Today we’re on to part 2 of a new series on the most common “cognitive distortions,” or thinking errors. Most of us are subject to these, and they can hold us back from our full potential and cause totally unnecessary angst.
The good news is that once you know what they are, they’re pretty easy to spot and self-correct.
Ready for cognitive distortion #2? Drumroll please…
What it is:
“Emotional reasoning” means mistaking an emotional state for an accurate reflection of reality.
When it happens:
Emotional reasoning seems to rear its head most often around emotions that are both strong and have some element of shame.
The strength of the emotion can hijack the more rational parts of our brains.
And the shame factor means we’re likely to hide the feelings, which blocks any logical examination or offsetting, supportive feedback we might otherwise incorporate from other people.
We’re rarely this consciously explicit in our heads about the leap from feeling to factual belief – and that’s where the danger lies. We’re not even aware that we’re extrapolating reality from a passing emotion.
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