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  • Writer's pictureDeric Hollings

Don't be Jealous

 

REBT

 

When I underwent training for Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy (REBT) in 2021, a trainee passionately disagreed with a trainer regarding the topic of jealousy. Per my recollection, the trainer stated something to the effect of jealously not being an entirely unhealthy emotion.

 

The trainee, who throughout the course espoused feminist rhetoric with which I was all too familiar, wound up becoming self-disturbed by her beliefs about what the trainer had to say. Unrelenting of his propositional statement, the REBT trainer appeared unbothered by the trainee.

 

The word “jealous” has a number of definitions. It can denote the experience of being hostile toward a rival or one believed to enjoy an advantage. For instance, a younger sibling may be jealous of an older sibling’s unequal privileges.

 

“Jealous” can also allude to intolerance of rivalry or unfaithfulness. In a classic example, persons X and Y are engaged in an intimate partner relationship. Person X exhibits jealousy when person Y mentions the new person at work, person Z.

 

Still, “jealous” can describe vigilance in guarding a possession. For example, people may be jealous in defense of their inalienable rights. While this meaning of the term isn’t used as often, a more apt illustration relates to governing officials who are jealous of the rights of a citizenry.

 

In common parlance, one who is “jealous” experiences resentment against another individual, because of the latter individual’s success, advantages, or behavior. For instance, you may be jealous of your neighbor who just won the lottery.

 

Whether it concerns a sibling, intimate partner, rights-bearer or governing official, or you and your neighbor, jealousy doesn’t manifest in relation to an occurrence. Although people tend to think in Action-Consequence (A-C) connection terms, REBT has something else to say about this correlation.

 

Using the ABC Model, REBT theory suggests a causation model that relates to the following formula: Action + Belief = Consequence ÷ Disputation = Effective new belief.

 

When an Activating event occurs, you Believe something about the event. Because of your unhelpful assumption, an unpleasant Consequence then results—typically with the experience of emotional, bodily sensation, or behavioral responses.

 

In order to address this Belief-Consequence (B-C) connection, REBT practice involves Disputation of the unproductive assumption so that an Effective new belief may be achieved. The new belief may then be plugged into the formula for a more useful outcome.

 

In the case of the REBT trainee, she self-disturbed using the B-C connection. Even though she likely suspected that an A-C connection could explain why she was making an ass of herself in front of participants from across the globe, she was entirely responsible for her own unpleasant outcome.

 

Lil Rob

 

I don’t care about inner-state rivalry between California rappers King Lil G and Lil Rob. I undoubtedly prefer Lil Rob’s musical style, truth be told. Nonetheless, and per my limited understanding, many years ago King Lil G released a song entitled “Lil Rob 187 (Lil Rob Diss).”

 

In response, Lil Rob released “Jealous’ (Lil G Diss).” In particular, I want to focus on the B-C connection Lil Rob addressed in his second verse:

 

Ay, are you jealous?

Don’t be jealous, holmes, you should be proud of me

They say I’ve changed, simon. I’ve changed, but I’m Chicano and I’m proud to be

And that’s somethin’ you can’t take from me. Don’t be mad at me

‘Cause my mentality and how it used to be

Certain shit just don’t make sense to me

Whether you like it or not, homeboy, I’m opening doors

Doin’ good in the business, and at the same time, helpin’ out yours

I don’t wanna be broke no more. It’s been too long, man, I’ve had it

Time to put the money in the bag like a

Corona when I brown-bag-it

I don’t do much, might take my Chevy out and drag it

And you might see heinas stickin’ to it like it’s a magnet

You see, people can’t stand it

So people talk mess

It don’t make sense, and I really can’t understand it

But I ain’t letting anything fuck up my high

See, I can talk a lot of shit, too, but I’m not that kind of guy

So before I say goodbye, homie, I just wanna say

It’s all good, don’t be jealous, ay

 

There are two REBT concepts expressed by Lil Rob in his response to King Lil G which are worth noting. The first is demandingness and the second is low frustration tolerance (LFT).

 

First, demandingness is a driver of self-disturbance and is often used in conjunction with terms like should,” “must,” or “ought.” Lil Rob’s suggestion, “You should be proud of me,” infers that the B-C connection King Lil G probably used was something along the lines of, “Lil Rob shouldn’t enjoy more success than me.”

 

Of course, I’m hypothesizing herein. Nevertheless, King Lil G’s song “Lil Rob 187 (Lil Rob Diss)” invoked the statute of “Section 187 (often referred to in slang simply as 187) of the California Penal Code [and which] defines the crime of murder,” per one source.

 

An individual self-disturbing to the point whereby he presumably declares a desire or intent to murder another person can represent the presence of jealously evoked by the B-C connection. In this regard, I’d agree with the feminist trainee concerning unhealthiness of this sort of jealousy.

 

Second, if LFT had its own catch phrase it would be something like, “I can’t stand [_____].” It’s an expression of intolerance and unacceptance.

 

Lil Rob proposed that some people “can’t stand it” that the rapper had changed his old ways and was enjoying life. LFT is a form of self-disturbance tied to the B-C connection, because when a person uses this exceedingly limiting belief, the individual convinces oneself of a perceived disability that doesn’t actually exist.

 

Suppose King Lil G truly believed that he couldn’t stand that Lil Rob was more successful. It would then stand to reason that Lil G would want to eliminate the source of his debilitation—much as a person would desire to eliminate shackles which impaired one’s ability to properly walk.

 

And if Lil Rob was perceived as the person who shackled King Lil G, LFT-fueled jealousy would warrant some form of action to remedy the matter. Again, I would agree with the feminist trainee regarding the unhealthy aspect of this particular type of jealousy.

 

Conclusion

 

When undergoing REBT training, I was delighted to witness how a trainer disallowed a feminist trainee to sabotage the principles of REBT. It was a salient demonstration of how I could one day effectively practice the psychotherapeutic method.

 

The matter of dispute during the training session related to the topic of jealousy, and whether or not all instances of this experience were unhealthy, unhelpful, or unproductive. Ultimately, subjectivity of this matter is in the eye of the beholder.

 

Importantly, what I learned was that one’s belief about an activating event doesn’t result in jealousy, because the B-C connection is what plays an integral role in the chain of events. Because a person can self-disturb, one can also take measures to un-self-disturb.

 

Given the example of rivalry between King Lil G and Lil Rob, herein I’ve highlighted two ways people disturb themselves. One is through demandingness and the other is by LFT.

 

Disputing the unhelpful beliefs which cause jealousy may be in order; especially if the result of one’s B-C connection is murderous desire or intent. Per Lil Rob, don’t be jealous, ay.

 

If you’re looking for a provider who works to help you understand how thinking impacts physical, mental, emotional, and behavioral elements of your life, I invite you to reach out today by using the contact widget on my website.

 

As the world’s foremost old school hip hop REBT psychotherapist, I’m pleased to help people with an assortment of issues from anger (hostility, rage, and aggression) to relational issues, adjustment matters, trauma experience, justice involvement, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, anxiety and depression, and other mood or personality-related matters.

 

At Hollings Therapy, LLC, serving all of Texas, I aim to treat clients with dignity and respect while offering a multi-lensed approach to the practice of psychotherapy and life coaching. My mission includes: Prioritizing the cognitive and emotive needs of clients, an overall reduction in client suffering, and supporting sustainable growth for the clients I serve. Rather than simply helping you to feel better, I want to help you get better!

 

 

Deric Hollings, LPC, LCSW

 

 

References:

 

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