Do we always think in the right way?

When you think you are responsible for whatever is happening around you, you take everything personally.

Do we always think in the right way?

Mind Reading

Problem

When you assume what the other person is thinking or feeling without any evidence. Or the other way round, you are expecting the other person to know what you're thinking or feeling. This creates misunderstanding and a lot of friction in any relationship.

Solution

Gather more information about how the other person came to such an assumption. Ask questions like "How do you know he does not like you?" Use the response to state that the assumption has no evidence.

Personalisation

Problem

When you think you are responsible for whatever is happening around you, you take everything personally. If a friend is upset, you might tend to think that you may have done something wrong. Personalization causes a lot of guilt, anxiety, and leads to a low sense of self.

Solution

Ask for evidence "How can you be so sure that it happened because of you?" or "How do you think it relates to you?"

"Should" and "Must"

Problem

These are the words we use in our heads to push ourselves in order to perform some action. We set expectations from ourselves using should and must, and when the expectations are not met, we scold and punish ourselves. These are often a result of other people's expectations from us, and therefore we must be aware of whether we really want to do them. Example-"i must become an engineer" why-"because it's my parents' dream". Do you really want to do this? "Not really".

Solution

Ask for questions like "according to whom you should be thin to be accepted by others?" "According to whom should you study 6 hours every day?"

Cause and Effect

Problem

It is an assumption that A causes B, without having any evidence. Some triggers in the environment make us think of feel in a certain way because we ascribe incorrect meanings to those things. Example- I am going to miss this promotion Make Better Life because my colleague has been talking too much to the manager these days. This creates misunderstanding and obstructs open communication.

Solution

As questions like "How do you know." Example- "I am going to miss this promotion because my colleague has been talking too much to the manager these days". Coach: "How do you know that your colleague talking to the manager will cancel your promotion?"

Complex Equivalence

Problem

It is assuming that one fact is equivalent to another fact, without having any evidence. For example, my husband comes home late every day, which means he does not love me; or my client was late for the session, i don't think he is very motivated.

Solution

Ask them to explain the link between the two statements. Example "He was late again, he does not love me". Coach: "How does his being late mean that he does not love you" and/or "could it mean something else?"

Over-Generalization

Problem

It means drawing universal conclusions out of one incident.

Example- 'I failed in my project, i am a loser'; or 'all auto drivers are horrible'. This distortion makes one incident so prominent or disastrous that the overall picture is missed. Over-generalization could be for a trait (I am a failure) or for people (nobody loves me).

Solution

Ask them to quantify the problem. Example "I failed in my interview, I am a loser". Coach: "How many interviews have you failed-just one-so how does that prove you are a loser?"

Non-Ownership of Positive Behavior

Problem

When one does not take credit for one's work, thinking that it was not that great after all, or thinks of himself very low. Such people are never able to accept compliments and have low self-esteem, even though they know that they can work very hard.

Since their focus is on what was missing in their work, not on what was good about the work, they are never satisfied with what they do, and never celebrate their success. They are usually stressed and less happy as compared to others.

Solution

Ask them to talk about past achievements and/or appreciation given by others. Link those achievements with positive assets.

Catastrophizing

Problem

When a small negative incident or a small problem is blown out of proportion to make it look extremely terrible. Example- "my son tried smoking yesterday, what if he turns into a chain smoker?" Or "i had an argument with my wife, i think she will divorce me!" This creates too much anxiety and the person is always anticipating something worse is going to happen when faced with a small problem.

Solution

Ask for evidence, as to "how can you be sure that because you were late to office one day you will be fired?" You can also quantify the problem (late for one day) to explain the magnitude of the problem, and can ask for other ways to deal with the situation, like "Now that you were late for office one day, what should you do?" These questions will yield useful answers, and the client will realize that the problem is not that big after all.

Filtering

Problem

When you selectively attend to information, filtering out other important information. For example- when you get feedback from your manager, you might tend to ignore the good feedback and only focus on the criticisms. This results in frustration, and low confidence. One is stuck with the negatives and does not think of how to overcome the situation. In this process, one is not able to leverage his strengths.

Solution

Ask questions to gather information about filtered out things, like "Are you very sure that there were only criticisms in your report? Tell me what else was there, how come you missed this? These are equally important."