In this post, we will discuss the last four of the ten unhelpful thinking styles that all of us, humans, have at one time or another experienced. When reading these unhelpful thinking styles, remember it is good to acknowledge when these occur, because then we are able to change them into a style that is more beneficial for us in the future. Don’t be harsh on yourself… you are not alone in these thinking styles!
This thinking occurs when an instance from your past or present determines all of your current and future beliefs. For example, you may be frustrated with your spouse for not taking out the garbage, so you state “You never take out the garbage! All of you men/women are the same!” When using never, you are stating that your spouse has never taken the garbage out since you’ve been with them. Are you comparing your spouse to others that may have done the same action? Has there ever been a time where he/she has? If so, then you have discounted your spouse’s ability and blanketed your frustration with “you never”. Other keywords in this category include: always, all, never and every. Make sure to check for overgeneralizations in statements to your spouse, children, family, friends, etc. They can lead to emotions, such as, hurt, disappointment, fear and depression.
This unhelpful thinking style is similar to overgeneralization. The difference between the two are this: labeling is based on the individual’s specific behavior, while overgeneralization is based on someone’s behavior and carries on to others. An example of labeling may be this: “I am such an idiot! I should have known that answer. Why did I question myself?” Are you being harsh on yourself for a minor situation? Labeling involves negativity. Take the label off of you and/or others, as human beings we all make mistakes! Making mistakes helps us grow and know more in the future.
9. Emotional Reasoning.
Do you view situations, yourself, and/or others on the way you are feeling? If so, you are using this unhelpful thinking style! With this style, we take what we are feeling as evidence for the truth. For example, do you find yourself feeling anxious about a job interview? Do you state to yourself “I know that I’m going to bomb this interview”? If you are feeling anxiety and stating that phrase, then you already set yourself up for possible failure. Do not let your feelings determine your outcome. Gain confidence and know that you got this! After all, FEAR = Future Events Appearing Real.
10. Magnification and Minimization.
Imagine yourself with a pair of binoculars. When you place them on your face, what seemed so far away now appears closer and bigger. When we view our self as miniscule and worthless, while we view others as grand and full of worth, we are using magnification and minimization. Discounting your worth for achievements has negative effects. For example, “I do not deserve such a loving, respectable spouse. After all, it will never work out right, because I’m not worthy of them.” Give yourself credit! You obviously are worthy of that individual’s love, otherwise they would not be with you. Putting yourself down does not equate to humility or humbleness. Take off those binoculars and start viewing your self as equally worthy as others. After all, God does not make mistakes!
I hope looking at these ten unhelpful thinking styles (information from Centre for Clinical Intervention website – http://www.cci.health.wa.gov.au) assist you in improving your self-worth, because you are worthy! If you notice yourself taking on any of these unhelpful thinking styles, step back and examine the truth about them. Is there more faults than truth? If so, spin it around… you deserve better! Take care of yourselves and God bless.