I Learn About Cutoffs
Bully Behavior Curriculum Page 31 (Final Page)
Author: Lynne Namka, Ed. D
Cutoffs are things that we tell ourselves that are not in our best interests. They cut off your common sense. Cutoffs tell us to break the rules or do harmful things. Your rational thinking and common sense is cut off from remembering the dangers of a particular action.
Here are some typical examples of Cutoffs used to talk one’s self out of doing what is best.
- I give up. I don’t care, so I’ll ____.
- I’ll do it just this once.
- I’m bad. It doesn’t matter.
- He/she doesn’t care so I’ll just ____.
- It’s not fair. I deserve a break.
- He’s been mean so I’ll go ahead and ____.
Can you think of a time when you told yourself a Cutoff so you could do something that wasn’t good for you?
Cutoffs are used to justify doing something potentially wrong for your. Emphasize how we all do Cutoffs to give our-self permission to do risky or unhealthy behaviors. They happen more often when we are tired or hurt or angry. Cutoffs also occur to rationalize destructive behavior during times of anger at adults or peers.
Ahhh, there is a Common Sense part of you that does know what is best for you. The Common Sense part can cut off your Cutoff. It says things to help you stay out of trouble.
Jim is angry at his dad who yelled at him for not getting his work done. Things have been getting worse between the two of them for some time. He decides to sneak some of his dad’s tools.
Jim’s Cutoff Part which encourages him to do something wrong.
This part says,
Oh go ahead. Your folks won’t notice. Go ahead and do what you want.
Jim’s Common Sense Part that Makes Good Choices who says Hey, wait a minute. Don’t cut off your intelligent thinking just because you feel lousy! You are upset now. Think about the trouble you will get into.
Jean is being urged by her friends to start smoking. She wants to be in with the crowd but remembers how upset her family was when her grandfather died of lung cancer after years of smoking. A part of her says, It doesn’t matter. It won’t happen to you.
Stephanie is at the mall with some older girls with whom she wants as friends. They ask her to steal a pair of earrings from the jewelry store. She feels bad inside about stealing but she wants their friendship. The Cutoff part of her says Aw go ahead. Just once. Go ahead and do it.
Draw a picture of these stories showing the conflict in Jim’s, Jean’s and Stephanie’s head.
When you are tempted to do something that might get you in big trouble, ask yourself:
Did I just use Cutoff talk? Stop and think. What is another thing I could say?
- Don’t dig a trap for yourself that you can’t climb out of.
- Listen for any Cutoffs that may come up. You are in charge of what you say and do.
- Observe how you feel when you are upset. That’s the time to be on the alert for cutoffs.
- Tell yourself, I can make intelligent decisions on my own behalf. I can catch my cutoffs!
- I just heard myself use a Cutoff. Wait a minute! Help, Common Sense, help me!
- I’m doing myself in using Cutoffs. I’ll change the channel on my negative thoughts.
- Here I go again trying to convince myself that there is no harm or danger.
- What am I talking myself into here? Whoa! Common sense, give me some ideas.
- Come on. I know better than that. I don’t have to listen to my negative part .
- No! This doesn’t fit for me. This is not who I am. I’m in charge here!
- I discard my unhealthy behaviors. I throw old bad habits in the trash.
Congratulations for completing the Lesson Plan!