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Disqualifying the Positive and Jumping to Conclusions

Disqualifying the Positive and Jumping to Conclusions

Update: 2019-02-04
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 Cognitive distortions are the biased perspectives we take on ourselves and the world around us. They are irrational thoughts and beliefs that we have unknowingly reinforced over time. The first step to behaving rationally is to be aware of our biases and work to achieve a balanced perspective. 


I am going to talk about 2 cognitive distortions one of which has 2 parts. The first is Disqualifying the positive:


Disqualifying the Positive can be difficult to identify sometimes, because you have the pretense of weighing both sides, and then making what seems to be a rationale decision before settling on your pre analysis conclusion. 


The “Disqualifying the Positive” cognitive distortion acknowledges positive experiences but rejects them. For example, a person who receives a positive review at work may reject the idea that he is a competent employee and attribute the positive review to political correctness or to his boss simply not wanting to talk to you about what you have already deemed to be subpar performance. This is an especially malignant distortion since it can facilitate the continuance of negative thought patterns even in the face of a lot of evidence to the contrary.


In the area of dating and relationships It is important that we do our own work as individuals and ensure we are showing up in a relationship with an understanding of how we make decisions, our biases, and our habits. If we rely only on relationships, intimate partners, or sexual experiences to enhance our positive self-image, we may be more susceptible to this thought distortion and attracting the wrong person


Jumping to Conclusions – Mind Reading


The “Jumping to Conclusions” cognitive distortion is revealed as the inaccurate belief that we know what another person is thinking. While it is possible to have an idea of what other people are thinking. 


This Mind Reading Jumping to Conclusions distortion is when we close off any possibility that the other person maybe thinking something completely different than what it is we are convinced. Usually, we take a negative interpretation and assume it to be true. For example, you may seeing someone with a scowl on their face and we jump to the conclusion that surely she is thinking something negative about me. Her scowl may have nothing to do with you. 


Jumping to Conclusions – Fortune Telling


Fortune telling refers to our tendency to make conclusions and predictions based on little to no evidence and believing it as gospel truth. One example of fortune-telling is predicting that we will never find love or have a committed and happy relationship. And we base this on the fact that it has not yet happened. There is simply no way for you to know what the future holds but we become biased in predicting the parade of horribles as the only possible outcome. 


A guy may jumps to a conclusion about his partner’s thoughts regarding love: he may assuredly say to himself “I know I’m not as exciting in bed as I used to be therefore she is no longer in love with me and is only having sex with me out of obligation.” 


What of this delusional thinking, convinces you, that this is a good mindset for enhanced intimacy and great sex?


So how do you overcome this irrational behavior so that you can reboot your love life?


Step 1 Recognize your thought pattern? Write down the belief that this driving your behavior.


Step 2 Challenge your belief. What evidence do you have to support your conviction? What would a good friend say about your interpretation? Is it possible your interpretation is wrong? What evidence do you have that shows you are wrong in your conclusion? You have to give each side a fair hearing of the facts. Remember thoughts feelings are not facts they are merely data in need of analysis. A fact must

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Disqualifying the Positive and Jumping to Conclusions

Disqualifying the Positive and Jumping to Conclusions

Dr. Raymond Zakhari, NP