Cognitive Distortions - Faulty Thinking
Cognitive distortions are ways that our mind convinces us of something that isn't really true. They are exaggerated and irrational thoughts,and beliefs that are not based on facts.Cognitive distortion is a destructive mindset, because it can lead to problematic emotional states and behavior.It just keeps you feeling bad about yourself, and your relationship. These distorted thought patterns convince you of things that are deceptive, irrational and totally inaccurate — So pay attention to your repetitive negative thoughts. Instead, try to refer to biased ways of thinking about yourself,your partner and your relationship.
1 ) Concluding That Your Partner Can Read Your Mind
You think that your partner can read your mind. They know you,so they should know what's going on in your mind. Your partner should just know what you want , and how you're feeling without having to express yourself verbally. If they can’t, then they must not really love or care about you. You shouldn't need to say your needs, and feelings specifically, because the right person,who truly loves you... should and would know.
Alternative Mindset :
Just remember your partner is not a psychic. Communicate with your partner. Talk about your feelings,wants , desires and needs .Your partner will only know if you clearly express yourself verbally. Don't assume they already know. Instead of feeling upset , mad or misunderstood , change your thinking to unbiased thoughts that are based on FACT instead of an emotion - your imagination. If you've communicated something directly to your partner, don't assume that talking about it ONCE is enough. Your partner may not understood the full range of your thoughts .
The single biggest problem in communication,is the illusion that it's already taken place
2 ) Assumptions
Assumptions are one of the most common issues in relationship,and the most destructive. Assumptions begin by predicting what your partner is feeling ,what they are thinking or how they will respond.You anxiously analyze every interaction in minute detail,and read too much into what they say or do. You determine how they are feeling toward you ,and assume you know that they mean or why they are behaving the way they are. This negative interpretation is based on your assumed rationale behind what they do or say, without any definite facts that convincingly support your conclusion
Assumptions often arise from not directly discussing your thoughts and feelings with your partner, and by not asking enough questions or listening to them. Give your partner the benefit of the doubt. Instead of trying to decode their mind by making assumptions and over-thinking. Talk to your partner, ask what's on their mind - what s/he meant , or how s/he is feeling. Allow your partner to share their side. Instead of deciding what their motives or intentions are ,based on your own thoughts when you don’t have all the information. Try to consider a number of alternative explanations for your partners behavior or mood changes
The problem with making assumptions is that we believe they are the truth .We make an assumption, we misunderstand ,we take it personally ,then we react by sending emotional poison with our word .This creates a whole big drama for nothing
3 ) Should/Shouldn't Statements
You have a list of rules to abide by about how your partner should or shouldn't behave.You overestimate how bad it would be if these expectations are not met.The problem is , when your direct should and shouldn't statements towards your partner, you become angry,resentful and frustrated when these rules are broken. You condemn yourself or your partner when s/he fails to meet up to your unrealistic expectations.
Should statement examples :
“My partner should change ”
“My partner should always know what I want without my asking.”
"My partner should spend more time with me"
Shouldn't statement examples :
“I shouldn't ever be unhappy , bored, angry with my partner.”
“I shouldn't have to work at a relationship; it should come naturally.”
"My partner shouldn't spend so much time with his/her friends
Instead of thinking/talking about the way things “should” or "shouldn't" be, try to consider how you can make things better - as a couple. Communicate in a caring and loving way by replacing your should's with “let’s try.” and “how to” . Instead, use action statements. For example , rather than saying " You should spend more with me " try saying "lets go out this weekend,and spend some quality time together" Try to refrain from having precise fixed ideas about how your partner should or shouldn't behave. Having a list of “commandments/rules" about your relationship and for your partner will cause your partner to become frustrated ,insecure and unhappy. S/he will start to feel inadequate ,because they can't live up to your expectations
Should; shouldn't ;ought; oughtn't - the enemies of contentment
You take your partners behavior or change in mood way too personal by ascribing their behavior and moods to something about yourself, which in fact you are not primarily responsible for.You believe your partner is acting negatively as the result of your own actions or behaviors, without considering other, more plausible, causes for their behavior or mood changes . For example, you may think: “S/he didn't text me goodnight ,because s/he's bored of me "or "is losing interest in me"
Try not to take your partners behavior or mood changes too personally . There could be several other possible reasons for their behavior . If your partner is quiet ,don't automatically assume it's something to do with you. Your partner may just need space to be alone. If s/he is irritable or moody don't personalize it by seeing yourself as the cause.You are not responsible for all of your partner’s problems,mood changes and negative behavior
No single raindrop believes it is responsible for the flood
5 ) Blaming
This is the opposite of personalization. Instead of seeing everything as your fault, you play the victim by laying all blame on your partner. You believe that all the problems in the relationship are caused by your partner .That's a huge burden for your partner to carry. One example of blaming is: you hold your partner responsible for your own anger. You accuse your partner by saying “ YOU make me so angry when you do/say that". Nobody can “make” you feel any particular way — only you have control over your own emotions and emotional reactions.Rather than using “you” blaming statements, use" I " statements instead - " I feel angry/upset when you do/say that"
When you are in a relationship, it’s about “we” not "you" . So share responsibility for the problems, plan positives together, and accept some differences. Every time something goes wrong in the relationship, don't ascribe all the blame to your partner. It’s important to take responsibility for your own behavior. If there's problems in the relationship , work as a couple to overcome them.Continuous blaming is a form of emotional abuse, and only evokes negative emotions that will eventually tear you both apart.
When you continuously blame others , you give up your power to change
6 ) Perfectionism
You hold up a standard for the relationship that is unrealistically too high and then measure your relationship by this standard. You think the relationship should be easy ,that there shouldn't be any problems or hurdles to overcome in relationship. And there should never be any arguments or disagreements. When there is , you believe the relationship is failing. You shouldn't have to work at a relationship if you are with the right person.
Perfectionism is just an illusion. No relationship is perfect — and no relationship needs to strive to be perfect . Life is a process of ups and downs. Every relationship is going to have problems .It's inevitable. So work constructively on the relationship ,and work through any problems ,together ,as a couple.Try to learn and grow together from experiences . All relationships need investment, negotiations , patience and compromises.You may think that you are holding up your ideals, but you are really putting you and your partner down. Be content with how things are, rather than how you picture they should be in a perfect world
When you stop expecting people to be perfect ,you can like them for who they are
Change Your Mindset
Faulty thinking patterns destroy relationships, so try to cultivate a positive mindset by challenging your beliefs and thoughts.When your old negative thinking comes up,replace those thoughts with more positive thoughts . Try to weigh your thoughts against the evidence.If you continuously challenge your thoughts, your new mindset will begin to evolve over time. To improve your relationship and change your life , you first need to change yourself.To change yourself you have to change your mindset
The same old thinking ,gets you the same old results. A negative mind will never give you a positive life