10 Types of Negative Self-Talk (and How to Correct Them) | Nick Wignall - Deepstash

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10 Types of Negative Self-Talk (and How to Correct Them) | Nick Wignall

https://nickwignall.com/negative-self-talk/

nickwignall.com

10 Types of Negative Self-Talk (and How to Correct Them) | Nick Wignall
A lot of mental and emotional suffering comes from the way we talk to ourselves in our own minds, what psychologists call negative self-talk. In this article we'll cover what negative self-talk really is, the most common types of negative self-talk (sometimes called Cognitive Distortions), and some strategies you can use to identify and start to change your own unhelpful negative self-talk.

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Narrative Habits

Narrative Habits

The way we talk to ourselves about the events in our lives is subject to the same laws of learning and habit formation that physical behaviors are.

That means we can learn to talk to ourselves in specific ways just like we can learn to tie our shoes or say please and thank you.

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Events + Thoughts = Emotions

Our emotions are always mediated by some form of thinking. 

If our thoughts determine how we feel, that means how we habitually think will determine how we habitually feel.

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Mind Reading

It happens when we assume we understand what other people are thinking without any real evidence.

It is a failure of imagination because we often only imagine and focus on the negative aspects.

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Overgeneralization

It is the habit of telling ourselves that a negative event is bound to continue happening in the future.

When we overgeneralize, we make predictions about the future based on isolated pieces of evidence from the present.

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Magnification

It happens when we take our own errors or flaws and exaggerate them.

We take small negative events and turn them into disasters in our minds.

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Minimization

it involves being dismissive of our strengths and positive qualities.

It keeps us in a cycle of feeling inferior because we never focus or enjoy our true positive qualities and accomplishments.

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Emotional Reasoning

It is the habit of making decisions based on how we feel rather than what we value.

It's when we use our emotions and feelings as evidence for what we should or shouldn’t do. Depression and procrastination are common results of this.

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Black and White Thinking

It is the tendency to evaluate things exclusively in terms of extreme categories.

It sets us up for chronic disappointment: When our expectations are consistently exaggerated, we never meet them and then always feel bad about ourselves.

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Personalization

It involves assuming an exaggerated responsibility for things that are mostly or entirely outside our control.

And this leads to excessive attempts at control, which in turn leads to chronic stress and anxiety.

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Labeling

It is the habit of describing ourselves or others in one extreme way, usually negatively. 

It is always an inaccurate oversimplification.

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Change Your Negative Self-Talk

Change Your Negative Self-Talk
  • It can often be easier to identify examples of negative self-talk in other people first.
  • Change your (inner) tone of voice.
  • Validate your feelings instead of analyzing them.
  • Be intentional, not habitual, with your self-criticism. Schedule a time to reflect on a perceived mistake or flaw intentionally.

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Keep a Journal

Journaling can be great for getting stuff off your chest and to become more self-aware. Often, we are unaware of our negative thoughts and miss the chance of challenging them — but writing regularly can help with that.

You can create a two-column journal. In the first column, keep notes on any self-criticism that comes up throughout the day. Later, rewrite the first column in more empowering or positive ways to reframe it.

Learn How To Take a Step Back

If you’re beating yourself up over something, picture someone that you love in your shoes and think what would you say or do to support them. This allows you to take a step back and practice a little self-compassion, it can help to keep things in perspective.

When we question our thinking

People became philosophers when they began to question what guides their thinking and analyze their thoughts.

All-or-nothing thinking

Today, one of the most common destructive thought patterns is all-or-nothing thinking. In other words, perfectionism.

Pragmatism and perfectionism

Pragmatism — as opposed to perfectionism — does not share the same paralyzing hang-ups; it takes what it can get.

Our pursuits should be aimed at progress, no matter how much it’s possible for us to make.