We all know that being happy is important, but sometimes it can be hard to figure out how to get there.
When you’re unhappy, your first instinct might be to think that the people around you are the source of your problems. And therefore, they need to change in order for you to feel better about yourself.
This is a cognitive distortion called “The Fallacy of Change,” and believes that everyone needs to change except us to remain happy.
It’s understandable why this happens because most people want others around them who love them unconditionally and accept their flaws without judgment or criticism.
However, if someone does something that bothers us or upsets us, then they are causing our unhappiness even though they may not have meant any harm by what they did at all!
The Dangers of Fallacy of Change
The problem with this thinking is two-fold.
1) no one else other than ourselves can control how we feel about things.
2) when we expect others to change in order for us to be happy, we place a lot of pressure on them, and it can create resentment.
The bottom line is that there’s really no way around it. Because happiness stems from within, and we must find our own peace before we can expect any kind of happiness from anyone else!
If you found out someone else caused you to be unhappy, what would you do?
If this person isn’t causing anyone else to be unhappy, they don’t need to change. Nobody needs to change except the individual who wants others to change.
Although it is important for an individual’s happiness to know how to solve their own problems without relying on others, sometimes other people can help others be happy.
It’s okay to tell someone you want them to change because you don’t like how they are doing something. However, if they refuse to change, then that’s their loss, and only the individual who wants others to change will be unhappy.
Understanding The Fallacy Of Change
Those who fall victim to this cognitive distortion focus on trying to force others to change to make themselves happy.
This is not a way to improve relationships or get your needs met because other people will feel pressured into changing even though it may not be the best thing for them.
When someone tries to force you to change, ask yourself whether they’re trying to help you or control you.
If they’re only concerned with themselves and how they can get their needs met, then this is an example of someone who falls victim to the fallacy of change.
They’re convinced that their happiness depends on you changing because they feel entitled to make you do whatever makes them happy.
But when you decide not to change based on their desires, they will blame you for making them unhappy instead of realizing that it was their choice to feel that way.
If they tell you to change in order for them to be happy, this is not true happiness because true happiness comes from within and does not rely on other people!
Don’t let anyone make you think otherwise or pressure you into changing when your needs don’t match up with what they want.
Just remember that if they’re trying to control your happiness, then this is not the type of person you need in your life.
Don’t let anyone tell you how to get your own needs met or use guilt to try and control you into changing into who they want you to be!
Why This Cognitive Distortion Is A Problem
Once someone realizes that their happiness does not depend on other people, they will understand why the fallacy of change is a problem.
They won’t blame anyone else for their unhappiness and know that only the individual can change themselves.
People who fall victim to this cognitive distortion will never be happy because the fallacy of change is a way for them to place blame on other people instead of taking responsibility for their own happiness.
Believing everyone needs to change except us, we push our beliefs onto others and pressure them into changing in order to make ourselves happy.
How To Challenge The Fallacy Of Change
One of the most effective ways to challenge cognitive distortions is through the use of Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), a short-term form of behavioral treatment.
Through CBT, people learn that their perceptions directly influence how they respond to specific situations. Essentially people learn how their thoughts influence how they see the world, their emotions, and their actions.
Beck is the psychiatrist widely considered to be the father of cognitive therapy.
Beck believed a person’s thinking pattern might become established in childhood. He found that specific cognitive errors could lead to increases in depression, anxiety, or dysfunctional assumptions.
He then developed a method that helps people identify and reframe these negative thought patterns known as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT).
Self-defeating attitudes are usually very strong, automatic thoughts that can be difficult to recognize, but it becomes easier to challenge them once they do.
If you are struggling with changing your thoughts and feelings and would benefit from therapy, then take a look at Therapy-Online.com, and you can use my link to receive a 20% discount [affiliate link]. I believe that everyone should be able to have access to mental health resources, and if you feel that you would benefit from therapy, then I encourage you to give it a try.