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Reading a new book called the Coddling of the American Mind by Gregg Lukainoff and Jonathan Haidt.  Just started, but it has been very interesting so far as describes some of the less than ideal strategies we have have for making our way through society.  Some of the maladaptive strategies can be countered through consciously acknowledging the mental track being taken and making conscious effort to change said track.  Of course, it is easier to diagnose these problems in other people (because we are all-good amiright?), but being able to see and react to these tracks in yourself is the end goal (aka cognitive behaviour therapy, CBT).

  1.  Emotional Reasoning: Letting your feelings guide your interpretation of reality.  “I feel depressed; therefore my marriage is not working out.”

     2.  Catastrophizing:  Focusing on the worst possible outcome and seeing it as most likely. “It would be terrible if I failed.”

     3.  Overgeneralizing:  Perceiving a global pattern of negatives on the basis of a single incident. “This generally happens to me.  I seem to fail at a lot of things.”

     4.  Dichotomous Thinking: Viewing events or people in all-or-nothing terms. “I get rejected by everyone,” or “It was a complete waste of time.”

     5.  Mindreading: Assuming that you know what people think without having sufficient evidence of their thoughts: “He thinks I’m a loser.”

     6.  Labeling: Assigning global negative traits to yourself or others.  “I’m undesirable,” or “He’s a rotten person.”

     7.  Negative Filtering:  You focus almost exclusively on the negatives and seldom notice the positives.  “Look at all the people who don’t like me.”

     8.  Discounting Positives:  Claiming that the positive things you or others do are trivial, so that you can maintain a negative judgement.  “That’s what wives are supposed to do – so it doesn’t count when she’s nice to me,” or “Those successes were easy, so they don’t matter.”

     9.  Blaming: Focusing on the other person as a source of your negative feelings; you refuse to take responsibility for changing yourself. “She’s to blame for the way I feel now,” or “My parents caused all of my problems.”

 

[…]  It’s easy to see how somebody who habitually things in such ways would develop schemas that revolve around maladaptive core beliefs, which interfere with realistic and adaptive interpretations of social situations.

-The Coddling of the American Mind. p.38

  It has been a good read so far, will keep you updated. :)

 

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