I was in a community college yesterday teaching about Twisted Thinking in a sociology class of a professor friend of mine. It will be sad to leave this because Judy and I are moving to the Phoenix AZ area in June. Well actually we land there in August with stops along the way to see people we love and our kids and grandchildren.
To start the class, the professor gave students the evaluation that’s in my book Transforming Twisted Thinking and told them that there was no need to report their score in the class. The evaluation reveals whether a test taker is a responsible, somewhat responsible, moderate twisted thinker or extreme twisted thinker.
As the students were finishing up, one older student asked the professor about closed thinking because he said he didn’t agree with what was on the evaluation. Then he immediately said, “I got a 19 on the evaluation and I’m not like that anymore.” The man had a criminal record.
I noticed some other students shuffling about – the majority of which were females. The man throughout the rest of the class hour kept trying to report about how much he knows.
I began talking about what’s really important in addressing Twisted Thinking. It was to go below the street to look at the motivations and the thinking before we’re to be impressed with behavior. That behavior should be seen as something that is consistent without outside assistance. In other words, the changes are internalizing.
Then I looked at the man who (proudly) reported on his score and said, “Twisted Thinking is sort of like when you reported your score before others in the class had finished theirs.” That may have been twisted regardless of a lower score. I kept thinking about one young student who inadvertently let out he had a 7 on closed thinking – not a good score. I thought about other students who took the evaluation who may have been shocked at their scores and could have felt pressure from this guy.
The rest of the class hour went well but for whatever reason, the guy toward the middle of the class hour got up and left, probably to another appointment. Okay I can’t jump to conclusions here, but even if we or I am changing from twisted to responsible thinking, it’s amazing how one irresponsible thoughtless decision can hurt others – and that guy announcing his score was self serving/twisted. Why? He had instructions from the professor not to do it. The dude came across as INFLATED!
Yes, motivation of the direction of our behavior and the thinking must match the behavior consistently before anyone can begin to say, that person is changing. Otherwise, what looks good and seems like growth – isn’t anything but twisted.