March 19, 2012

Cognitive Distortions – or – Stinkin’ Thinkin’

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , , at 7:10 PM by Sandra@Just Regular Folks Wandering

I follow this very interesting blog on ACOAs created by a therapist.  Her last few posts were on cognitive distortions, aka irrational thoughts or stinkin’ thinkin’.  What an eye opener for me.  I learned about stinkin’ thinkin’ in Nar-Anon, but I never imagined there was an actual list created on the topic, nor was I aware I had so many of them.  Here’s just a few that I can relate to:

  • All-or-nothing thinking (absolute, black/white)
  • Only noticing the negative
  • Jumping to conclusions
  • Mind reading (my speciality!)
  • Being right (all the time, every time!)
  • Overgeneralization
  • Disqualifying the positive (minimizing the good, focusing on the negative)

It was recently pointed out by my husband that I had been displaying a few of these behaviors recently.  One I agreed to (mind reading) and the other I denied (being right).

Mind reading was a skill I learned early on and used through out my life to bring stability and calm to an other not so stable life.  It was a tool I acquired in attempt to control the uncontrollable, other people and their actions.  I always assumed that if I could stay one step ahead of my alcoholics/addicts that I could avoid some of the painful consequences they brought into my life.  I have a hard time of letting go of this behavior–it’s so automatic for me I do it without realizing it.

Recently, I was accused by my spouse of always wanting to be right.  I of course disagreed, after all I was just expressing my opinion on published facts that proved my statements were correct.  Ha, ha!  My husband says I talk a good talk and  I should have been a lawyer or an interrogator. I’m not sure where I picked this one up, probably my family of origin.  Why?  I’m still trying to figure this one out.  Sounds like a question for a therapist!

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