|Yesterday a friend shared with me his work through the "Feeling Good Handbook" by Dr. David Burns. First chapter starts with a list of "twisted thoughts" to watch out for. |
Ten types of Twisted Thinking
1 - All or Nothing
"If I didn't get ALL I wanted, I've got nothing." "If it isn't perfect, it's worthless."
2 - Overgeneralization
"This ALWAYS happens to me." "You NEVER do things right." "I just can't keep nice things."
3 - Mental Filter
Why listen to what people are actually saying when you can just put your own thoughts into their mouths?
4 - Discounting the Positive
The good part was a fluke, or easy, or unimportant-- like getting back a score of 99 out of a 100 and spending all day wondering, what did I miss?
5 - Jumping to Conclusions
You didn't smile when I came home-- you've fallen out of love with and are going to leave me.
6 - Magnification
My ice cream has hit the sidewalk and my life is ruined.
7 - Emotional Reasoning
"I wouldn't hit you if you didn't make me mad." "I feel hurt-- you are abusing me."
8 - Should Statements
Coulda, woulda, shoulda, must, ought, have to-- anything but what can be done now. (Also known as "musterbation".
9 - Labeling
"She's a Total Loser." When past mistakes define present identity and eliminate future potential.
10 - Personalization/Blame
"He wouldn't hit me if I didn't make him mad." "It's all my fault."
This list had such an impact that I did it up as a restaurant take-out menu-- I can be heard murmuring, "and that's a number ten" as I catch myself or someone in my household twisting."
Through the creative process of making the menu, I spotted the commonality-- that these are all different ways of re-playing favorite patterns instead of being present in reality and dealing with the discomfort of real-life, real-time constant reassessment.
Wednesday, September 15, 2010
Posted by Steven Barnes at 7:38 AM