Do You Have “Stinkin’ Thinking”? 3-5

We all fall prey to these styles of thinking from time to time. The key is to not fall into this pattern all of the time. As Teri mentioned yesterday, they're a twist on real thinking patterns, so it can be tricky. Let's go over 3 more "stinkin" styles:

3. Mental Filter: This is where we focus on a single negative detail and dwell on it exclusively, creating tunnel vision, so that the reality of the situation becomes lost. An example of this is receiving praise from a manager at work for a job that we've done, getting lots of great compliments on our attention to detail and follow through. At the end, the manager mentions they would like to see an increase our turn-around time for projects. When we walk out of the meeting, all we can focus on is the last comment. We filter out all the positives, and only focus on the one negative, which really isn't a negative at all, just a request.

4. Disqualifying the Positive: This is when we reject positive experiences by insisting they "don't count" for some reason or another. By doing this, we maintain a negative outlook on life. A person who does this would say, "They're family, they have to say something nice", or "They're only saying that to get on my nice side".

5. Jumping to Conclusions: Someone who jumps to conclusions makes a negative assumption, even though there are no facts to support this conclusion. Two examples of jumping to conclusions are:

  • Mind Reading - automatically assuming someone is reacting negatively to us without checking out our assumption first. For example, our best friend doesn't call when they said they would, and we just know it's because we made that comment the other day about how fast they drive. In reality, there could be several other reasons as to why our best friend didn't call.
  • The Fortuneteller Error -  we anticipate things are going to turn out horribly and are convinced this is fact. For example, we have a vacation planned with our spouse, and we are convinced there are going to be issues with travel arrangements and that something will inevitably be wrong with the hotel. And, we'll be lucky if the rental car place has any cars left!

Any of these sound familiar? If so, we encourage you to start noticing when you do these things. Acknowledging this type of thinking happens is the first step in changing it. Thank you for reading!

Written by: Tamara Portee MA, LMHC, LCAC

*Tamara enjoys doing marriage counseling, individual counseling, & couples counseling  at Imagine Hope. We also specialize in family counseling, child & adolescent counseling. Imagine Hope serves the Indianapolis area, including the surrounding areas of Carmel, Noblesville, Zionsville, Westfield & Fishers.