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ALL-OR-NOTHING THINKING: You see things in black-and-white categories. If your performance falls short of perfect, you see yourself as a total failure.

MENTAL FILTER: You pick out a single negative detail and dwell on it exclusively so that your vision of all reality becomes darkened, like the drop of ink that discolours the entire beaker of water.

MIND READING. You arbitrarily conclude that someone is reacting negatively to you, and you don’t bother to check this out.

THE FORTUNE TELLER ERROR. You anticipate that things will turn out badly and you feel convinced that your prediction is an already-established fact.

CATASTROPHIZING OR MINIMIZATION:You exaggerate the importance of things (such as your mistake or someone else’s achievement), or you inappropriately shrink things until they appear tiny.

EMOTIONAL REASONING: You assume that your negative emotions necessarily reflect the way things really are: “I feel a failure, therefore I am a failure.”

SHOULD/MUST STATEMENTS: You try to motivate yourself with should and shouldn’ts, as if you had to be whipped and punished before you could be expected to do anything. “Musts” and “ought’s” are also offenders. The emotional consequence is guilt. When you direct should statements toward others, you feel anger, frustration and resentment.

LABELING AND MISLABELING: This is an extreme form of overgeneralization. Instead of describing your error, you attach a negative label to yourself: “I’m a disaster” When someone else’s behaviour rubs you the wrong way, you attach a negative label .Mislabelling involves describing an event with language that is highly coloured and emotionally loaded.

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