A continuation of the work built upon Part Two CBT Journaling, sentence completion. If you are working along with me, grab your notebook. We are exploring the different kinds of logical thinking errors in parts 4-15.

Part Three CBT Work
  1. Black and White Thinking.

    Life is genuinely shades of grey. When you catch yourself saying Always/Never or Good/Bad, is that true? Let us challenge our thinking. If I have a day where it feels like the world is against me, is that true? Is the entire world actually conspiring against my happiness? If I think so, what evidence is available to support that assumption?

    This all or nothing thinking is also an opportunity to refer back to Part Two – Assuming Innocence. Not everything negative that happens to me is intentional. We are not the center of the universe. Most other people, even people who seem happy all the time, have their struggles. Their world centers around their experience, not mine. Is it possible that a person’s reaction to me is about how I interact with them? Perhaps. Could also be this poor person already had a series of mishaps throughout the day that left lucky me present when they reached the end of their personal rope. We all take our turn being at the end of somebody else’s rope.

    Black and white thinking can also damage how we see ourselves. Very few people are all bad or all good. Humans are complex; we react to the positive and negative experiences and feedback we receive in this life. The fact that I am doing the work to be a better human demonstrates goodness, even when I get stuck ruminating about past trauma. If even one person reads my writing and comes away feeling comforted, understood or open to positive change, I have added some good into the universe.

My exercise to to continue to challenge all or nothing, black and white thinking. If it isn’t true, why say it? It’s far more difficult to internalize illogical thinking if I refuse to give it space in my mind in the first place.


The End