2 Your Health: Unhelpful Thinking Styles: How They Affect Relationships

Dr. Rose Bricker

Unhelpful thinking styles (also known as distorted thinking) can be toxic for our relationships. These thinking styles can lead to stress, frustration, irritability, and conflict. Unhelpful thinking patterns, such as jumping to conclusions, blaming or shaming, overgeneralizing, black and white thinking, catastrophizing, labeling, personalization, and using “should” statements, has the potential to seriously damage relationships. When we are unaware of these thinking patterns, it affects the way we communicate and it interferes with building healthy long-lasting relationships.

Unhelpful Thinking Styles

Blaming: Placing the blame on other people instead of owning up to our mistakes or sharing the responsibility; taking on the “victim” mentality.

Black and White Thinking: Seeing things as either “good or bad” or “right or wrong.” We miss the middle ground, possibly the more reasonable ground.

Should Statements: Believing that things “should” be a certain way.

Labeling: Defining ourselves and others based on a single event or behavior. Giving them (or ourselves) a negative label of “crazy,” “stupid,” or “lazy.”

Jumping to Conclusions: Assuming that we know what other people are thinking. Making negative predictions about the future or what others think about us.

Fallacy of Change: Believing that others will change to suit us if we pressure or manipulate them enough.

Fallacy of Fairness: Measuring behaviors and situations on a scale of fairness.

Personalization: Taking things personally and blaming ourselves for things that are totally out of our control.

Emotional Reasoning: Letting our emotions dictate our feelings and behaviors.

Catastrophizing: Imagining the “worst possible” outcome in a situation. It’s sometimes referred to as “Making a mountain out of a molehill.”

If you would like more information on healthy relationships and effective communication, please call me for a 30-minute complimentary meet and greet appointment at 520-815-6901. My website is bluelemonhealthandwellness.com. I’m located at Blue Lemon Therapy and Coaching, LLC, 10132 N. Oracle Road, Suite 160, Oro Valley, AZ 85704 (in the business park behind the Fairfield Inn in Oro Valley).