Eight Limited Thinking Patterns
Here are Eight limited thinking patterns that most of us have from time to time. Learn to recognize these, and which of them you tend to fall into so that you can avoid skewing your perceptions and making the situation worse. Really, it’s ok! We all experience some of these from time to time:
- Filtering. You focus on the negative details while ignoring all the positive aspects of a situation.
- Polarized Thinking. Things are black or white, good or bad. You have to be perfect or you’re a failure. There’s no middle ground, no room for mistakes.
- Overgeneralization. You reach a general conclusion based on a single incident or piece of evidence. You exaggerate the frequency of problems and use negative global labels.
- Mind Reading. Without their saying so, you know what people are feeling and why they act the way they do. In particular, you have certain knowledge of how people think and feel about you.
- Catastrophizing. You expect, even visualize disaster. You notice or hear about a problem and start asking, “What if?” What if tragedy strikes? What if it happens to you?
- Magnifying. You exaggerate the degree or intensity of a problem. You turn up the volume on anything bad, making it loud, large, and overwhelming.
- Personalization. You assume that everything people do or say is some kind of reaction to you. You also compare yourself to others, trying to determine who is smarter, more competent, better looking, and so on.
- Shoulds. You have a list of ironclad rules about how you and other people should act. People who break the rules anger you, and you feel guilty when you violate the rules.
You can also read more about cognitive behavioral therapy if you’re struggling with a particular thinking pattern. If you live in the Baton Rouge Area, and would like to enter counseling, please call Baton Rouge Counseling at (225) 293-2913.
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