10 Common Types of Cognitive Distortions

Cognitive distortions are the various reasons our minds make us think something that isn’t true. They are false thoughts that supplement negative feelings and thought. Going through some form of therapy or cognitive behavioral therapy self help may help someone to understand what these distortions are and can then help by bringing on a way to counteract these negative thoughts. After time, CBT self help courses and counteracting again and again, the cognitive distortions begin to go away. In their place, are more pleasant thoughts. There are many types of cognitive distortions.

The cognitive distortion that makes someone feel that they have to be right is a distortion of always being right. To these people, being wrong is not an option and it is impossible to them. They will set off to prove they are correct in any way, shape, or form.
To some people, thinking is strictly black and white. There is no in between, no grey area. Things have to be exact or not at all. This is called polarized or all-or-nothing thinking. People who think this way have a hard time if they aren’t perfect during an event and instead of brushing it off, they defeat themselves over it because they did horrible in their minds.

Should statements are statements that are made about what someone should do. They can be applied to other people just as easily as to ourselves, falling disgusted when others don’t live up to what we think they should do. Trying to live up to these should statements can be damaging. We often feel upset that we cannot always handle all of the should do things in life. This can also go along with all or nothing thinking by saying, “I should have done this, instead of this.”

Taking things personally and to heart is called personalization. Sometimes, people will take something personally that may not even have anything to do with them. Thinking that other people’s irritation is caused by you even if you do not know them is an example of this distortion.

The opposite of this is blaming. We blame other people for our problems or bad feelings even if they had no involvement. No one can make us feel anything because we are in control of our own emotions and thinking.
Some people might think that they can pressure others into changing to benefit themselves. This is called fallacy of change. The thinking behind this is that our life would be perfect if everyone around us were to fit our ideals so we do everything we can to pressure them into changing.

“Not everything in life is fair.” We have all been told this by our parents time and time again. Sometimes, people try to measure every ounce of fairness in a situation and get irritated when something unfair comes their way. This is called the fallacy of fairness. Things in life won’t work out every time no matter how badly you think they should.
Sometimes in our lives, working hard doesn’t pay off. No one likes when this happens but some people get angered or frustrated because they feel that they deserve the reward. This is called Heaven’s reward fallacy. We work and work and get disappointed and sometimes depressed when things don’t go our way.
If something bad happens only once, we use this to assume that every time we attempt that same thing, the outcome will be the same. This is overgeneralization.

A similar distortion to overgeneralization is called filtering. In this distortion, we often only consider a single negative over all of the positive. We might think about this single negative too much and spiral positive events into a negative one.
All of these cognitive distortions can be worked out with cognitive behavioral therapy self help. These CBT self help courses can help someone learn how to diminish the negative thoughts and false information that is being fed into their minds, bettering their thinking in the long run.