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Thirteen Kinds of Wrong Thinking

  1. Catastrophizing. Predicting the worst outcome. If something goes wrong it will be a disaster. Every twinge is a sign of serious illness, every frown a sign of rejection.
  2. Overgeneralizing. Assuming that because something happened once, this means it will happen again.
  3. Exaggerating. Giving negative events more importance than they really deserve, and positive events less importance.
  4. Discounting the Positive. Rejecting good things as if they did not count (or using a negative filter).
  5. Mind Reading. Believing that you know what others are thinking.
  6. Predicting the Future or Fortune Telling. “Everything is bound to go wrong.” “I’ll never be able to do that sort of thing.”
  7. Black and White Thinking. Switching from one extreme to another. “If I can’t get this right, I might as well give up altogether.
  8. Taking Things Personally. “They didn’t ask me because they don’t like me.”
  9. Taking The Blame. Taking responsibility when it is not ours. “It’s all my fault.”
  10. Emotional Reasoning. Mistaking feelings for facts. “I’m so worried, I know something is going to go wrong.”
  11. Name Calling. “I’m an idiot.” “You’re completely heartless.”
  12. Scare Mongering. “Maybe she’s really ill.” “What if the car breaks down?”
  13. Wishful Thinking. Supposing things would be better if they were different. “If only I were…younger…thinner…smarter…not the way I am.”

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