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Stimulus Responsibility Exists

STPHFR 6 Steps of Feeling & Acting

Responsibility Before, During, & After a Stimulus

A stimulus is anything that you pay attention to.

  • You can have responsibility in three areas regarding any stimulus: before, during, after.
  • Your responsibility before, during, and after concerns both your inner and your outer responses to the stimulus.

1. You are responsible for both your inner and outer responses to a stimulus: emotionally responsible.

  • You exert self-control before, during, and after a stimulus.
  • You have given up the superstition that things, others, and events control your mind and heart.

For example, you believe that you choose how to feel rather than the superstition that things and people can control your mind and heart for you.

2. You can be responsible only for your inner or your outer responses to a stimulus: emotionally struggling.

  • Usually, you only exert self-control after a stimulus.

You typically are only half-superstitious. You think that you can let things “get to you.” How things, which do not even have a mind or heart of their own, are supposed to control your mind and heart—you never bother to examine or explain.

For example, you practice the understanding that just because you feel angry it does not mean that you have to act angrily.

3. You lack responsibility for both your inner and your outer responses to a stimulus: emotionally immature.

  • You lack self-control before, during, and after a stimulus.

You are a superstitious weakling out to control life and others in order to control yourself. You are a devotee of both the blame game and the playing of emotional blackmail.

For example, you blame them and “it” for how you feel: “They made me mad.”

“Yes, they did! They crawled right into my mind through my ear and took control of my mind and heart.”

Related Book

Related Pages

  1. REBT: List of Pages
  2. Shoelaces Parable: 4 Life Lessons
  3. S-R Thinking (Stimulus-Response)
  4. STPHFR Infographic
  5. STPHFR Model Explains Feelings & Behaviors

Book cover for "Garden Your Mind"

Quotations from Various Sources

Organized Alphabetically

“A baby expects to be soothed, but a mature adult soothes themselves.” —Kevin Everett FitzMaurice 

“A man’s as miserable as he thinks he is.” —Marcus Seneca 

“A wise man will make more opportunities than he finds.” —Francis Bacon 

“Adults are expert at self-disturbance and inept at self-soothing.” —Kevin Everett FitzMaurice 

“An excuse is a lie guarded.” —Jonathan Swift 

“Are you part of the problem or part of the solution?” —Anonymous 

“But let every man prove his own work, and then shall he have rejoicing in himself alone, and not in another.” —Galatians 6:4 

“Don’t go around saying the world owes you a living. The world owes you nothing. It was here first.” —Mark Twain 

“Each man the architect of his own fate.” —Sallust 

“Either do not attempt at all, or go through with it.” —Ovid 

“Great works are performed not by strength, but by perseverance.” —Samuel Johnson 

“If pleasure first, then pain second.” —Kevin Everett FitzMaurice 

“If we have not peace within ourselves, it is in vain to seek it from outward sources.” —Francois de La Rochefoucauld 

“It is not easy to find happiness in ourselves, and it is not possible to find it elsewhere.” —Agnes Repplier 

“It is not in the stars to hold our destiny but in ourselves.” —William Shakespeare 

“Luck is where preparation meets opportunity.” —Anonymous 

“Man is condemned to be free; because once thrown into the world, he is responsible for everything he does.” —Jean-Paul Sartre, 1905-1980 

“Man must cease attributing his problems to his environment, and learn again to exercise his will–his personal responsibility in the realm of faith and morals.” —Albert Schweitzer 

“Most folks are as happy as they make up their minds to be.” —Abraham Lincoln 

“My philosophy is that not only are you responsible for your life, but doing the best at this moment puts you in the best place for the next moment.” —Oprah Winfrey 

“No one has ever gotten to anyone.” —Kevin Everett FitzMaurice 

“Nobody can bring you peace but yourself.” —Ralph Waldo Emerson 

“Nothing stops the man who desires to achieve. Every obstacle is simply a course to develop his achievement muscle. It’s a strengthening of his powers of accomplishment.” —Eric Butterworth 

“Obstacles don’t have to stop you. If you run into a wall, don’t turn around and give up. Figure out how to climb it, go through it, or work around it.” —Michael Jordan 

“Pain is inevitable. Suffering is optional.” —Anonymous 

“Some pursue happiness, others create it.” —Anonymous 

“Teaching the principle of emotional responsibility can be one of the hardest tasks in REBT as clients may have habitually blamed others for their problems and now the therapist is pointing to the true source of their emotional problems–themselves.” —Michael Neenan and Windy Dryden, Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy: Advances in Theory and Practice, p. 43 

“The ability to accept responsibility is the measure of the man.” —Roy Smith 

“The more you are willing to accept responsibility for your actions, the more credibility you will have.” —Brian Koslow 

“The only disability in life is a bad attitude.” —Scott Hamilton 

“The U. S. Constitution doesn’t guarantee happiness, only the pursuit of it. You have to catch up with it yourself.” —Benjamin Franklin 

“The willingness to accept responsibility for one’s own life is the source from which self-respect springs.” —Joan Didion 

“There is no man so low that the cure for his condition does not lie strictly within himself.” —Thomas L. Masson 

“To a large extent I can control my feelings and desires and can change them so that I lead a happier existence.” —Albert Ellis and Robert A. Harper, A Guide to Rational Living, Third Edition, p. 247 

“We either make ourselves miserable, or we make ourselves strong. The amount of work is the same.” —Carlos Castenada 

“What poison is to food, self-pity is to life.” —Oliver C. Wilson 

“Whatever may be, I am still largely the creator and ruler of my emotional destiny.” —Albert Ellis and Robert A. Harper, A Guide to Rational Living, Third Edition, p. 252 

“While they were saying among themselves it cannot be done, it was done.” —Helen Keller 

“Why is it that people are willing to take responsibility for their happiness or mild sadness but not their severe disturbance or great unhappiness?–why ego of course!” —Kevin Everett FitzMaurice