This is a list of negative attitudes or distorted perceptions that poison and really spoil your life. These are unrealistic negative beliefs about yourself, your life and people in it.
This list was based on list of cognitive distortions, first proposed by David Burns, adjunct professor emeritus in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the Stanford University School of Medicine.
This type of thinking leads to depression, seriously impairs your effectiveness and deprives you of peace and happiness. See if you are guilty of any of these:
You tend to think in extreme, “all-or-nothing” terms
You classify your qualities and achievements in black or white categories. The smallest imperfection would cause you decide that you are a complete failure and feel yourself as a loser. This is a basic form of perfectionism – most often an unhealthy trait.
After one bad experience you expect this to repeat over and over again
This was called “overgeneralization”. For example, after your marriage failed you think you will never be able to be happily married again. You actually expect to be offended, criticized or cheated on regardless who is proposing you, because it is not about him, it is about you. You have a chip on your shoulder.
You dwell on negatives
You witness or hear about a negative event then what happens is that you pick this negative event and exaggerate to the gigantic proportions where you see all your experiences in darkened colors.
The following beliefs are common examples of this attitude: you don’t expect anything good to happen because you grew up in a troubled home, or your neighbor’s car was stolen which makes you think that this world is full of thieves and generally not safe.
You reject the positives or diminish their importance
This attitude is even more extreme than the previous ones as you not only dwell on negatives – you actively reject the positive things that are happening to you.
The example of this could be someone who believes that he is lonely and no one likes him, because he doesn’t have any friends. At the same time this person might have great social life at work where colleagues are friendly, caring and understanding. Nevertheless the afflicted person thinks that they don’t count because they are merely work colleagues.
You jump to conclusions
You draw conclusions about others’ opinion about you without any factual proof. For example you believe that someone is looking down at you, because you FEEL that way. You don’t have any proof and in reality it is your insecurities that make you feel that way.
Another example is when your friend or your a person you are dating fails to return your call. You jump to a conclusion that he thinks he is not interested in you and doesn’t see you as someone important. You really suffer but you decide that you will keep your pride and avoid this person from now on. Later you learn that he never received your message.
When you look at your own errors you magnify them, blow things out of proportion. When you look at your good qualities you minimize their importance to zero. It is needless to say that this is a perfect recipe for feeling inferior.
Emotional reasoning is similar to jumping to conclusions, but while jumping to conclusions refers to your relationships with outside world, emotional reasoning refers to beliefs about yourself.
You feel guilty, so, you figure, you are guilty although there is nothing to support this belief. You feel stupid, so you decide, you are stupid despite all your achievements demonstrate quite opposite.
You don’t measure up to your own standards
You set unrealistically high standards for yourself and feel horrible when you fail to live up to these standards. You torture yourself obsessing about what you should and shouldn’t do, but since these standards are unrealistic, you can never reach them and this makes you feel only worst.
You label yourself
You give yourself labels that are either based on some unpleasant events, like your past failures, or simply on how you feel.
For example, you might have labeled yourself as a loser after you failed an exam in high school and this label stays with you and becomes your reality. This self-fulfilling quality of labels makes them especially dangerous.
You take responsibility for things you don’t control
That’s when you take things personally and hold yourself accountable for events that you don’t control, or don’t control completely. The example of that could be a woman that feels as a lousy mother when her child doesn’t do well in school. The report card of her child seems to prove her own failure, which is not true, because there are hundreds of other influences in her child’s life.
These 10 attitudes make your life miserable and lead to depression. Depression is always accompanied by one or several of these. If you manage to eliminate these negative attitudes you will be able to cope better with all kinds of challenging life events and have a healthy relationship with yourself and others.