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Twisted thinking describes how some people have a skewed or distorted view and way of thinking about how they see events in relation to themselves and their actions.

For example; black and white/all or nothing approach, overgeneralisation, focusing on a single negative rather than the whole picture, jumping to conclusions, discounting the positives, magnifying the negatives and minimising positives, labelling, making "should statements", emotional reasoning, and blaming yourself when things don't go as planned (1). Click here  and/or here for more information on Twisted Thinking.

Ways to help untwist your thinking:

  1. Identify the Distortion: Write down your negative thoughts so you can see how your thinking is twisted
  2. Examine the Evidence: Instead of assuming that your negative thought is true, examine the actual evidence for it
  3. The Double-Standard Method: Instead of putting yourself down in a harsh, condemning way, talk to yourself in the same way you would talk to a friend with a similar problem
  4. The Experimental Technique: Do a experiment to test the strength of your negative thought
  5. Thinking in Shades of Grey: Instead of thinking about your problems in an all or nothing extreme, evaluate things on a scale of 0 - 100, when things don't work out as well as you have hoped, think about it as a partial success rather than a complete failure. See what you can learn from the experience
  6. The Survey Method: Ask people questions to find out if your thoughts and attitudes are realistic
  7. Define Terms: When you label yourself "inferior", "a fool", ask "What is the definition of a fool?" You will feel better when you realise there is no such thing as "a fool"
  8. The Semantic Method: Substitute language that is less colourful and emotionally loaded. Instead of telling yourself "i should have..." say "it would be better if i hadn't..."
  9. Re-Attribution: Instead of automatically assuming that you are "bad" and blaming yourself entirely for a problem, think about all the factors that may have contributed to it. Focus on solving the problem, rather than just using all your energy blaming yourself
  10. Cost-Benefit Analysis: List the advantages and disadvantages of feeling a negative thought or behaviour pattern.

For more information about untwisting you thinking click here 

Or click here for additional helpful thinking strategies 


BPDRecovery, 2012 

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