10 Most Common Flaws Of Thinking That Distort Your Reality

123

Our mind takes a lot of energy to process all the operations it needs to process during the day.

That’s why it creates shortcuts and biases, to save as much energy as it can without losing it’s efficiency.

However, these biases skew our sense of reality and most of the time we take decisions based on a false reality.

There are over 200 known biases that the human mind makes and integrates within its way of thinking.

Here are the 10 most common biases we use daily to save mental energy and make quick decisions. You’ll get a sense of how flawed our perception of reality and reasoning are.

10 Most Common Flaws Of Thinking:most-common-flaws-of-thinking

1. Filtering

You filter out all the positive aspects of a situation and magnify the negative details.

How to combat it?

Try to list out as many positive details about a particular situation you find to be negative.

2. Polarized Thinking

You see things as Black and White, Good or Bad, there is nothing in between. Either you are perfect or you are a failure.

How to combat it?

There are many shades between black and white. Understand that nothing in nature is an extreme, it’s just our position of seeing a particular thing that can give us this subjectivity. If something is not perfect doesn’t mean it’s garbage.

3. Overgeneralization

You come to a general conclusion based on a single incident or piece of evidence without further research.

How to combat it?

Ask yourself where your evidence came from, how trustworthy is the source of the evidence, and is there any other evidence to back this assumption. How likely is for this single instance to be a general repeating truth? Did it happen at least 3 times with the same conditions? Were there any instances you can think of where the same conditions applied but the incident didn’t happen?

4. Mind Reading

Without their saying so, you assume what people were thinking and feeling, or why they act the way they do. You think you know what people think about you.

How to combat it?

Even though we like it to be true, we can’t read other people’s minds. We can assume what they think based on subtle clues and body language, we can get really close, but we can’t literally read their minds. What we usually do is project our own thoughts and we assume what they would think. Even if we come close to what they were thinking we cannot possibly know what they felt and for what reason. It takes years to connect with someone to such level, and even then our assumptions are wrong most of the time.

5. Catastrophizing

You always expect the worst. When you notice or hear about a problem you start asking What Ifs, What If It Happened To You.

How to combat it?

Just because something happened somewhere it doesn’t mean it will happen to you. Think about how many people it will not happen to. What makes you so special?

6. Personalization

Thinking that everything people say or do is some kind of reaction to you. You compare to others trying to determine who is better looking, smarter, etc.

How to combat it?

What people care about the most is themselves. They are obsessed with their own insecurities and they really do not care that much about you. The one who cares most about you is yourself and that’s why you assume everyone around you do the same. How sure are you about your assumptions? Can you test them in some way?

7. Control Fallacies

If you feel externally controlled, you see yourself as helpless, a victim of fate. On the opposite side, feeling everything in your life is internally controlled by you makes you feel responsible for the pain and happiness of everyone around you.

How to combat it?

The only responsibility you really have in your life is yourself. Understand that there are things outside of your control. What’s within your control are your choices, and even your choices can’t make other people happy if they do not choose to make themselves happy.

8. Fallacy Of Fairness

You feel resentful because you think you know what’s fair but others do not agree with you.

How to combat it?

Others might not see through the same perspective as you do. Try to see through other people’s eyes. Why would they not agree with you? What would be their reasoning? Where is their mistake? Instead of harboring anger within yourself try to let them know why you think they are wrong and you are right. Try to converse on the topic and maybe you will see the flaw in your perception. Maybe they will see their flaw. Whatever you do, expressing your truth will give you clarity.

9. Blaming

You hold other people responsible for your pain.

How to combat it?

Even though others might have hurt you they are not responsible for your pain. They might be responsible for what happened but your pain is your responsibility to heal. They do not feel pain, you do. Unless you accept your responsibility you will not be able to heal yourself. It’s much better to heal yourself than to seek revenge, be selfish about this.

10. Should

You have a list of rules and commandments about how everyone should act. If someone breaks a rule it extremely angers you and if you violate a rule you feel guilty.

How to combat it?

Nobody knows the right way to live so why would you assume everyone should listen to you? Nobody is born with a guide book. Even though your rules might be created to reduce suffering, know that most often, when rules are followed blindly, it comes a time when they create more suffering than reduce it. Especially if these rules are forced unto someone. We all follow a different path to the truth. If some rules work for you does not mean they will work for anyone else. Have your boundaries, but let others be free in having their own. Think about how you would feel if others forced some rules you don’t agree with upon your way of living. How will these rules help others? Explain it to them, invite them to follow.