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Understanding Cognitive Distortions

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Understanding Cognitive Distortions





1. Blaming: 

An individual indulges in blaming when he holds other people responsible for his/her emotional pain and suffering. 

2. "Should & Must" Statements: 

"Should I pick up after my partner?";  "I Must not pick up fights with my partner"; "I should not break the rule as, I feel guilty when I violate my own rules".

"Should" statements often lead to anger, guilt and despair, leading oneself to question and doubt each and every action. 

3. Emotional Reasoning: 

The distortion of emotional reasoning can be true automatically and unconditionally. Whenever a person feels that he/she is "Boring & Stupid", then he/she proclaim or strongly feel so. 

Emotions are very strong in people and often overrules- (i) rational thinking; and (ii) reasoning. Thus, emotional reasoning overpowers the ability to think both - rationally and logically. They assume that their unhealthy emotions are reflected in a way, that it must be true. Such reasoning often leads to the fallacy of wrong decision making.  

4. Fallacy of Change: 

Person expects that others would change themselves to suit him, if he/she pressures or cajoles them tightly. An individual need to change such a thinking because, this ultimately lead to their aspirations, hopes, happiness and success being dependent entirely on other people's dictated actions. This distortion is predominantly formed in relationships. 

5. Global Labelling: 

An individual generalizes one or two qualities into a 'Negative Global Judgement' about themselves or others, leading to an extreme form of "Overgeneralization". Over here an error in reference to a specific situation is overgeneralized by a person and he/she makes unhealthy universal labelling about themselves or others.  

6. Always Being Right: 

In this distortion, an individual often puts other people on trial to prove that his/her opinions/acts/words about a given situation/person/thing are absolutely correct. Such individual always considers them as being "Always Right". 

7. Heaven Reward Fallacy: 

It is a false belief and myth that, individuals make sacrifices and self-denial will eventually pay off; as if the universe is keeping score. A person who sacrifices and works hard to achieve a goal, but doesn’t get his/her share of adequate compensation - pay off or reward, usually feel - bitter, resentment and anger when such reward is not thrust upon him/her. 

8. Gaslighting: 

An individual makes the other person question their own thinking, perception and reality testing and thereby evoke in them - low self-esteem, doubting their ideas and affect- which may facilitate the development of cognitive confusion. 

In our next article " 8 Common Cognitive Behaviour" you may further know and understand more about Cognitive Disorders. 

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