Cognitive Distortions - All-or-Nothing Thinking


Cognitive distortions are simply ways that our brains convince us that something is true that really isn't. These distortions in our thinking are often replays of past patterns that we've learned, often in our developmental years.

Unfortunately, such thinking often causes us to then feel badly about a situation or ourselves. It becomes a bad cycle.

A common cognitive distortion is All or Nothing Thinking where we look at things as strictly black or white. Such interpretations are often distorted from reality and can result in intense negative feelings.

In comparison, if our interpretation wasn't so strictly black or white, our resulting feelings can be more moderate and likely easier to deal with and have less lasting effect.

As an example, a co-worker says something to you that you interpret in an all-or-nothing way. The next thing you know you're upset and acting in an extreme manner and actually causing a conflict with your co-worker that wasn't even there to start with.