Image Source: American Heart Association

Let’s understand Cognitive distortions, shall we? To put it in simpler terms, it is distorted understandings, convincing ourselves of something that is not there. Now you may be thinking, ‘oh, but we don’t hallucinate.’ Let me tell you, there are so many cognitive distortions that are messing with your relationships, and you don’t even realize. So give this a read and see what fits you.

1. Filtering

What is filtering? Filtering or, to be specific, Mental Filtering makes a person dwell excessively on the negativities of any event and filter out all the positive aspects of it. They do it so much that their reality, the one they are living in, becomes twisted and dark. They become sad and depressed about the most neutral things.

Image Source: Good therapy

2. Jumping to Conclusion

Okay, don’t we all do this? Well, I, for one, do. We tend to jump to conclusions often. That, however, is something familiar. But when cognitive distortion is involved, the same condition is on an even larger scale. If you have this, it will make you jump to a conclusion as to what the other person is thinking about you. They will feel like they can read the other person’s mind. In relationships, if this distortion is involved, well, one partner would fight with the other based on what he/she believes the other person is thinking.

3. Personalization

Your aunt is fighting with her daughter-in-law. And if you think that you are the main lead in that drama, my friend, that is another form of cognitive distortion. This one is called Personalization. In this, people think the world revolves around them. Another way to know if it is happening to you is by observing whether, in a random conversation with a friend, you start feeling that it all somehow links back to you. Someone with this distortion will also try to compare everyone with themselves in terms of beauty, brains, and whatnot.

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4. Heaven’s Reward Fallacy

You sacrifice yourself again and again, and you do all that just because you believe that it will eventually return to you. I mean, that’s a good thing, but if it affects your self-esteem, your ego, basically your personality, then my friend, it isn’t a good thing. This is linked with the idea that the world’s fair and someone is maintaining the scorecard. And eventually, the higher power will make it so that the reasonable person is rewarded. Pakistani drama heroines, anyone?

5. Catastrophizing

Catastrophizing is basically that a person awaits a disaster upon anything and everything. It is synonymous with magnifying. So what happens is that they are continually expecting disasters. They continuously ask ‘what if’ questions. And they also imagine the worst possible scenarios. They magnify insignificant events or, more like they magnify the importance of minor events and, consequently, the catastrophe that can ensue.

Long story short, the first step is to diagnose if you are also experiencing it. If you figure out that that is the case, you will know that your relationships are hurting because of it. Once you know about the issue, you will learn how to tackle it as well.

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