Saturday, April 21, 2007

Cognitive Distortions

Cognitive Distortions are ‘traps’ that we can sometimes fall into which may lead to negative believes and reduced self-confidence. It is believed that by recognizing these distortions we can create positive statements to help make the situation less subjective, and thereby prevent decreased self-esteem. These are combined notes from several self-esteem books that may be you may find useful.


All-Or-Nothing: You see things as black or white categories

Overgeneralization: You see single negative events as a never-ending pattern of defeat

Mental Filter: You pick out a single negative detail, and dwell on it exclusively so that you vision of all relative becomes darkened.

Disqualifying the positive: You reject positive experiences by insisting they “don’t count:” for some reason or other. In this way you can maintain a negative belief that is contradicted by your everyday experiences

Jumping to conclusions: You make a negative interpretation even though there are no definite facts to support the conclusion:

Mind reading: You arbitrarily conclude that someone is reacting negatively to you and you don’t bother to check this out

The fortune teller error: You anticipate that things will turn out badly, and you feel convinced that your prediction is already an established fact

Magnification or Minimizing: You exaggerate the importance of things or you inappropriately shrink things until they appear tiny.

Emotional Reasoning: You assume that your negative emotions reflect the way things really are. “I feel it therefore it must be true”

Should statements: You try to motivate yourself with should and must, the emotional consequence causing guilt

Labeling and mislabeling: This is an extreme form of overgeneralization where you attach a negative label to yourself.

Personalization: You see yourself as the cause for some negative external event which in fact you were not primarily responsible for.

2 comments:

Elizabeth said...

Great post Brad

Brad D. said...

Thanks. I've been working through a lot of stuff lateley, so I figured I'd share the things I'm learning.