Cognitive Distortions, Part 2

Last post, I mentioned five cognitive distortions my first therapist shared with me. Our thought patterns influence our behavior and actions. The next five cognitive distortions also helped me and my hope is to help others.

6. Magnification or minimization. This is the habit of blowing out of proportion the negative things or mistakes and shrinking from positive facts.

You tripped over a cord and wonder why you’ve been a klutz all of your life. Or…

You receive a compliment on your hairstyle and come back with, “well, I’m really just trying to grow it out,” instead of “thanks!”

7. Emotional Reasoning. “I feel angry, therefore you have obviously done something wrong.” The tendency to believe that negative emotions affect reality.

8. Should Statements. Here you tend to motivate yourself via shoulds/shouldnn’ts . This attempt at motivation is usually attempted before the necessary skills are available or before you are ready. Result? Guilt.

Problem? Should’ve, would’ve, could’ve doesn’t help anyone.

9. Labeling and mis-labeling. Extreme overgeneralization. The attaching of a label because of some negative event. This happened, I surely am a loser.

Mislabeling involves describing an event with language that is emotionally loaded.

10. Personalization. This is the tendency for a person to see himself as the cause of this event is against reality.

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