Putting things in perspective. A difficult skill. New Heroes asked Dom DiMattia about his experiences with RET by Albert Ellis. How has this theory helped him become the vital, energetic person that he is (even at 78!)? Watch the video or read his vision below.
Dom DiMattia: "What grabbed me about his approach is that it actually worked. He didn’t sit with somebody and make them feel good for an hour. He made them change. Their behavior actually changed, as you challenge and confronted their irrational or dysfunctional believes.
I want to help people because it’s satisfying. It has a meaning for me. It’s more than just making money. And it's pleasant to see people change. It’s gratifying to me.
I hate inactivity. People who sit around and just want to rest all the time. To me it’s an illusion. I think somebody asked me today "was I getting tired?’’ and I said "no, just the opposite’’. Because when my mind is active, I wake up.
It’s all about reducing rigidity and making people flexible to the events that happen in their lives. And not be traumatized by them.
Bad things happen to nice people all the time. You can either let it effect you and make you a cripple or you can learn from the tragedy’s that confront you. And that’s what we try to teach people. You don’t have to be effected by negative experiences. You cán be. But you don’t have to. You can restructure them and learn from them. That’s what is really one of the real fundamental principles of REBT.
When you're not so anxious, angry and depressed all the time. You literally get along with people. People like you better. They don’t like anxious people. They don’t like angry people. And they don’t like depressed people. What it goes against is the idea that you MUST get along with everybody.
There’s an ironic twist here. The ironic twist is: if you start giving up demanding that you get along, you get along. It’s enjoying people, not requiring them to like you.
When I met Albert Ellis I thought that he was a bit strange and I thought his theory was a little bit weird. Because I had been trained is this cliened centered rosarian approach which was much more empathetic to people. And the idea of confronting their thinking was strange.
But as I got to use it and use it on myself and helping myself with my own little frustration tolerance and with my own perfectionism and my love slobbism: my need to be liked by people.
I realized that as I changed my thinking I really sort of grew up, I became more mature. I’m still going at 78 sometimes people are quite astonished by my energy level. Which really hasn’t diminished at all. I keep waiting to get old and I’m not old yet. I attribute all of this behavior to learning how to manage my thoughts and believes and become more flexible. All of that I learned from Albert Ellis and all of his writings and from the personal experiences I had with him."
Inspired by Dom? Want to learn how to put things into perspective? Start the course today.