Twelve irrational formulations
which may cause and sustain emotional disturbances.


  1. It is a dire necessity for an adult human being to be loved by virtually every significant person in his community.
  2. One should be thoroughly competent, adequate, and achieving in all possible respects if one is to consider oneself worthwhile.
  3. Certain people are bad, wicked, or villainous and they should be severely blamed and punished for their villainy.
  4. It is awful and catastrophic when things are not the way one would very much like them to be.
  5. Human unhappiness is externally caused and people have little or no ability to control their sorrows and disturbances.
  6. If something is or may be dangerous or fearsome, one should be terribly concerned about it and should keep dwelling on the possibility of its occurring.
  7. It is easier to avoid than to face certain life difficulties and self-responsibilities.
  8. One should be dependent on others and needs someone stronger than one-self on whom to rely.
  9. One's past history is an all-important determiner of one's present behavior and because something once strongly affected one's life, it should indefinitely have a similar effect.
  10. One should become quite upset over other people's problems and disturbances.
  11. There is invariably a right and perfect or precise solution to human problems and it is catastrophic if this perfect solution is not found.
  12. Human happiness can be achieved through inertia and inaction.

Source: Dr. Albert Ellis, Institute for Rational Living.

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