we should do as well or better. Because we don't, we knock ourselves with a bad name.

If we really accept ourselves, we don't spend much time comparing ourselves with other people. This comparison can lead to disliking others or to self-hate. When we envy, we often wish others hard times and knock how they achieved their success. Here the underlying belief holds that others' success takes away from our own:

In handling envy it might be a good idea to check out your underlying beliefs and feelings.


What do you think about others and their accomplishments?
How are you making a comparison?
What rule do you hold for yourself about what you should have or do?
What negative self-label do you pin on yourself?


It might be a good idea to check out what you do have--not what you lack.

Envy at times is linked with coveting someone else's possessions or someone else's glory. Acknowledge how this might be an error and be prepared to exchange covetous beliefs for more helpful beliefs. Recognize the many good things you already have. Let contentment come. Focus on the good and the beneficial and see how you might be charitable with others.

Often the good life has little to do with what we possess materially. The good life may have more to do with how we perceive ourselves, others, and the world. We create our feelings of beauty, goodness, and plenty with our thoughts and images.

Why have a self-made law that says we must accomplish more or have more in order to accept ourselves and treat ourselves in a loving and caring manner? Be willing to dump that law for preferences or wants. Suffering is created by inhumane laws we punish ourselves with. We can accept ourselves and treat ourselves in a loving and caring manner at any moment. We hold the steering wheel here.

To process envy, we should first root out our beliefs that are creating the feelings of envy. The emotions connected to these beliefs will be good
targets for processing. Find the laws. Find the self-downing. Find the comparison. How might you also enjoy the success of others? How might you empathize with them? Do others have similar hopes and aspirations as you? Are not these folks formed from the same creative energy? What are your goals for accomplishing a calling? When was the last time you recognized you were multi-faceted? That you were a mix of positive, neutral, and some negative qualities? What excellent things have you done? How will you go about accepting your envious feelings? What good things have they done for you? When you notice the good things others have, how might you obtain the same things if you really want them?

The Envy Personality Cluster:

 

My accomplishments pale when compared to others.
My appearance falls short of others' appearance.
I am envious of other's ability to learn.
I feel badly when I compare what I have to the possessions of others.
I feel worthless and lesser when I compare myself to others.
I am nothing when I see what others have accomplished.
I envy others wealth and status. They are superior and I hate them.
Others abilities and talents are so much better than mine--It makes me envious.
Others' creativity and intelligence is so much more than my own. I feel like nothing in comparison.
My value rises and falls based on comparisons with others.

When I see what others have, I feel much the less.
I dislike or hate others who do better than I.

 

When you approach processing, it’s advisable to take one belief from one Personality Cluster at a time.

 

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Failure

Feeling like a failure is very painful and a common plague to many. Failure also haunts successful folks as well. Movie stars and pop singers, who have "made it", complain of still feeling like failures and imposters. This particular cluster provides us with a sense that we will fail at everything we try because we are dull, inept, unskilled, or untalented. Beliefs are:


I can't perform as well as others.
 I'm a failure.

 Methods may work for others, but they'll never work for me.
 I'm no good at anything, so why even bother.
 Whatever I do is doomed.
 Others are more capable than I am.
 If I failed once I will always fail.

 I’ve got nothing but bad luck.

 Trying only leads to more humiliation.

 My past life karma is here to collect.
 I lack the talent and skills that other people have.
 My failures haunt me--why would I want to go through failure again?.
 I'm born under a bad sign.
 Others are so much more successful than I.
 Even if I succeed, I'm an imposter because I am really a failure.

 

If any of the above beliefs seem to fit, then you may want to integrate them with any process with which you feel comfortable. Feel free to change the language of any of the above beliefs to make them a better fit.

Our sense of failure can arrive from many quarters. We may have had parents who were hypercritical of our performances at school. We may still hear expressions like "Dumbo", "Stupid", "Yo, lunkhead" echoing in our memories.

Sometimes we may have successful brothers, sisters, and parents and we might make that comparison which gets the failure ball rolling. Even worse we may have had parents who didn't give a hoot about our performance in school or sports and this could set the failure challenge in motion. We may have done poorly in school and compared ourselves with other kids. Learning Disabled kids often have to put up with this secondary issue. Also, not having limits set for us or having discipline in our upbringing can put us in line for a fall.

Failing or a sense of failure is based on some major distortions. These distortions are labels that don't cover all our behaviors.

To label ourselves a failure is to not take into account that we obviously have done some things right or successfully even if it may just be tying our shoes or turning off the lights. When we believe we're failures we often rule out many of the successes we have had. We look back through the glass darkly. Depressed folks will often report nothing but failures even though a closer examination will show some successful endeavors.

The sense of failure distorts the picture. It freeze-frames a situation and makes mistakes and errors look as if they were for all-time and can't be undone. Folks who operate from more positive frameworks will mark off when things didn't work out as learning experiences or calls for changes in how we operate.

Martin Seligman wrote a great little book on emotional resiliency in the face of adversity. A lot of successful folks have run into roadblocks, but they tended not to see the challenges as being forever. They saw them as instructive bits of evidence that they needed to do things differently.

Folks who believe they are failures and everything they touch turns to stone will often procrastinate or not even bother. It is important to take action on important callings no matter how badly we feel. Getting up and doing gives us control, changes our feelings states, and gets stuff done. Some areas of corrective action with failure are:

 1.      Learn skills that will help take you out of a rut and apply them.

2.      Consider doing activities that match your talents and then do them.

3.      Sometimes we need to work our way up the ladder, avoiding it can be more painful because it can put us on the periphery of what we'd really like to do.

4.      Handle any procrastination and tardiness issues if you're working for others. We can set our clocks and follow through on agreed upon times.

5.      Check out those areas of your life you may tend to minimize. Appreciate those things that do work for you. Ask yourself: "What works?"

6.      Become aware of your abilities, skills, talents, and achievements. Make lists of them and check them out.

7.      Observe what has worked successfully in your life. Can you replicate more of the same? How?

8.      If you see patterns of so-called failure, see how you can alter or interrupt those patterns. All patterns are alterable.

9.      Leave yourself open to mentoring and feedback.

10.  Screw preordained life and being born under a bad sign. They're lousy excuses to live with distorted beliefs. Ruts can be filled in with concrete effort and new ways of seeing.

11.  Change is inevitable.

We can also set aside living by success or failure. We can choose to live through vitally absorbing and meaningful activity. Even if it feels like we're dwelling in a concentration camp, we can still plant flowers, do well by others, and take up meaningful activities. Eventually we can overwhelm the guards and liberate ourselves by our focus and efforts.

 

When you approach processing, it’s advisable to take one belief from one Personality Cluster at a time.

 

Back to the top: Personality Clusters

 

Fusing/Can’t Separate from Others

This cluster offers a sense of having to be overly involved or emotionally fused with important others. With fusing we might believe we can't be happy or survive without the close support of another. Beliefs are:



My parents and I are locked into each other's challenges and lives.
I can't separate myself from my parents.
I don't have a life of my own--my parents live through me.
My parents and I can't keep secrets from each other.
I share the same identity with my parents or my partner.
I can't keep a distance from loved ones.
My loved one is so into my life that I don't know who I am or what I want.
I would hurt my loved ones if I broke away.
I have no boundaries or privacy with my family.
I can't separate my views from my loved one's views.

 

When you approach processing, it’s advisable to take one belief from one Personality Cluster at a time.

 

Back to the top: Personality Clusters

 

Inferiority/Shame

This cluster leaves us with the feeling we are defective, inferior, no good, and undesirable. With this cluster we are sensitive to criticism and rejection and are shamed by our appearance and flaws. Beliefs are:



Who would love me or like me if they noticed my flaws?
I've got lots wrong with me.
How could anyone love or like me?
They would leave if they knew the real me.
I'm unsuitable and unlovable.
Nothing I can do will help me gain important others’ love and respect.

It's my fault that others don't accept or love me.
I must prove my worth.
I don't want anyone to see the real me.
No matter what I do, I still feel unacceptable and unloved.

I'm unlovable.
I'm drawn to others who are critical of me or reject me.
I feel inadequate and lacking.
I've got to hide myself from people who get close to me.
I'm afraid for others to get close to me and see the real me.
I feel like a fake when others seem to like me.
My appearance, intelligence, income, opinions, and sexuality are shameful.

 

When you approach processing, it’s advisable to take one belief from one Personality Cluster at a time.

 

Back to the top: Personality Clusters

 

Insomnia

Beliefs include: 

 

I've got to sleep, but I can't.
My monkey mind never turns off and that frustrates or angers me.
Losing sleep is a catastrophe.
Why me--why can't I sleep?
I never sleep.
I can't function the next day.
I can't stand not being able to sleep--it screws me up.
I lie in bed and try hard to sleep.
I feel exhausted all the time, but nothing works.
I'm an insomniac.

 

When you approach processing, it’s advisable to take one belief from one Personality Cluster at a time.

 

Back to the top: Personality Clusters

 

Jealousy

Jealousy is a common human problem where someone rates himself or herself poorly and/or believes a partner is untrustworthy and will leave them for another. Typical Jealousy Personality Cluster beliefs are:


I'm unattractive and unappealing.
My partner will leave me.
My partner is not to be trusted.
Other persons cause how I feel.
I have a right to control my partner.
It seems as if my partner has already left me.
No one could possibly love me if they knew the real me.
They have no right to talk others of the opposite sex.
I know my partner is eyeing attractive people.
I can't take my attention off my partner.
I have every right to be furious at them.
If you're going with me you must account for where you've been at all times.
Once a cheat, always a cheat.
My partner is responsible for how I feel.
My partner is a liar, cheat, and never can be trusted.
All men/all women are cheats.
I think about my partner and what they're doing continuously.

I have a right to tell him/her what to do and whom they can talk with.
I'm unlovable.
I always lose whatever I love.
Sooner or later they'll leave me for someone else.
I feel incomplete unless my partner is close by.
My rage and anger with my partner is entirely justified.
Partners should never be shared.
He/she is mine.
Socializing with others of the opposite sex is outside the boundaries of our relationship.
If you really loved me, you would only be with me.
I expect my partner to stray. I have to watch them.
It's okay to park outside their house and check up.
Losing my partner would be the end of the world.

 

When you approach processing, it’s advisable to take one belief from one Personality Cluster at a time.

 

Back to the top: Personality Clusters

 

Loveaholism

This cluster is based on the beliefs that we direly need or are addicted to having a specific person or special relationship in order to feel good or block painful emotions. The cluster beliefs are:

 

I need a person or a relationship in order to feel good.
I completely require a person or relationship to block feeling painfully lonely or emotional pain.
I can't stand being without a special someone or a relationship.
If I'm alone on a Saturday I feel like I could die it gets so bad.
I am nothing or worthless without a special someone or a relationship.
I can't control my need for love--I must have it!
People can't survive without a special someone or love relationship.
I deserve a special someone or relationship, but it's not happening.
Being alone is horrible--the worst!
I feel like I'll go crazy if I am without a special someone or relationship.
I'm a love junky--I'm powerless over this.
I can't possibly cope without a special someone or a relationship.
Feeling this desperate absolutely proves I need someone. Anyone!
It's too much to feel desperately lonely and empty.
God did not intend for man or woman to be alone. I should be in a committed relationship or married.
I could die from Saturday Night Fever!
I desperately crave a special someone, but that's not going to happen.
It's terribly unfair that I'm not within someone. I hate it!
I feel totally desperate and hungry if I'm alone.

I hate ___________, but I need him/her so much.
When someone pulls away or leaves me, I feel crazy and all alone.
Live isn't worth living without a special someone or a relationship.
This relationship is the only one I can have--I must hold onto it no matter what.
I'll TAKE any relationship.
It's impossible for me to have any fun or pleasure without a special someone or a
relationship.
Love is all, without it I am nothing.


Loveaholism, or "Love Slobbism" as Dr. Albert Ellis called it, can come in different intensities and flavors. Most often it is driven by a dire need for love or for a special love relationship. It can be fired up by:



1. Soft traumas--steady rejection early in life.
2. An abandonment trauma either in childhood or in young adulthood.
3. A compulsion used as a defense mechanism to keep someone from experiencing emotional overwhelm. Here someone may have one of the first two challenges and utilize emptiness as a distraction from emotional overwhelm in other areas.
4. The belief that external love or a love relationship may be a dire necessity for survival and happiness.


Loveaholism or person addiction presents the basic belief that we direly require a special person or a love relationship for continued survival I'll die without you!., fulfillment, and happiness. Holding particular persons or love relationships to be a necessity rather then a preference can lead to:


1. Feelings of craving & desperation.
2. Involvement in unrewarding and possibly abusive relationships.
3. Depression & loneliness when we don't have the "needed" other.
4. Making us lonely & desperate looking which can drive potential partners away.


Overcoming loveaholism generally calls on us to:



1. Really feel our emptiness and loneliness directly and discover they contain love and our essential nature. What is outwardly scary and overwhelming, can reward us when we fully experience it and let go to it. Emptiness and loneliness, often highly resisted by many folks, provide some very rich treasures when we fully enter them.

2. If we are confronted by a strong compulsion, that seems overwhelming in its neediness and intense focus, it may be a good idea to feel the feelings that the compulsion is being utilized to distract us from.

3. Examine and process those false-need beliefs. Adults can learn to accept and treat themselves with respect and love. Processing can often put us in contact with our essential nature and its essence based love. We better keep in mind that direly requiring love relationships, rather than preferring them, has no biological basis due to the observation that many adults, without love relationships, manage both survival and highly enjoyable and meaningful lives. Sometimes people will argue that children die without contact or love. Likely so, yet adults and children don't have the same requirements for love. Because of their knowledge and skills, adults are more capable of meeting their emotional, intellectual, and physical desires than are very small and growing children. We might recognize that we can choose to accept ourselves and treat ourselves in a loving and caring manner. We do not require someone special to take responsibility for accepting us and for treating us lovingly or caringly. That we can do ourselves. We already have some outstanding resources within us: our essential selves, our beliefs about ourselves, and the actions that we can take to demonstrate self-caring and love.



Some tips on handling Loveaholism:

An adult love relationship is not a prerequisite for our survival and happiness. Likely you know other adults who survived relationship breakups or the deaths of loved ones and had happy and rewarding lives afterwards...alone. Notice unattached people who enjoy their lives. Folks survive the loss of others. Also note that having a love relationship is no guarantee of bliss. Check out that a fair number of married folks divorce. Also lovers sometimes abuse or murder lovers.

Can we recall having joy and pleasure with friends or acquaintances without having a love relationship?

We can create happiness and vital absorption without the company of others. We've all enjoyed times alone. We can recall when we were absorbed in a job, hobby, walk, or ordinary thought and felt good. Most peak experiences occur when we're alone.

List the benefits a love relationship supplies. Can't these benefits be met by either yourself or through friendships? Typical benefits: companionship, intimacy, dancing, conversation, dining out, going to the movies or theater, hiking, travel etc.

Believing a love relationship is a preference will bring you less desperate feelings. Believing you direly need a love relationship will make you crave one and feel desperate when your false needs go unmet.

Self-acceptance and treating ourselves in a loving and caring manner will go far in creating a pleasurable life for ourselves.

Downing ourselves for not having the dire "other" is our choice in belief. We can accept ourselves regardless of having anyone or not.

Just because some people believe we direly require a love relationship does not make it a fact. Don't more than a few people buy superstitions and the idea that others make us angry, anxious, and depressed when it's actually our evaluations of people and events?

 Are feelings good evidence for the idea that we need a love relationship to survive or feel happy? Does feeling lonely prove you "need" or does it show you're either downing yourself for failing to have a love relationship or you're running and rerunning emptiness on your screen.

Alone can actually be a deeply rewarding and enjoyable time.

People sometimes experience suffocation being around someone who is desperate. Love hungry folks tend to be self-focused and angry with their partners. Loveaholics tend to focus on what they are not getting and minimize their partner's attention.


 

When you approach processing, it’s advisable to take one belief from one Personality Cluster at a time.

 

Back to the top: Personality Clusters

 

Learning Dependency

This personality cluster gives someone the sense that they cannot learn without close supervision. The person with this challenge believes they lack the requisite judgment and skills for self-directed learning There's nothing wrong with getting assistance, it's over reliance on authorities that may limit learning opportunities.. The beliefs are:



 Learning by myself feels too heavy.
 I need another's direction or I get confused.
 I can't cope alone--studies overwhelm me.
 I need a teacher for order and structure or else I feel tense.
 I need a teacher to push me and light a fire beneath me.
 Without the special presence of a teacher I can't really learn.
 I'm not a self-starter and I have difficulty finishing projects alone.
 I feel empty and alone without supervision.
 I get confused unless someone is there to guide me.
 Someone has to create order and direction for me--I can't do it alone.
 I feel anxious and uninspired without supervision.
 I've tried independent learning--I make too many errors and can't set and meet deadlines.
 I lack what it takes to be a self-directed learner.
 I doubt my own judgment and decision making skills.
 I'm easily overwhelmed without guidance.
 Without guidance and structure I procrastinate. I need to be prodded.

 

When you approach processing, it’s advisable to take one belief from one Personality Cluster at a time.

 

Back to the top: Personality Clusters

 

Loneliness

This cluster points to feeling alone, empty, and disconnected from others. Beliefs are:

I feel totally empty inside.
I'm so lonely I could cry.
Others remind me of how I'm not with an important other.
I can't take my emptiness.
My aloneness overwhelms me and makes me feel desperate.
My emptiness is killing me.
I would give anything to be with someone--anyone.
I can't be alone because my pit will overwhelm me.
I don't want to experience my emptiness because it scares me.
I can't stand be alone--I've got to get out.
I'd give anything to be with someone--anyone.
 I can't express how desperate I feel.

Everyone has someone special--I don't have anyone.
My emptiness feels overwhelming.

 

When you approach processing, it’s advisable to take one belief from one Personality Cluster at a time.

 

Back to the top: Personality Clusters

 

Low Frustration Tolerance

The king of all the blocks to self-growth has got to be Low Frustration Tolerance. Only emotional avoidance and dissociation rival it.

 

Low Frustration Tolerance beliefs are basically unsupportable by evidence. Human beings can stand anything if they just stay there.

Low Frustration Tolerance is an irrational trance that many believe, but seldom test. Low Frustration Tolerance is our intolerance for discomfort, difficulties, frustration, and painful emotions. Here we believe the idea that our situation is too difficult, too much, or unbearable. Cues may include: Agitation, tension, poor attention, and leaving situations we really could stand.

 

Low Frustration Tolerance, also called impatience or discomfort anxiety, is created by distorted views of a situation and our ability to put up with it. Here are some typical Low Frustration Tolerance beliefs:

 

I need or deserve comfort all the time.
I can't stand it.
I can't bear it.
I can't live without
it.
I can't tolerate it.
It's too much.
It's too heavy.
I'm losing control.
It's overwhelming.
Will this ever end?
My life should be easy and comfortable.
This is driving me out of my mind.
Too B-O-R-I-N-G.
This is excruciating.
Too Hard.
This is too heavy.
I'm going to jump out of my skin.

 

Sometimes catastrophizing is added to the Low Frustration Tolerance to amp it up in our mind. This is our belief that the circumstances are also horrible, awful, terrible, or catastrophic.

Staying with the strong feelings generated by these superficial beliefs will allow the person who believes them to see that it's their belief about the situation that's creating most of their profound discomfort and not the actual situation. LFT, if believed, tends to really intensify aversive feelings. It's a negative magnifying lens on a situation. It's like the belief in "boredom" we tack onto situation and it makes the situation uncomfortable and additionally unstimulating.

 

Where do we find LFT? Panic. Addictions. Compulsions. Worry. Rage and anger. Really strong LFT hints that trauma may be involved.

 

Acceptance, patience, and tolerance are arrived at through direct feeling, taking action in the face of LFT, and desensitizing LFT directly.

 

LFT's major challenges:  

 

LFT stimulated instant gratification can often create stress in the future. Addictions, excessive TV watching instead of doing important duties, becoming involved in unsafe sex, exercise avoidance, overspending, overeating.

 

LFT lurks behind most procrastination. Procrastination creates problems in the near and distant future. More stress than avoided.

LFT helps make for complaining, blaming, and negativity and may thwart assertiveness and taking responsibility.

 

Having well developed patience and frustration tolerance is key. Not overreacting to problems and avoiding them helps in all of life's areas. You are more willing to undertake learning and try new activities. Patience and frustration tolerance means you're accepting what is and what is uncomfortable without making it into more than what it is.

 

LFT can be wilted and mashed by learning to stand there and do what we better do. A "Call to Action", the "I Stood it Exercise", or "Emo Direct Exposure" would be useful here. If we get severely fearful or phobic it's best to feel those emotions and do what better be done. This greatly deflates LFT. Nothing beats direct doing because it shows us very clearly that we can stand an activity, frustration, or extremely painful emotion. We can stand a great deal. In truth we can stand something until we die. When we believe we can't stand something we make that moment extremely uncomfortable. Through experimenting we will discover we possess the ability to stay in there, to keep with it. Without patience and tolerance we will face massive roadblocks to our aspirations and to life. With LFT we bail out at the first signs of discomfort and struggle. Gang no more jumping out of a 20 person bank line because we can't stand it. Nonsense.

 

LFT exaggerates feelings as well as leads to lethargy; a lack of discipline; helplessness; hopelessness; a focus on short-term discomfort rather than on long-term goals and rewards; and the building up of complaining and self-pity. Further, LFT blocks our awareness of our ability to complete tasks and leads to awfulizing about our inability to control our emotions. LFT can also lead to us hating uncertainty and focusing on other's negative behavior.

 

LFT must be ruthlessly hunted down and experienced. Leave no LFT standing--ever. You probably will have an easier go of it if you accept it and feel it, yet take direct action in the face of LFT. I count LFT as one of the first targets to go after if you find it gumming up your life. It slows growth so it better be addressed.

 

Here Here's a process based on "direct exposure" to LFT. It's effective and builds up your frustration tolerance and patience:

 

The Low Frustration Tolerance Destroyer

 

Warning: Folks with a history of mental illness, PTSD, or panic are urged not to use these techniques without a therapist. If you decide to do these processes you will agree to absolve the webmaster, the webhost, Emoclear.com, and Steve Mensing of any responsibility for the application or misapplication of these processes. There is always in any process the possibility that someone could experience some discomfort.

 

Find a worthwhile situation you deem "too much" or "you can't stand". Fully feel those Low Frustration Tolerance emotions with no intention of getting rid of them or keeping them. When you have fully experienced the LFT simply carry that activity through to its conclusion. You will note how you survived and stood it. If you happened to notice any parts of the activity that you enjoyed, note them by writing them down. Here are the steps to the LFT Destroyer:

 

1. Name the activity you believe "too much" or "couldn't stand":_________________________.

2. Set a time to do this activity and follow through on it no matter how overwhelmed you initially feel.

3. Recognize the long-term rewards for "standing it". My long-term rewards for standing this exercise will be:_____________________.

4. Now begin the exercise by fully feeling your LFT feelings with no intention of getting rid of them or keeping them. Really allow yourself to feel those feelings. Thank them for what good things they might've done for you.

5. Now regardless of how you're feeling, just get up and do the activity from start to finish.

6. Notice how the intensity went down when you completed the task. Notice too that you stood it and survived. The more you practice this, the weaker LFT gets. It may blow out on the first run through.

 

Quick tips on handling LFT:

 

LFT feelings can be targets for integration or Emotional Writing.

Question your LFT beliefs can weaken them. Ask yourself these questions:

 

Could you stand it?
Have you stood it before? Have you coped with a similar situation?
Could you stand it for 2 million dollars or some other highly valued awards? If you can--you just proved you could stand it.
If your brain is not malformed--can you really go crazy or just get upset?
Have you ever lived without it?
Where's the evidence that it's really too much? Is your evidence based on just your belief?
Why might LFT beliefs be labeled as anti-empirical statements (no evidence for the statements)? Can you stand it two minutes at a time?

 

George Bernard Shaw noted two tragedies of life: "Not getting your heart's desire and getting your heart's desire."

View your task as simple steps and not as an overwhelming whole.

 

Use the Creator on an upcoming Low Frustration Tolerance situation and ask the "Miracle Question" in ways that have you successfully standing and staying through the difficult or uncomfortable. Say you looked back on your completed task from three years in the future, what good feelings would you have about completing it? How did you first notice that you accepted it? When did it feel doable? What did you think about the successful task?

 

Feelings change--they never remain the same. Stay with doing a task and your feelings change.

 

Give your attention to your task. I can't stand it-itis loses its punch as you pay fuller attention to your task.

 

Do it.

 

When you approach processing, it’s advisable to take one belief from one Personality Cluster at a time.

 

Back to the top: Personality Clusters

 

Mistrust

Problems with trust often have roots in childhood, yet they can occur in early adulthood as well. Kids and people can be abused and this can be very emotionally impactful. Emotions of fear, extreme anger, hate, betrayal, and shame can be present with distrust.

Abuse, the root of mistrust, can often be repressed from awareness. However a strong flavor of mistrust is there. This mistrust can be generalized to other persons. Example: "All men are rats." "Those people are always sneaks--we have to watch them night and day."

It's great to trust people, but we also better keep a sharp eye. Not everyone has good intentions for us or is honest. People better exercise some discernment. Basically I trust most people until I get an intuition otherwise. The challenge with pathological mistrust it is applied broadly to everyone--trusting no one. It tests. It generalizes to specific people like all men are or all women are. With this kind of mistrust our guard is always up. Even the slightest infraction or the misperception of one can paint someone quickly as untrustworthy.

People who mistrust are often abusive.

There's a tendency to see ulterior motives and that people are attempting to manipulate you. Relationships can be viewed as dangerous.

The odd thing is folks, who are profoundly distrusting, seem like powerful magnets for attracting abusive folks into their lives and relationships. Often people who mistrust strongly have psychological blind spots for abusers. They will minimize certain negative aspects of a partner and maximize certain positive aspects. Then they will certainly be abused again.

Here is the Personality Cluster: Abuse/Expectation of Bad Treatment.  This cluster provides a sense that others will abuse, cheat, deceive, humiliate, hurt, or take advantage of us. Beliefs are:

 

I must be totally guarded around others.
 People will use me.
 People only act nice when they want something.
 Soon someone will betray me.
 People will emotionally, physically, or sexually abuse me.
 I must be vigilant for other people's tricks.
 People close to me will hurt me.
 I have to test others because they are untrustworthy.
 People only think about themselves.
 I'd be a fool to trust someone.
 Most people are liars and cheats.
 I do it to them before they do it to me.
 Take control or be controlled.
 I'm angry about how others have used me.
 Something's wrong with me if I get treated this way.
 It's my fault I've been abused or tricked.


Feel the feelings engendered by these beliefs and use those feelings for processing or integration. We better exercise some discernment in modern life as not everyone has our best interests in mind. However to have a profound sense of mistrust and fear of people can make life toil. Personality Clusters that contain mistrust beliefs are fine targets for processing.

 

When you approach processing, it’s advisable to take one belief from one Personality Cluster at a time.

 

Back to the top: Personality Clusters

 

Negativity

This cluster provides us with a sense of pessimism and a focus on life's negative aspects. Negativity filters out the positive or what might work and instead notices what could go wrong. People who suffer from negativity tend toward complaining, indecision, worry, and the failure to undertake new directions. Beliefs are:


Why bother--it will never work.
Things could go wrong.
It didn't work before--why should it work now?
Everything I do turns out wrong--why try?
Why take a chance--it won't work anyway.
If I try I'll be trapped forever.
Look at what I'll lose--why risk it?
Nothing I ever do amounts to anything.
Things can only get worse.
If it 's going well now you get be assured it will fall apart later.
In my gut I know I will fail.
I've got bad luck.
Look at all the bad things that could happen if I do that.
It may work for them, but it will never work for me.
I'm born to lose--I always have and I always will.
I lack what it takes to make things work.
It's too hard to even try.
Nothing will ever help me--I'm marked goods.
I don't have the energy to mess up again.
My situation is hopeless.
I'm different from others--it won't work for me.

Cures are beyond me--I really feel that.
Making changes is beyond my control.

 

When you approach processing, it’s advisable to take one belief from one Personality Cluster at a time.

 

Back to the top: Personality Clusters

 

Oppositionalism

This is a very common challenge that we see in folks who struggle with authority and others in a knee jerk and contrary way. These folks are our "Rebels without a Cause". Often oppositional develops out of being controlled and subjugated in early life. Instead of giving in to the steady onslaught of parental over-control and becoming docile and submissive, the kiddo develops an unconscious mechanism used to deflect this control. In short he becomes mechanically oppositional. He handles schoolteachers, authority figures, intimates, and even casual bystanders with the same reaction: he opposes their requests or resists what they are saying. I'm sure we've all felt the frustration of contact with those people who almost always appear to involve us in a rope pull or attempt to bat down whatever we say. If these people are intelligent they may channel these habitual responses into becoming critics or defense lawyers. In short you say red--they say blue. Ech!

In therapeutic situations psychotherapists can be quickly locked into pointless struggles with these persons unless they know how to harness these persons defensive styles. By harnessing these persons oppositionalism, it simply means giving these persons opposites to deal with. Example: Years ago I had a fellow whose stated goal was to overcome his anxiety in meeting others and striking up conversations. This particular client's usual modus operandi was opposing or passively aggressing suggestions or assignments even if they were assignments he agreed to do. We both wanted him to progress with his goal. However if we got into a struggle over assignments we would block what he truly wanted. I think these sorts of fights are useless and the oppositional client will always win the rope pull and defeat their goal. In order for the client to wear down his anxiety he would need to practice imagery over and over. If I gave him the assignment outright and even if he agreed to it, I knew it would not be done or forgotten. So at the end of our session I told him whatever he did, he was not to think about, imagine, or daydream about going up and meeting others. He was to absolutely put it out of his head. "He would destroy the therapy if he did!" I insisted on him not imagining or daydreaming about it--he was to fight it if it started happening and put his mind elsewhere. This was an absolute must. He agreed...Three days later he called me quite distraught and told me he was compulsively thinking about going up and meeting others and having very detailed conversations with them. I excoriated him over the phone, but I told him it still was not too late. He could forget all about it between now and the next session. However he still had to fight thinking or imagining about it as best he could. If he broke down and gave into his impulses it might really hurt our therapeutic relationship. I told him to fight the good fight and resist with all his guts and determination.

The following week he showed up pretty downcast. "Steve--I screwed up royally. I couldn't stop thinking about it. The daydreams started getting intrusive at work and even screwed with my sleep."

I patted him on the shoulder. He had done way more imaginal work than I thought necessary and had desensitized his target. Making conversation easily without tension came soon for this person. Oppositionalism was harnessed in this situation and utilized to gain his goal.

Personally tough love, with oppositionals, generally brings out their fighting colors. Unless you have a license to hunt humans I really doubt coming straight at these folks helps much. They will resist you tooth and nail. Their whole "self" hinges upon it. It is an ingrained lifestyle that strongly resists head on change. Tough love inflames and inspires it. Surely you've tried arguing sense to an oppositional. Your beating your arms trying to get liftoff and you go nowhere.

Now how do you let an oppositional know they are behaving in a patterned and self-defeating way? Do you straight up tell a person, who has developed a defensive strategy for living, that they are defensive? Likely they will argue with you--and knock what you're saying. In some instances if you first describe this challenge in living as existing in another person you will be setting the stage for them. Especially if they have become interested in this other person. Other tacts are to tell vignettes or metaphors about the challenge itself. These metaphors better be appropriate to that person and engaging or their unconscious will miss it.

Tough love incites them to higher and higher spirals of feistiness. Like I said, unless you pull a gun on them, you're likely not to get anything near the response you desire. Oppositionals or "rebels without a cause" require therapy with someone having a finger on the pulse of oppositional behavior and knowing how to bring it to the client's awareness. The client will have to restructure their beliefs around control and interaction with others. This isn't easy work. Most oppositionals do not like therapy as their reality often comes into question and they tend to passively aggress unless they are respected and seen as a person without the rebel label. The work can be done.

So in working with these folks we have to somehow bring their posture to them in a way that won't get reflexively batted back. They need to learn that they will not lose their self when someone asks them to do something. They should see the world out there is not peopled with adversaries, but others who may have wants and preferences too.

An oppositional lacks true freedom. They respond automatically and not out of real choice. In their defensiveness they are actually having their decisions dictated by a part of themselves outside the borders of awareness. Others are not our parents from childhood.

Part of overcoming oppositionalism calls on the oppositional to recognize:

  • Their habitual responses.
  • Their beliefs created in a subjugating past.
  • Knowing the cost effectiveness of maintaining this habitual and self-defeating style.
  • Recognize truly who is taking advantage of you and who is not.
  • Note passive-aggressive behaviors.
  • Practice listening to what others say--you needn't agree with them, but have the freedom to hear them out.
  • Notice when you are digging in and fighting.
  • Notice what it is that you really want and see if it's simpatico with what others are requesting from you.



Here are some beliefs, subject to processing, that folks with a knee-jerk oppositional style may hold:


No one tells me what to do.
People want too much out of me.
I'm not giving up anything.
Screw them if they ask me to do something, I'll show them.
If I give in or agree, I won't have any respect.
I don't need to listen to them, screw 'em.
Who died and made them boss?
I'll tell them what they want to hear so they get off my back.
I must be vigilant for fallacies in whatever others say or write.
I'm right and they're wrong.
Nobody controls or restricts me.

When you approach processing, it’s advisable to take one belief from one Personality Cluster at a time.

 

Back to the top: Personality Clusters

 

Overdependence

Overdependence is often fueled by an underlying belief that "I can't do it on my own". It can occur in men and women alike. It's a generally pervasive feeling that we lack what it takes to handle our responsibilities and roles.

In Personality Clusters we call this particular cluster: Dependent/Incompetent. This cluster of beliefs offers us the sense that we are unable to handle our lives without others assisting us. We may believe our judgment and skills may be impaired. There's nothing wrong with getting assistance, it's the over reliance upon it that may create hassles. Typical beliefs in this dependence/incompetence cluster are:


I need others to help me make it.
I can't do it on my own.
Others can take better care of me than I can.
I can't cope alone.
I direly need other people's guidance.
I'm totally dependent and can't function alone.
If I take responsibility--I'll make too many mistakes.
I mess up everything I touch.
I'm useless in many areas of my life.
I can't trust my judgment.
I can't make good decisions because I lack common sense.
I can't solve problems--I get too anxious.
Things just overwhelm me--I can't cope alone.
I feel like a child when I have to fend for myself.
I mess up everything so why bother.


The above beliefs could be processed challenged by undertaking tasks and finishing them successfully.

If someone is looking for prince charming or a meal ticket this may be a hint that they may be caught up in overdependence.

Sometimes there can be overcompensation in this area because some folks who feel needy and incompetent will go the opposite route and insist on doing absolutely everything themselves to the point of refusing any and all assistance in important areas.

Often the roots of over-dependence grow out of having parents who were extremely overprotective and made too many decisions for you or took over normal childhood responsibilities. Parents may have usurped our ability to make decisions and follow through on them by the over-giving of instruction and advice. They also may have created a "no failure" environment for us where we would never learn or profit from errors. Further if mom or dad presented "out there" as dangerous or "too hard" we may have created strong doubts about our abilities to handle life.

In some instances being under supervised in growing up can also help spawn over-dependence. What happens here is that a kiddo is overwhelmed with responsibilities and doesn't have the savvy yet to handle them. This can install a belief that I can't do anything and am incompetent.

Some signs of over-dependence in general can be seen when:

1. You are constantly seeking out others for counsel.

2. You have avoided living alone.

3.You are anxious about traveling alone or going places alone.

4.You put your partner's wisdom way over your own and trust it over yours.

5. You forgo handling your finances, taxes etc.

6. You avoid making decisions in important areas of your life.


Making changes in these areas can call on us to do the following:

1. List areas where you feel incompetence and find skills building classes in these areas.
2. Push yourself to make decisions and do tasks where you have felt some anxiety previously. This will help you learn a skill.
3. Give yourself credit for your accomplishments.
4. Take a gradual approach and know that Rome was not hammered out in a day
.

 

When you approach processing, it’s advisable to take one belief from one Personality Cluster at a time.

 

Back to the top: Personality Clusters

 

Over-deservingness

This cluster points to feeling superior to others and to being entitled to special privileges. Here we should be able to do or to get whatever we want. We are of elevated status--among the famous, successful, and wealthy. Other should wait for their crumbs. Beliefs are:

I won't take no for an answer--I must have my way.
I'm special--no one restricts what I do.
Who would dare to hold me back or block my demands?
I get angry and impatient with anyone blocking me.
I shouldn't have to follow rules--rules are for others.
My needs are more important than others.
What I offer is superior to what others offer.
My interests come before the interests of my friends or family.
I can't stand people telling me what to do.
Others tell me I've very controlling and demanding.
It burns me when others don't follow what I tell them to do.
I'm entitled to what I want.
I deserve only the best treatment.
Others should go out of their way for me--I deserve it.

 

When you approach processing, it’s advisable to take one belief from one Personality Cluster at a time.

 

Back to the top: Personality Clusters

 

Overly Pleasing

Here we surrender control to others because we fear abandonment or anger. We might suppress our anger, desires, emotions, and decisions. We may feel trapped. The beliefs are:


I'm inviting trouble if I ask for something.
I let others be the boss.
I let others have their way because I don't want trouble.
I'll get rejected if I don't give in.
I don't know what I want so I let others make choices for me.
Others make decisions for me.
Others will leave me if I don't please them.
I can't ask for what I want--I'm too scared something might happen.
It's easier to avoid confrontations.
I avoid my anger by getting back at people in hidden ways.

 

When you approach processing, it’s advisable to take one belief from one Personality Cluster at a time.

 

Back to the top: Personality Clusters

 

Passive-aggressive

Passive-aggression is a learned behavior often developed in response to over-controling parents during childhood. Later this "over-control" might be projected onto authority figures like bosses, teachers, and spouses. Sometimes this unassertive behavior may be modeled within families. Because it's a learned behavior, passive-aggression can be replaced by developing an awareness of this behavior and the anger behind it as well as learning and applying assertive behaviors.

Passive-aggression is currently unlisted as a personality disorder in the DSM-IV although it might make a comeback after further research.

What are the signatures of passive aggressive behavior and the folks who've learned to operate in this indirectly aggressive way? Persons who act in passive aggressive ways do some of the following:

Have difficulty saying no to persons viewed as authorities. In seeming to outwardly comply with requests, the passive aggressive person will procrastinate, leave work undone, obstruct, do an insular job, do what was not requested, misplace, or "forget" to perform the requested tasks. When asked about their problem with delivering, the person with passive aggression is likely to make excuses, blame, or become sullen while claiming only good intentions. He, she or they:

  •  
    • Often feels put upon, controlled, pressured, and victimized. 
    • Frequently is involved in fibbing, omitting information, or lying to avoid direct confrontation.
    • Is prone to "cheating" and being found out in long-term relationships and marriages.
    • Often has challenges paying bills in a timely manner and may have a poor credit history.
    •  Likely has a history of poor interpersonal relationships where friends and partners are frustrated by indirectness and passive aggressive behaviors.
    • Will make dates and stand people up.  
    • May be in denial about passive aggressive behaviors, claiming only good intentions.  
    • Are frequently in trouble in work situations for excessive tardiness and incomplete tasks.
    • Have high rates of somatic complaints and headaches.  
    • May abuse alcohol and substances.  
    • Have a higher incidence of depression.  
    • In relationships may complain about partners to third parties instead of discussing issues directly with their partners.
    • Chronically "forgets" to do important tasks whether for self or others.
    • Claim to "do too much" for others.
    • Giving a yes when actually meaning no.
    • Submissive on the surface.
    • Attempts to block or frustrate others With underlying anger..
    • Seeding conflict between others and gossiping.
    • Giving mixed signals: unclear yes and no's.
    • Criticalness, subtle denigration, leaking hurtful information, sarcasm.
    • Complaining about bosses, authorities, teachers, spouses behind their backs.
    • Denial of emotions.
    • Holding back on important information.
    • Hunting for negative traits to avoid intimacy.
    • Lack of commitment.
    • Arguments and temper tantrums coming out of nowhere.
    • Withholds important information.
    • Wavering on courses of action.
    • Angry about being powerless, yet not able to assert this.
    • Sensitive about having requests made to them.
    • Often lagging in education and careers.
    • Fearful of being disliked.



Passive Aggressive Personality Cluster:


People take advantage of my giving nature.
I do "too much" for others.
People are angry with me for no good reason.
Some people want to use me and care nothing about me.
I forget sometimes, doesn't everyone?
I must do it my way or I lose all respect.
I hate being told what to do or being pressured.
I'll lose respect if I give in.
I'll do this in my own time. I'm in no hurry--screw them.
I hate deadlines. They can wait.
Being angry isn't me--I won't give in.
I'm not a conformist--I refuse to be another brick in the wall.
I know I promised, but things came up.
People try real hard to control and dominate me. Not.
I'm nothing if I let others take advantage of me.
It's easier to fib than to get in a possible argument. They always win anyway.
Others put too many demands on me.
No one dominates me.
They have no right to be upset with me--I really tried.
Do not lecture me.
Authorities demand too much and interfere too much.
I must be approved and accepted, but not controlled or dominated.
Bosses, lovers, teachers are always trying to get over, get the most out of me. They can wait.


Approaches to handling passive aggressive behavior:

It's very important to become aware of thoughts, feelings Especially anger., and behaviors leading up to passive aggression. Denial plays a part in passive aggression. It's important to take full responsibility for this behavior and not blame it on others. "I wouldn't procrastinate if others didn't pressure me."

Learning direct and assertive behavior is very important here. Practicing direct and assertive behavior until it becomes a habit.  Belief processing of the Passive Aggressive Personality Cluster will help. Uncovering and integrating passive aggressive beliefs is quite helpful.

Using the Pattern Tree directly on passive aggressive behavioral patterns is valuable.

 

When you approach processing, it’s advisable to take one belief from one Personality Cluster at a time.

 

Back to the top: Personality Clusters

 

People Pleasing

In the "Overly Pleasing" cluster we surrender control to others because we fear being emotionally abandoned or others becoming angry with us. Here we might suppress our anger, desires, emotions, and decisions. We can feel trapped when we are caught up this cluster of beliefs. This cluster is fear motivated.

The other cluster you may have engaged here is the "Sacrifice" Personality Cluster. This cluster gives us a sense of giving up our own needs for the needs of others. We do this to avoid feeling selfish or creating pain for others. This can lead to our resentment. This cluster is guilt driven.

In the dilemma you express, you seem controlled by the persons around you. You likely believe you should please others. There is an underlying experience of trappedness there. You may be running here and there attempting to meet others needs and forgetting about your own. They're way down the priority list. Your sense of choice and freedom are split off. This outlook can erase a clear sense of what you want and require in life. Your focus is outward to others and you may have a blind spot for your wants and requirements. They may sneak up on you all at once and then resentment might hit in an outburst. This is usually the way it happens.

Assertiveness may be an unspoken language for you. You sit and sit on your desires and then suddenly an explosion. You may have long drifting periods of depression because you sense no control over your world.

You may have had some of these patterns running back into your childhood. You may have experienced a lot of responsibility for the emotional or physical well-being of a parent or sibling. This often occurs in families where substance abuse, chronic illness, and depression show up. You are likely very empathic.

Another issue here may be a sense of choiceless awareness stemming from an underlying feeling that we have no real choice. This suppression may have been brought about by the threat of abandonment or emotional abandonment or severe punishment.

In brief these are the sources of "Overly Pleasing" and "Sacrifice":

  • If you didn't do what your parents demanded--you faced severe anger and punishment.
  • You took care of your family in your parents’ absence.
  • You experienced resentment toward your parents for not allowing you choices.
  • You faced being dominated or controlled.
  • You were cast in the role of the family "ear".
  • You tiptoed around your parents’ anger, depression, psychosis, or addiction.
  • You got called selfish for expressing simple wants and needs.
  • Parental communications shut down if you disagreed with them.


Typical situations that occur in the two Personality clusters are:

 

  • You shy from disagreements with others.
  • You avoid direct confrontation.
  • You may not be able to figure out what you want.
  • You don't stick up for yourself.
  • You are overly pleasing.
  • Decisions are extremely difficult.
  • You care for others.
  • You may have trouble with authority figures.
    You don't ask for what you want.
  • You remain where you feel trapped.
    You overdo responsibilities.
  • You feel guilty about much.


Here are the Personality Clusters: Overly Pleasing and Sacrifice:

 

Overly Pleasing: Here we surrender control to others because we fear abandonment or anger. We might suppress our anger, desires, emotions, and decisions. We may feel trapped. The beliefs are:



I'm inviting trouble if I ask for something.
I let others be the boss.
I let others have their way because I don't want trouble.
I'll get rejected if I don't give in.
I don't know what I want so I let others make choices for me.
Others make decisions for me.
Others will leave me if I don't please them.
I can't ask for what I want--I'm too scared something might happen.
It's easier to avoid confrontations.
I avoid my anger by getting back at people in hidden ways.

 

When you approach processing, it’s advisable to take one belief from one Personality Cluster at a time.

 

Back to the top: Personality Clusters

 

Perfectionism

Inhuman standards and self-defeating perfectionism are familiar human challenges.

The self-defeating forms of perfectionism are based on absolutistic and unrelenting standards for performance. There is an inner demandingness and drive to this form of compulsive living. It is an enemy of happiness and pleasure and turns simple acts into command performances. Inhuman standards for performance can be exhausting attempts to prove the value of a self. It is based on a lack of self-acceptance and compulsive defense against feeling.

The challenges that inhuman standards and self-defeating perfectionism create can be witnessed in:

The creation of lots of stress and cortisol, which can impede immune function and create stress related disorders like ulcers.

Our lives get caught up in the silly idea of trying to prove ourselves or up our invisible rating as great and noble souls. It's far easier to just accept yourself and tap your own well-springs of love. Why wait for others? People who are trapped by success, status, and having to have lots of material wealth, lose touch with themselves. They chase some garbage and lose sight of genuine happiness that is within. It's okay to have stuff and find pleasure in it, but people who live and die by some imaginary and arbitrary status suffer and are often cut off from their core self.

It's a crummy and painful form of motivation that provides little pleasure and turns over the responsibility of your happiness to what others think of you. Even if you are among the rich and famous you can still have people hating your guts and envying your lot in life.

Perfectionistic people are under a self-created gun to perform super humanly. This pressure often creates anxiety and poor focus, which in turn cramps output and performance. If our image of self is tied to the outcome--the outcome can seem like a desperate trek. The Michael Jordans of the world achieve because of being relaxed and focused. They are turned on by the game. They are absorbed in the game. You simply can't achieve high levels of performance while being conflicted over your status as a super human. If you're hassling with that self-made stress and pressure to perform, you're not going to be in the flow much. Self-defeating perfectionists really limit themselves with their motivations. Compulsion always limits focus.

Inhuman standards make for unpleasurable work and a lack of reward because the perfectionist line keeps going outward past accomplishment. Success is really not enjoyed--you always feel as if you must do better.

We don't relate well with others because we will likely demand superhuman standards from them as well. And when we're caught up in this nonsense we'll be spending an inordinate amount of time at work that keeps us from relating with friends and family. Further people are likely to feel tension and be on guard around us when we have these standards. Folks will be frustrated by our nutty standards.

Projects often take longer to accomplish because we get caught up in some unnecessary and time-consuming details. The repetitive going over and over details that actually worked the first time, but though the filter of inhuman standards forever seems lacking.

These folks often procrastinate on projects they see as life or death situations.

Time is often distorted by this compulsive approach to life. Because of an inner-commandingness, we never appear to have enough time.

Life is viewed as a series of unrelenting duties or dark passages.

Major areas of our life go unattended and we become unbalanced.

We create the idea of utter perfection. This idea is like a carrot before a donkey--chased but never truly experienced.

Most of us have varying notions of what constitutes perfection. Few agree on what is great or perfect.

Utter perfection leaves no room for making mistakes. How do we develop skills without making mistakes? Didn't famous artists and composers make mistakes?

Creativity is often blocked by inhuman standards.

People with this challenge may see their mistakes as utter failures instead of learning situations.

These folks live under the internal whip of absolutistic shoulds and musts.

They are often involved in the dire hunt for an end result and miss the vital absorption and pleasure in doing because they are so stressed, pressured, and often unfocused.

Will sometimes be caught up in defensiveness because they fear looking bad.

They live in all or nothing land where there is no average or middle way.

Are likely to make love making into a performance to prove their image as being worthy or great. Perfectionists are often impotent.

Tend to overlook accomplishments and focus on mistakes.

 Studies show that perfectionists are actually less accomplished than non-perfectionists.

There's nothing wrong with doing your best, but we better note when we are stepping over the line to superhuman standards.

Some questions for those suffering from the compulsive need to chase superhuman standards:

  1. Why must I be outstanding or special?
  2. Can I accept myself and treat myself in a loving and caring manner regardless of my accomplishments or lack of them?
  3. How do I become nothing if my performances are not great or perfect?
  4. Can a fallible human ever be perfect?
  5. Where is it written that I must be perfect?
  6. Can I stand it if I don't meet my goals?
  7. Would making errors be hellish?
  8. Who creates the hell and the self-flagellation?
  9. How can failing at something magically transform me into being a failure?
  10. Don't I have zillions of other qualities and traits at any given moment?

It may help folks with superhuman standards to pay attention to these areas:
 

  1. What would life be like with more humane standards?
  2.  Know what the disadvantages are.
  3.  How many hours a week are dedicated to trying to prove a great self-image?
  4. Notice how others are responding to your quest for super greatness and superiority.
  5.  How might you alter your behavior and time commitments?
  6.  What would it feel like to be released from the extreme bondage of self-slavery?
  7. What if this compulsion suddenly evaporated?
  8.  What feelings are being ducked if this quest is a powerful compulsion? Feel the feelings running this compulsive trance.
  9.  What would your life feel like if you lowered your standards by 50%? 80%?
  10. Check out your memories of how these standards developed. Perhaps in your childhood.

 

Perfectionism: This cluster gives us a sense that we must meet super standards of performance. In seeking perfection we feel under great pressure and are extremely critical of yourself and others. Through perfectionism we pay too much attention to detail, have too many rigid rules, and are preoccupied with time. Further perfectionism does not allow us to enjoy the rewards of our efforts. Beliefs are:

 

 I must never make mistakes.
 I must perform perfectly.
 My work is never good enough.
 Others must never make mistakes--they are idiots if they do.
 I'm nothing if I make an error.
 I never do well enough.
 I can't be second best--I must be the best or I'm nothing.
 I must look my best all the time.
 Everything must be in perfect order.
 There is so much to be done that I can never relax.
 I must always do way better--what I've done is nothing.
 I must finish everything even if I find it's no longer important.

 I must drive myself hard--more is expected of me.
 Every detail must be complete and perfect or I'm nothing.
 My relationships must come last because I must do a perfect job.
 My standards are more important than health and pleasure.
 I should endlessly criticize myself for any error.
 I must compete and win at all costs.
 Money, position, and status are extremely important--without them I am worthless.
 Anything less than being number one is a disgrace

 

When you approach processing, it’s advisable to take one belief from one Personality Cluster at a time.

 

Back to the top: Personality Clusters

 

Poor Discipline

This cluster shows insufficient self-control and frustration intolerance. This person lacks impulse and emotional control and is frequently blocked from completing their goals. Beliefs are:


I can't complete routine or boring tasks.
I give up easily when I become frustrated.
I can't quit drinking, overeating, or smoking--it's to hard.
My emotions get me in trouble with others.
My impulses rule me.
I can't sacrifice immediate gratification for long-range good.
Much bored me.
I can't stand things do I quit.
I lose control of my anger easily.
I do things that are bad for me.
I can't finish difficult tasks.
My concentration doesn't last long.
I do impulsive things that get me in hot water.
My temper is easily triggered.
I can't keep promises.
I can't hide my feelings from others.
I can't do anything I don't like even when it's for my own good
.

 

When you approach processing, it’s advisable to take one belief from one Personality Cluster at a time.

 

Back to the top: Personality Clusters

 

Procrastination

The Procrastination Personality Cluster focuses on the habit of delaying difficult tasks, decisions, goofing off when work better be done, and not preparing for the future. Procrastination often mistakenly places inspiration or motivation prior to action. Beliefs are:



I’ll do it when I feel like it.
Tomorrow!
I can't stand rushing.
I hate difficulty--life should be easy.
I hate deadlines.
Pressure bothers me--I resist it.
Why hurry--I could get rejected or fail?

This job requires perfection--I can wait.
I didn't mean to say "yes"--now I don't feel like it.
I work better at the last moment--I like pressure.
Too much to do--I'll do it later.
It's not the right time.
I need to be inspired.
I don't feel like it right now.
Something might stop me--why bother now.
It's too boring.

I feel nagged.
I'll try--maybe tomorrow.
I'm a procrastinator--that's my nature.
I can't stand doing some things.
I hate feeling constrained.
I hate feeling anxious or pushed.
No one tells me what to do--I'll slow down.
If I failed that would be a disaster--I can wait.
I'm not sure I want to do this.
Let me think about it.
I'll do it after I get some other things done.
Something always stops me--so what's the use?

 

When you approach processing, it’s advisable to take one belief from one Personality Cluster at a time.

 

Back to the top: Personality Clusters

 

Punitiveness

This cluster offers us the notion that others should be severely punished for their errors and misdeeds. Puntiveness leads to being angry, impatient, and intolerant with self and others who fail to meet our standards. Here forgiveness and noticing extenuating circumstances is out the window. Beliefs are:

People must be severely punished for their errors and misdeeds.
I hate people who screw up--they must suffer greatly.
I must be punished for my mistakes.
Some people should suffer or die for what they did.
I can't forgive anyone and they must suffer.
There are evil and completely bad people.
Judgment must be swift and unmerciful.
People should suffer greatly for their misbehavior.
I should suffer for my sins.
I'm entitled to revenge--they must suffer for what they did.
Revenge often demands cruelty.
An eye for an eye.

 

 
The above beliefs and their attendant feelings can be targets for processing.

People tend to create these crummy and self-defeating images in the following contexts:

 

1.       You were treated in a critical, downing, and punishing way in your family of origin.

2.       You were frequently blamed when things went wrong by parents or siblings.

3.       Early teachers put you down for your behavior and school activity. They focused negatively on you and not your actions.

4.       You were told you were no good, sick, or worthless on an ongoing basis by an important other.

5.       You drew negative comparisons with siblings.

6.       You were blamed for one of your parents abandoning the home.

7.       You were physically abused.

8.       You were emotionally abandoned by your parents.

9.      There's much more to add to this very important picture.

 

When you approach processing, it’s advisable to take one belief from one Personality Cluster at a time.

 

Back to the top: Personality Clusters

 

Relationship Claustrophobia

In Relationship Claustrophobia, persons are highly ambivalent about getting involved in close long-term relationships. When they are on the verge of a commitment, are close to having someone move in with them, or have undergone intimacy with someone they experience a deep claustrophobic fear of being "hemmed in", "suffocated", "engulfed", "trapped", or "constricted". At this point they become nit picky about their partner and quickly move to distance them or breakup with them.

 

Often Relationship Claustrophobes begin creating distance between themselves and their partners through fewer conversations, moving away, fewer dates, and disappearing into work. They will distort and magnify their partners’ real or imagined shortcomings. Termination of the relationship comes before long. Breakups often end with: "This relationship doesn't feel right to me" or "I have a bad knot in my gut about our being together." Frequently the Relationship Claustrophobe will pick fights with a partner and then turn around to accuse the partner of "arguing all the time". Most Relationship Claustrophobes are unaware of their challenge.

Beliefs associated with this cluster:

I'm not interested in relationships.
When people get close I feel hemmed in, suffocated, confined, trapped, or engulfed.
I need space.
Partners are not be be trusted.
I must remain vigilant if someone gets close.
When someone gets close I feel anxious or down.
I have super high standards for partners.
Relationships are a low priority.
I feel empty and lonely if I'm not involved in a lot of activity.
If I get close to someone I feel like I might lose myself.
Why do others always want more of me than I have to give?
I fall out of love quickly.
I need to develop my career.
Moving far away from my partner is okay.
I hate when they ask for a commitment.
My friends often criticize me for being so picky about my partner.
All relationships wind up being painful.
Having someone in the same house or room gives me chills.
Living together or being married is yucky.
It's clingy and needy when someone inquires about my lack of availability.
Why do my partners tell me I don't see them clearly?

 

When you approach processing, it’s advisable to take one belief from one Personality Cluster at a time.

 

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Sacrifice

This cluster gives us a sense of giving up our own needs for the needs of others. We do this to avoid feeling selfish or creating pain for others. This can lead to our resentment. Beliefs are:



I feel guilty if I don't put others needs before mine.
I give more than I get back.
I don't like to let others down.
I always take care of my loved ones.
I'm a good person because I put others first.
I always volunteer for overtime.
I set important things aside so that I can please others.
I don't need much or ask for much.v My happiness depends on others being happy.
I don't have time for myself because I'm so busy taking care of others.
I always listen to people's problems.
I never seem to provide enough.
I wouldn't be such a good person if I didn't give so much.
It's far better to give than to receive.
I feel bad if I do what I want.
I can't ask to have my needs met.



The above beliefs and their attendant feelings can be targeted for processing and integrating.


In order to assist yourself in moving out of these two clusters you may want to:

 

  • Take some classes in assertiveness.
  • Learn to take credit for things you do.
  • Bring your attention to your own preferences and needs and see how you can address them.
  • Delegate responsibility at home and at work.
  • Practice confrontation. Challenge others opinions.
  • Step around people who are self-centered and hook up with those who have your interests at heart.
  • Ask for help if you require it.
  • Keep a list of areas in your life where you are overly pleasing or sacrificing. 

 

When you approach processing, it’s advisable to take one belief from one Personality Cluster at a time.

 

Back to the top: Personality Clusters

 

Self-Pressure

This cluster of beliefs is an energy and focus sapping form of self-intolerance that creates a sense of being compelled and hurried with little or no time. Typical beliefs are:



I have no choice--I must hurry and get this done.
I've got to do this all at once.
My task feels like an impossible whole.
I can't stand rushing, but I have to.
My task must be done perfectly and an hour ago!
There's never enough time--I must rush.
This is totally impossible--I'll never get it done.
I've just got done and now there's even more.
The deadline is now--I feel totally inadequate.
Hurry, hurry, hurry--there's no time left.
All of that--phew!
I'm always slow--I'll never get it right.
The time is squeezing me.
I think about my job all the time and how much is undone!

I keep making mistakes and they're mounting up.
I have no time left.

 

When you approach processing, it’s advisable to take one belief from one Personality Cluster at a time.

 

Back to the top: Personality Clusters

 

Shyness

Many factors can influence someone being shy. You can have two shy persons who may have unrelated cognitions influencing their feelings and behavior. In the coming cluster, just work on those beliefs that may fit your style of shyness. Folks with social phobia and shyness commonly hold these beliefs:


I must be comfortable before I speak.
I need to appear articulate and well-prepared or I'll appear like a dope.
What I say should be perfect.
I don't know how to start a conversation.
Should I or shouldn't I begin a conversation?
I need to make a fantastic first impression.
I'm shy and the other person will see it and think badly of me.
They could reject me and I can't stand rejection.
I get tongue-tied and can't think straight. They'll think I'm an idiot.
It would be awful if I lost control or looked stupid before others.
The spotlight's on me and I should perform perfectly.
I KNOW what others are thinking.
I'm being judged.
Speaking with others makes me act like someone I'm not. I feel out of control.
I must impress to be liked or accepted.
I never have anything interesting to say.
People notice how anxious I am and judge me badly.
I must be polished and perfect.
If I make a fool of myself, I will be rejected and ridiculed.
People will make fun of me.
There's nothing I can do about my shyness--it's genetic.
I always feel distress in front of others.

I hate getting cottonmouth, shakes, and not being able to think.
I focus on myself when I'm with others.
I must feel in control and when I don't--it's horrible.
If I speak up I could appear stupid, silly, or weird.
Getting rejected is awful.
I know I'm not as good as others.
Others are so much better than I.
I sound stupid when I open my mouth.
If my mouth goes dry or I shake I would look like an idiot.
I can never think straight when I talk to important others.
My heartbeat, sweaty palms, cottonmouth, and racing thoughts distract me.
I sweat and shake when I need to talk.
Appearing stupid is worse than death.

I should be perfect and never make errors when I speak. Anything less than perfect is humiliating.
I am vulnerable and weak and they are strong and powerful.

If make an error I would be inadequate, a failure, or dumb.
It's overwhelming when I go to talk to others. I can't take it.
Authority figures will judge me harshly.
The people I really want in my life will reject me.
I could be humiliated.
I can't express myself.
I can't assert myself or I will be rejected.
It would be horrible if someone noticed me blushing, trembling, or sweating.

 

When you approach processing, it’s advisable to take one belief from one Personality Cluster at a time.

 

Back to the top: Personality Clusters

 

Stuckness

This cluster gives us a sense of all pervading stuckness like nothing we do works, and we are mired in helplessness and hopelessness. Beliefs are:


Nothing works--why bother?
My life is stuck--nothing has changed or is likely to change.
Everything I attempt just gets me into a deeper rut.
Time is slowed down and my life is frozen.
I can't change anything.
There's no way out of this--it's very hopeless.
If I try something, it might make matters worse.
I want to change things, but I can't.
There is no help for this condition.
I am doomed to be in the place forever.
I deserve to be stuck; I don't have what it takes.
My wheels spin deeper and deeper--what's the use of even trying?
If I get over this, I'll just have more problems. Why hassle with it?
I can't muster the energy to get out of this.

 

When you approach processing, it’s advisable to take one belief from one Personality Cluster at a time.

 

Back to the top: Personality Clusters

 

Undesirable

This cluster points to being unwanted due to physical appearance or lack of social skills. Beliefs are


I'm fat.
I'm skinny.
I'm ugly.
I'm boring.

I’m unacceptable or unlovable.
My conversation is dull.
People won't hang out with me because of my race, poor income, low status, education or lack of social skills.
I can't seem to say the right things--I feel so out of it.
Others don't want me in their circles.
I feel extremely self-conscious around others.
I start talking and people just walk away.
Others naturally judge me and turn off.
I lack what it takes to be desirable.
When I open my mouth people tune out.
I can sense people backing off.

 

When you approach processing, it’s advisable to take one belief from one Personality Cluster at a time.

 

Back to the top: Personality Clusters

 

The Victim

This personality cluster focuses on perceiving ourselves as a victim and blaming others for our circumstances.



Others are responsible for how I feel.
Easy for you say--but I can't let go of this.
People take advantage of my goodness.
It's horrible what happens to me.
People don't care anything about me. They're takers.
I can't believe they never call me anymore--those ingrates. After all I've done for them.
Even though what happened was 16 years ago, it's as fresh as today. The bastards.
If it wasn't for others, I'd be happy.
I am a victim.
People use me and take advantage of me.
My life's destroyed because of them.
God must hate me.
My life is essentially over. What happened should've never happened.
If it wasn't for them I might be somebody.
I truly believe in fate. It's utterly destroyed my life.
What I have to endure is totally unfair.
I deserve better than this, but it'll never happen!
I could rot for all they care.
I fail to see any humor in this. Only a sick and insensitive mind would think this was funny.
All they do is think about is me, me, me. Well how about me?
Things are getting lousier--it's not right.
What can I do? Be serious.
Nobody wants to be with me. They're selfish.
I try not to hate, but given my position who could help it?

 

When you approach processing, it’s advisable to take one belief from one Personality Cluster at a time.

 

Back to the top: Personality Clusters

 

Vulnerable

This cluster gives us a picture of coming doom or a catastrophe. This outlook focuses on going insane, diseases, heart attacks, criminal assaults, crashes, and natural disasters. Beliefs are:


Something awful is about to happen.
I could become homeless.
A disaster will strike at anytime.
Someone will attack or kill me.
My loved ones will be hurt in an accident.
I will lose everything and go broke.
I am scared all the time.
I worry about horrible things happening to the world around me.
My number is punched--I know something dreadful will occur soon.
I could go crazy and loose control.
I suffer from overwhelming fear and panic.
I dread waking up.
I know I'm going to have a heart attack even though the doctors say I'm fine.
I know I have a disease that will kill me.
The world is dangerous.

 

 

When you approach processing, it’s advisable to take one belief from one Personality Cluster at a time.

 

Back to the top: Personality Clusters

 

Workaholism

This cluster can be applied to those persons addicted to work activities to avoid feelings or to establish they’re self-value. Beliefs are:



I need to be work and to be busy to prove myself or to block painful emotions.
I can't stand relaxing or lolling around.
I must work or I'm nothing.
I can't help my overworking--I'm powerless.
I can't set limits on my work schedule.
I'm no good or a failure unless I'm working.
I'm not a workaholic--I can control my work schedule and handle any problem.
I can't cope without being busy.
I can't stop--why bother?
Once a workaholic--always a workaholic.
I can quit working when I want.
A little overtime won't hurt--what the heck.
I can control my working--I've got will power.
I'm not responsible for being a workaholic--I need to provide for my family. Others make me do this.
I only feel good when I'm working or busy.
I must make lots of money or I'm nothing.
I'm a useless if I'm not busy.
Relaxing and having fun is wasting valuable time.
Free time is a trap.
Even though I'm exhausted, I must work or stay busy.
Even if I wanted to relax, I can't--I must remain busy.
I am driven to succeed.
Relaxing and having fun--there's no time for that.
I must do a perfect job.
My family can wait--I must stay overtime.
No one else can do this job except me.
There is no peace or satisfaction until my job is completed.
I'm not an idler.
Work is my proving ground.
I can't say no to overtime.
The 60-hour week feels right.
Delegate authority? I'm the only one who can do that job.
My family is nagging me to come home before 10 pm--they just don't understand what dedication and excellence are.
 

 

When you approach processing, it’s advisable to take one belief from one Personality Cluster at a time.

 

Back to the top: Personality Clusters

 

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