Styles of Distorted Thinking
Throughout addictive / alcoholic / codependent living one tends to pick up dysfunctional styles of thinking to cope with every day life.
Using them often ends in some sort of confrontation.
These are some that many have noticed. They are born out of anger, anxiety and denial; or just plain damaged thinking.
- Filtering: You take the negative details and magnify them while filtering out all the positive aspects of a situation.
- Polarized Thinking: Things are black or white, good or bad. You have to be perfect or you are a failure. There is no middle ground.
- Over-generalization: You come to a general conclusion based on a single incident or piece of evidence. If something bad happens once you expect it to happen over and over again. (If something good happens it is a one of a time thing.)
- Mind Reading: Without their saying so, you know what people are feeling and why they act the way they do. In particular, you are able to divine how people are feeling toward you.
- Catastrophizing: You expect disaster. You notice or hear about a problem and start ‘what if’s', What if tragedy strikes? What if it happen to you?
- Personalization: Thinking that everything people do or say is some kind of reaction to you. You also compare yourself to others, trying to determine who’s smarter, better looking, etc.
- Control Fallacies: If you feel externally controlled, you see yourself as helpless, a victim of fate. The fallacy of internal control has you responsible for the pain and happiness of everyone around you.
- Fallacy of Fairness: You feel resentful because you think you know what’s fair but other people won’t agree with you.
- Blaming: You hold other people responsible for your pain, or take the other tack and blame yourself for every problem or reversal.
- Should’s: You have a list of ironclad rules about how you and other people should act. People who brake the rules anger you and you feel guilty if you violate the rules.
- Emotional Reasoning: You believe that what you feel must be true-automatically. If you FEEL stupid and boring, then you must BE stupid and boring, if I FEEL you are thinking about me, then you are.
- Fallacy of Change: You expect that other people will change to suit you if you just pressure or cajole them. You need to change people because your hopes for happiness seem to depend entirely on them.
- Global labelling: You generalize one or two qualities into a negative global judgment.
- Being Right: You are continually on trial to prove that your opinions and actions are correct. Being wrong is unthinkable and you will go to any length to demonstrate your rightness.
- Heavens Reward Fallacy. You expect all your sacrifice and self-denial to pay off, as if there were someone keeping score. You feel bitter when the reward doesn’t come.
- Musturbation. An attitude of I must do this or, I must have done that or, I must be on time or, I must not do this or, I must go to meetings or, I must, must, must …. Etc. Musturbation’ has the same effect as the masturbation. One may end up frustrated and missing out on some of life’s pleasures.