Cognitive distortions

Many of our thoughts throughout the day pop up randomly usually distorted in some way. Maybe they are unrealistically negative or leave out some vital information. The result is usually a negative shift in mood. Can you think of a recent thought that just popped up like (“I’m a failure”, “I’m so dumb”)?

It is possible that we have these thoughts so frequently that they are easily not even noticeable. We usually do notice these thoughts when we feel angry, sad or even anxious. The purpose for this post is to challenge  you to learn how to identify with some of the common cognitive distortions and replace these thoughts more based on reality.

Catastrophes– This is the thought that we can predict the final outcome of a situation or event. this thought is usually the worst case scenario without thinking of other probable outcomes.

Discounting positives– This is when we tell ourselves the positive things events or attributes don’t count.  Example: “I may have did it well, but that doen’t mean I’m good at it. I just got lucky”

All or nothing– So I’m sure we know this one. The looking at everything as Black or White with no gray area or in between. How does everything only fit in two categories. “I’m either a success or a total faiure.” 

Labeling– This is the generalized label on ourselves or others without considering there may be some other information that could lead to a less disastrous conclusion. (“She is a bad person”, “I’m such a loner”)

Mental Filter– This is a sort of mental abstraction. We pay full focus on one negative detail rather than thinking of the big picture. (Because part of the date was bad, it was a total failure)

Personalizing– This is when we think other are acting a certain way because of us without thinking of other probable causes for their behavior. Example: “He didn’t smile at me when I walked by, he must be mad at me.”

“Should” and “must” statements: This is when we have precise and fixated idea on how we or other people should behave. Overestimating how bad it would be if these expectations are not met. Example: “Its terrible that I made a mistake. I should have done better.” 

We all think this way from time to time. When reading these we can begin to realize there are more adaptive ways of thinking about ourselves, events, and others. The “worst”  case scenario rarely ever comes true. The fear  of the worst case scenario can be debilitating. Once we begin to identify with our cognitive distortions we come up with more realistic thought pattern. When we start to realize there are other possibilities of scenarios it get easier to loosen up. Practice catching yourself with some automatic thought patterns and brain storm multiple possibilities. Notice the array of feelings that come about when brainstorming. Than ask yourself what was the type distortion or thought pattern that influenced that feeling. Is it rational? Is it realistic? Is it true? Is it likely?

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Fair in conflict

Always remain calm– by remaining calm others will be more likely to consider your viewpoint. Hostility, loud tone, and anger will cause escalation.

Be Specific- Sometimes writing it down before addressing it can be easier to narrow down to the real issue at hand, vague complaints can be hard to work on.

Express feelings with words, not actions – Expressing how you truly feel in words can be a very powerful form of communication. If you feel your self getting angry take a “time out”. Go back to subject once calm so the issue doesn’t become flooded later or turn into resentment.

Deal with one issue at a time-Don’t introduce anything else until the topic has been fully discussed. Allow the topic to be resolved before making another complaint. Try not to get off topic and keep focus on a resolution.

Not below the belt- Attacking sensitive areas creates distrust and anger. Don’t bring of the past in order to use it against them as if in attack mode. No insults or embarrassing topics in the middle of a fight. Don’t compare the worst traits in people such as, “your just like you mother.”

Avoid attacks and accusations– You can do this using “I feel ____, when_____ , because________.” Avoid start ups with “you_____”. Don’t assume the “why”. Instead talk about how you felt and the why may just come up. “when _______ occurs, I feel ________. Its unhealthy to questions someone love, faithfulness, and intentions when your feelings have been hurt.

No Name calling and crude language – This is pretty self explanatory. Belittling and cursing are out of bounds for a caring relationship.

Don’t generalize- Don’t use words like “never” or “always”. In the heat of the moment are usually inaccurate terms.

Avoid exaggerations– This prevents from establishing a resolution. Creating events or feelings to try to prove a point only will escalate a conflict. It will negatively effect your credibility with the person. Stick with the fact and your honest feelings.

Avoid clamming up-When one person stops responding to another in the moment, it only creates more anger and frustration. It communicates rejection. Positive outcome can only happen with a two way communication.

No Stockpiling- No keeping track and storing up hurt or negative feelings over time. This is so counter productive. Its impossible to deal with a bunch of old problems and they differ over time. Just deal as they arise.

Unfair to ignore something someone else feels is important – Another form of rejection. Just because something is not important to you, doesn’t mean they are invalid. It communicates that you do not value the other person enough to address a issue. Loving people address all areas of concern even if uncomfortable or disagree.


Eyes

Looking in your eyes I can see the stars.
Looking in your eyes I can see the prize inside.
Imagining everything we could be, oh its dazzling.
All intentions set us free, not suggestions, actuality.

Believe all the possibilities with our adaptability.
The extension of our family tree.

Looking in your eyes I can see your heart.
Looking at your heart I am hypnotized.
Unite, get inspired.

Its like we're flying, we're so high.
-A.Best

4 temperaments

The melancholic– rarely responds to things they dislike with rage, preferring a more passive emotional withdrawal such as misery or crying in solitude. Once a person the melancholic trusted loses their credibility, they can hold a grudge against them indefinitely. This is why they’re often perceived as moody and hard to interact with, because they can get hurt so easily.

By nature, the melancholic temperament is idealistic, solitary, introspective, and sensitive.

Melancholics perceive the world with intensity, possessing high ideals and a constant inner turmoil that revolves around their ideals of perfection and the imperfect external world.

The melancholic’s idealism causes them to be highly perfectionistic.They are known to excel in any creative field they embark in, due to a combination of their perfectionism and their heightened sensitivities to emotions and the subtleties of beauty. Their creative work is often hindered, however, by procrastination, as their desire for perfection paralyses them to start anything.

Often, the melancholics perfectionism can result in social isolation. Holding themselves, and other people, to their unrealistically high standards makes them difficult to relate to, and also to please. It also makes them self-deprecating. Sometimes, for instance, they can think that they’re not interesting enough, even if deep down they know that this isn’t true. This is partly why the melancholic prefers spending time alone.

Perhaps the most introverted temperament of all four, melancholics are slow, cautious and reserved in how they approach life. They crave time alone and only associate themselves with a few people that share their standards and ideals.

Choleric

   The traits of the primary temperament, Choleric, may be altered or modified in some significant way because of the influence of the secondary temperament. Remember, there are at least three levels of intensity of a temperament: classic, moderate, and mild. Some Cholerics will be very strong, others somewhat strong, and still others more mild.

     Cholerics are naturally result-oriented. They have active, positive, and forward movement. They influence their environment by overcoming obsticals to get results.

     Cholerics are extroverted, witty, practical, strong-willed, and easily irritated. They are self-confident, self-sufficient, and independent. They are direct, quick shooter, and firm when communicating. Choleric like high pressures and are easily bored if not challenged. They are brave and like to take risks.

     Cholerics are decisive, opinionated, and they find it easy to make decisions for themselves as well as for others. They wake up wanting to control, change and overcom anything. It’s usually their way or not at all.

     Cholerics are full of ideas, plans, and non stop goals. They are full of energy and dont require much rest. Their activity always seem has a purpose because of their goal-oriented nature.

Choleric usually do not give in to per pressure. They love to fight for a cause. They are slow to build relationships, and tend to have only a few close friends, because results are more important than people. Choleric do not show compassion and have a hard time empathizing.

          Choleric very assertive and seem sometimes high strung. As easy to get aroused just as easy to reason and calm as long as they feel satified with the outcome.

sanguine

Traits include highly optimistic and positive. Seem to be “the life” of the party. Popular. Wants to do what everyone else is doing.. Likes to be around many. dislikes solitude. Talkative, eager and hopeful. They have a tendency to have a wide range of emotions.

Sanguine is a extrovert, Playful and impulsive. Easily amused as well as easily distracted changing there focus quickly as one becomes bored. That can be very competitive and enjoy sports. They tend to be disorganized and forgetful. Have difficulty controlling there thoughts and emotions or finding balance. They fear rejection and love being the center of attention. They are selective with who they work and play with. Dress according to the trending fashion. They can change there mind quickly.

  • is superficial, thus, he has no true friends but knows many people

The Sanguine Personality Type: Am I Sanguine? ­

  • fast and mobile;
  • active;
  • agile;
  • careless;
  • sociable;
  • eager to talk;
  • ready to work a lot;
  • easy going;
  • responsive to requests of others;
  • friendly;
  • able to adapt to new situations and environment;
  • an artistic and bright person;
  • hot-tempered;
  • not responsible;
  • unstable in interests and desires;
  • flexible;
  • positive attitude towards everything;
  • happy most of the time.

Phlegmatic

Has an unemotional and stolidly calm disposition.

  • Is deliberative; slow in making decisions; perhaps overcautious in minor matters.
  • Is indifferent to external affairs.
  • Is reserved and distant.
  • Is slow in movement.
  • Has a marked tendency to persevere.
  • Exhibits a constancy of mood.

They enjoy following rules, have a tendency to place blame on them self. One might call this temperament the submissive type. They like to do little as possible has very little energy. Like to stay low key downfall to this they tend to lack self motivation and not so goal oriented. They are easy to get along with and a very good listener. Has compassion and concern yet closed on there own emotions.

They do not fear rejection and can handle un-affectionate, hostile people. They like to be observers but with out getting involved. They are flowing type temperament that dont get bitter, angry, or jealous. Sometimes there cool complacent attitude can hurt the one that love them. Practical and conservative. Don’t like to get too involved or deep in relationships. Have a low sex drive. Often use verbal defense of excuses for lack of any type of energy to do something or involvement. they resent to be pushed and rather watch.

Usually there is a mixture of all these temperment types. Severe, moderate, and/or mild mixture. Knowing these temperment types can be beneficial when interacting and communicating with family, friends, collegues, or even new aquantences.  Learning more about our own, spouse, or children temperments work comes in handy when handling everyday scenarios.