Here is list of twelve common errors in thinking that cause a lot of problems in relationships. We all do them and we all have our favorite go to error. Some of us are so talented we can do as many 6 at once. While reading this article it is important to stay focused on yourself. You can’t fix other people who do these, but you can fix yourself.
Catastrophizing – taking a relatively minor negative event and imagining all sorts of disasters resulting from that one small event. How to fix – turn those mountains back into molehills.
All-or-Nothing (Black-and-White) Thinking – extreme thinking that can lead to extreme emotions or behaviors. How to fix – Find somewhere in the middle.
Fortune Telling – typically, fortune telling stops you from taking action. It can also become self-fulfilling prophecy. How to fix – Step away from the crystal ball.
Mind Reading – the tendency to assume that others are thinking negative things about you or have negative motives or intentions. How to fix – Take your guesses with a pinch of salt.
Emotional Reasoning – relying too heavily on your feelings as a guide leads you off the path of reality. Feelings are not hard evidence of the way things are. How to fix – Remind yourself that feelings aren’t facts.
Overgeneralizing – the error of drawing global conclusions from one or more events. When you find yourself thinking/saying always, never, all _____ or the world’s you may well be overgeneralizing. How to fix – Avoid the part = the whole error.
Labelling – Strive to avoid labelling yourself, other people and the world around you. Accept that they are complex and ever-changing. Recognize evidence that doesn’t fit your labels, in order to help you weaken your conviction in your global rating. How to fix – Give up the rating game.
Making Demands – Thoughts and beliefs that contain words like must, should, need, ought, got to and have to are often problematic because they are extreme and rigid. How to fix – Think flexibly.
Mental Filtering – is a bias in the way you process information, in which you acknowledge only information that fits with a belief you hold. How to fix – Keep an open mind.
Disqualifying the Positive – Is related to the biased way that people can process information. It is a mental action that transforms a positive event into a neutral or negative event in your mind. How to fix – Keep the baby when throwing out the bathwater.
Low Frustration Tolerance – refers to the error of assuming that when something is difficult to tolerate, it’s ‘intolerable’. This thinking error means magnifying discomfort and not tolerating temporary discomfort when it is in your interest to do so for a long-term benefit. How to fix – Realize you can bear the ‘unbearable’.
Personalizing – involves interpreting events as being related to you personally and overlooking other factors. How to fix – Remove yourself from the center of the universe.
Remember, before making comments to friends, family or coworkers, unsolicited advice almost always comes across as criticism and we all do these. So, if you want to point fingers, prepare to have fingers pointed back at you.
These are some articles I have written about issues that keep coming up in my practice. I try to achieve two things in my writings: keep the cookies on the bottom shelf, so I can reach them easily and try to put as much humor as possible in each article. The latter is just not always possible with some subjects.