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Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Thinking Errors that may be Destroying Your Office

Part 1 of 3

Thinking errors are thoughts and ideas that result from our inaccurate perception of reality. However, when we use thinking errors we are doing so on purpose. We use thinking errors in order to avoid taking responsibility for many different reasons. We actually convince ourselves that we are being honest and truthful when in actuality we are desperately trying to get out of, avoid, defend, and justify our negative thoughts and behaviors.

When you are finished reading over the following 40 thinking errors:
            1. List all of the most common ones you use.
            2. Break them down into your top ten and list them on the pages provided.
            3. Then write a personal example of how you use it and two ways that you can change this thought pattern.

1.  Anger:
This anger is not real. Rather it is used to control and manipulate others. When confronted, outrage, anger, etc., are expressed to divert attention to that instead of the original behavior.

Example:  Tantrums, aggression, retaliation and blaming.
Payoff:  The anger instead of the behavior takes center stage. The behavior that you did does not get addressed.
Consequence:  You alienate people from wanting to be near you because they don’t want to deal with you.

2.  Avoidance:
This is the belief that it is easier to avoid life’s difficulties than to deal with them. Avoidance is a way out of your obligations without having to say you will not be responsible for these things. Procrastination is a form of avoidance.

Example:  I’m going to make those calls as soon as I finish organizing my desk.
Payoff:  You do not have to take responsibility for being irresponsible.
Consequence:  You are irresponsible. People lose trust in you.

3.  Awfulizing:
This is the belief that it is unbearable when things do not go as you want them to. Anything that takes effort is awful. If something is awful you have the right to not bear it and to act out in any way that you want.

Example:  I’m unhappy with the way the schedule goes each day and let everyone know, including patients.
Payoff: You do not have to deal with anything that you label as awful. You do not have to be uncomfortable.
Consequences:  People avoid you because you complain so much.

4.  Binocular Trick:
You magnify or exaggerate the importance of positive qualities or events connected to other people and minimize your own attributes and/or achievements. You may do this for one of two reasons:
1.  To reinforce your internalized shame
2.  To awfulize your circumstances so that you can play the victim.

Example:  I really want to go to hygiene school, but I really can’t afford it.
Payoff:  You provide evidence to reinforce your descent into victim stance.

5.  Closed Channel:
One of the key tactics you employ to avoid change. An open channel is essential to good communication. Open channels have three components:
1) Self-disclosure                    2) Receptivity to feedback                 3) Self-criticism

Example:  Given your uniqueness you do not have to listen to what those “lesser” people have to say. You are perfect and any mistakes you make are really someone else’s fault.
Payoff:  You can keep doing what you want to.

6.  Denial:
A defense mechanism which we use to protect us from painful aspects of ourselves, others, and/or reality. Denial can be conscious or unconscious.

Example:  I didn’t forget to file the x-rays. I gave them to someone else to take care of.
Payoff:  You do not have to come to terms with things you do not like since they do not exist. You do not have to solve problems.
Consequence:  Molehills turn into mountains.

7.  Drama/Excitement:
The person using this thinking error will often describe things in a way to build them up in order to sound powerful or “cool” to others.

Payoff:  Attention, control.
Consequence:  You end up living in a fantasy world.

8.  Emotional Reasoning:
You assume that your negative emotions reflect the way things really are.

Example:  I feel that Mrs. Jones doesn’t like me working with her.  (I feel, therefore, it must be true.)
Payoff:  You do not have to think things through or look at the possibility that your feelings may be based on inaccurate information.
Consequence:  You make a lot of bad decisions, which are based on false information.

9.  Entitlement:
Since you have suffered you are entitled to be paid back by life. Everything should be easy for you.

Example:  You can’t believe it when the doctor gave you a written warning for being late; after all he/she knew you have an old car that breaks down often.
Payoff:  You are not obligated to anyone other than yourself.
Consequence:  Your selfish behavior alienates others.

10.  Externalization:
The belief that external events cause all human suffering and that you must control all events before your life can be better.  Your moods are controlled by other people’s actions and external events.

Example:  You are depressed because it is raining.
Payoff:  You are a victim of circumstance and until circumstances change, you do not have to do anything to help yourself.
Consequence:  You never change.  You do not see yourself as having any control over your life.

If you would like more information, please contact us at info.saltdpm.com

This is an original lesson by Salt Dental Practice Management

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