The Most Common Thinking Traps (Part 2)

By Diana Lopez

Part 2May 15 2022

thinking-traps-part2

Mind Reading

Don’t fall for the trap of thinking you’re a mind reader. Assuming that others are constantly judging you is a surefire way to stir up some trouble. So, take a step back and give others the benefit of the doubt before jumping to conclusions.

Fortune-telling

Have you ever felt like people are just constantly judging you and thinking the worst of you? Well, that’s what we call mind-reading bias – when we assume we know what others are thinking and it’s usually not a positive assumption. It’s like we have a personal reality TV show in our heads where everyone is watching, criticizing, and waiting for us to mess up.

Black-and-white thinking

Don’t fall prey to the all-or-nothing mindset! Sure, striving for excellence is admirable, but don’t get sucked into the vortex of perfectionism. Remember, life is full of shades of grey, where finding a balance is key.

Deleting

Similar to black-and-white thinking, deleting involves only paying attention to the negative aspects of a situation while ignoring the positive and neutral, so people end up viewing an entire situation as negative, ignoring the possibility to see a more balanced conclusion.

Labelling

An extreme form of generalisation, labelling, occurs when we attach a negative “description name” about ourselves, someone else or a situation.

Some common labels are “I’m a failure”, “I’m not good enough”, “I’m not smart enough”, “I’m not successful enough” “ all men are …”, “ all women are …”, “everyone is taken…”; we can run this thinking trap so often that it becomes a belief.

Personalisation

Have you ever felt like every little thing someone does or says is directly aimed at you? That’s what we call taking things personally. But here’s the thing – most of the time, it’s not about you at all. In fact, you might be assuming, deleting and globalising without even realizing it. And to top it off, you might also be convinced that you’re the reason for all the bad stuff happening in the world. Let’s take a step back and give ourselves a break.

Self- Referencing

Do you ever feel like people should just know how to behave around you? That’s what we call having a high need for control and approval, and it can lead to major disappointment when others don’t meet your expectations. But here’s the thing: The world doesn’t revolve around any one person’s idea of how things should be. If you’re prone to this kind of thinking, try embracing a little ambiguity and letting go of some of that need for control.

Fallacy of Fairness

Have you ever felt like life just isn’t fair? Like you’re constantly being dealt a bad hand while others seem to have it all? Well, fairness is a subjective concept. What you may deem as fair may not be what someone else believes. So instead of dwelling on what’s fair, focus on what makes you happy.

Always being right

Are you familiar with the phenomenon of being “right” at all costs? It’s when the idea of being wrong is simply unacceptable and some people will stop at nothing to prove their point. Unfortunately, this can often lead to hurting feelings and disrespecting those closest to us. Basically, being right is prioritized over everything else. It’s a tricky trap to avoid because sometimes we don’t even realize we’re falling into it. But hey, true leadership means being open to other perspectives and not getting caught up in the ego game.

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