Here are three more alternative to use when caught up in a negative thinking pattern:
9. Emotional Reasoning: This is believing what you feel must be true. If you feel stupid, you believe you are stupid. If you feel guilty, you must have done something wrong. You also believe that what others feel about you is true. So if you grew up with a parent who said you are worthless, you believe you are worthless.
Alternative: “My feelings are not fact. My feelings are powerful, however they do not make up my total character & personality. If someone else believes a certain way about me, that is their opinion, and I can choose to agree or disagree”.
10. Fallacy of change: This is believing you can change other people if you just try hard enough. This can include demanding or withholding affection or love to get someone to change. This is dangerous because you cannot change anyone but yourself and people usually end up feeling manipulated.
Alternative: “I can only change myself. If I try to change someone else, I will only create distance between myself and this person b/c they will feel controlled. I need to face the reality of my own limitations and focus on taking care of myself versus manipulating others”.
11. Global Labeling: This is when you label something because there may be one grain of truth to it. Someone who cuts in front of you in line must be a complete jerk. Someone doesn’t make a donation to your son’s boy scout troop so they are a miser with their money. It is placing a global judgement on something or someone because of one instance.
Alternative: “I’ll cut this person some slack. I know there have been times when I haven’t acted myself and have acted out-of-character. I’ll give them a pass and see what happens next time I run into them”.
Stay tuned as Joleen has 4 more alternatives to present. Thanks for reading!
Written by: Tamara Wilhelm MA, LMHC
*Tamara enjoys doing marriage counseling, individual counseling, & couples counseling at Imagine Hope. We also specialize in family counseling, child & adolescent counseling. Imagine Hope serves the Indianapolis area, including the surrounding areas of Carmel, Noblesville, Zionsville, Westfield & Fishers.