How to Assume the Best and Stop Mind Reading
Let me read you this article instead
It's your first day at work, and you're excited to meet all your colleagues and be at the job you've always dreamed of, but as soon you greet a tired fellow with a smiley "Good Morning!", he hits you back with a cold "Mornin'" while sipping his hot coffee and not even bothering to note the new sound at the office. Then you suddenly fall prey to a cascade of negative emotions in which you are mostly bombarding your mind with assumptions of all kinds.
"What a creep he must think I am!" "I don't even know how to act professionally in my workspace," "They must think I'm fake," and then it just never stops. You straight off jump off from a cliff and dive into a deep valley of self-hatred, assuming you have no worth.
This all comes from a weakened sense of self-esteem and thinking that your self-worth depends on some external validation. You are quick to assume if you're worthy enough, people will acknowledge you for it; otherwise, you're just not worth it. This is a Cognitive Behavior Distortion type called Mind Reading.
How Do I Stop This from Happening?
Remember, the first step to stop this from happening is to identify what triggers your self-esteem. Make a list, and then each time you get triggered, be your own lawyer and find some evidence to support the statement.
The next step is to prove this evidence to be logical. Ask for the universality of the logic behind your statement. Does it apply to a general scale? Does it show any relation to events similar to the one you are experiencing? Now, the next step is to come up with a counter-argument to your statement. Make it neutral or positive, and it can have multiple points so that you feel more confident about your comeback belief.
How Do I Prevent it from Happening in the Future?
One important thing in this regard is to build up some strong understanding of human beings in general. Acknowledge that no one is perfect, and no one is in a position to form a judgment about you. Accept that we all are spontaneous, emotional beings who often say what we don't mean.
So, any word that comes out of our mind doesn’t have to be logically sound. We all have our opinions structured from our past experiences and root beliefs, so taking them as universal facts will only lead to faulty conclusions.
While you work on this type of cognitive behavior distortion, it is highly necessary to acknowledge that you deserve to treat yourself like your best friend, not an enemy. Also, remember healing is not linear, and sometimes it takes a lot of energy to bring yourself to a normal state where you acknowledge yourself. However, that doesn’t mean you should stop. Seek professional help and get a cognitive behavior therapy for dealing with these cognitive distortions.
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