Distortion Practice: 002

Spot the cognitive distortions in your life



You can get better at revealing the cognitive distortions in your life with a little practice. Try identifying the distortions that are happening in this short story:


๐Ÿ“– Short story

You put in 2-3 quality hours of work to create an estimate for a big job. The client acknowledges the receipt, but doesnโ€™t reply for 2-3 days. You think, โ€œIโ€™ve wasted all that time, Iโ€™ve overbid and scared the customer off.โ€

Which of the following distortions are you experiencing? You can find the answers below.


๐Ÿ“œ Common distortions

  • ๐Ÿ‘ฏโ€ Generalizing: Assuming that because you experienced something in the past this must mean it will happen again. โ€œA dog bit me when I was 5, therefore all dogs are dangerous and will bite me.โ€

  • โ˜„๏ธ  Catastrophizing: Are you focused on the worst case scenario? Regardless of how likely it is.

  • ๐Ÿง   Mind reading: Assuming what others think. โ€œThey probably think I'm an idiot.โ€

  • โœจ Should statements: Pressuring yourself with things you should have done differently. โ€œI should have eaten healthier today."

  • ๐ŸŒ“  All or nothing thinking: Thinking in extremes. You are either a success or a failure. "She doesn't want to date me. I'll never find love.โ€

  • ๐Ÿ•น๏ธ  Out of your control: Are you worrying about something out of your control?

  • ๐Ÿ”ฎ  Fortune telling: Assuming future events. โ€œI just know that something is going to go wrong and I'm going to be late for my interview.โ€

  • ๐Ÿšซ  Disqualifying the positive: Focusing only on the bad. โ€œHe said that I looked nice but he says that to everybody. He was just being polite."

  • ๐Ÿท๏ธ Labeling: Taking one characteristic of a person and applying it to the whole person. โ€œI failed a test, so I'm a bad student.โ€

  • ๐Ÿ”Ž Magnifying the negative: Judging a situation entirely on the negative parts and not considering the positive parts. โ€œI ate healthy this week, but I skipped the run I had planned.โ€


๐Ÿ’ก Answers

Iโ€™ve overbid and scared the customer off.

Control what you can control โ€“ in this case you are experiencing an out-of-control distortion. You have no control over if and when the client returns with a reply. At the same time, youโ€™re mind-reading. You have no idea what the client is thinking. In both distortions, itโ€™s possible the client has other pressing needs that take precedence and will get back to you in due time.


๐ŸŒ‡ Conclusion:

Everyone has cognitive distortions sometimes. But we can prevent them from taking over our lives with a little practice everyday.

Hereโ€™s another powerful tool for defeating cognitive distortions: Triple column technique.


๐Ÿ“š Read more


๐Ÿ“ฑ Practice more

Download Bold CBT. Itโ€™s an iOS app that I made which makes it easier to do CBT exercises like this one.


๐Ÿ™ Thank you

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