Unhelpful Thinking Styles

Unhelpful Thinking Styles

Here in this post, we are providing the “Unhelpful Thinking Styles “. You can discuss more your concerns about mental health in our community, and we will provide you with tips and solutions in a short time. Keep visiting Mental Health.

Why Your Personal Thinking Can Be Unhelpful

Everyone has their own go-to unhelpful thinking patterns, and you’ll soon recognize them when you read this list. While you’ll probably be quick to spot your own thinking habits, it can take a while for you to recognize the thinking patterns of others.

When you watch yourself behaving in any one (or hopefully more) of those ways, urge you to find your personal examples of how these thinking patterns manifest themselves in your everyday life.

Setting an individual example of your own thinking style will actively help solidify your recognition of your own thinking patterns. When other people observe you behaving in a particular way that matches your thought pattern they’ll more quickly pick up on the meaning behind your behaviour.

The most common unhelpful thinking style I notice among whites as they approach diversity is catastrophizing. Here’s an example. A friend recently explained her desire to visit Africa for “business purposes.” She proudly showed off her travel plans and mentioned that she’d already seen many historical sites during her short trip. As she spoke, her audience listened with amazement as she recited the names of places she’d visited and activities she’d participated in.

As I listened to her I couldn’t help but think back to my own academic years. I had spent four years as a doctoral student studying social science and academia. During that time I continued to encounter and reflect on the negative social messages I’d absorbed while conducting research.

In all of my research, I found a consistent theme running through the stories of people from all sorts of different backgrounds and experience levels: cognitive distortions. Unfortunately, this “cognitive distortion” runs deep in mainstream thought… to the extreme of whiteness.

Catastrophizing is a cognitive distortion that causes us to focus on negative aspects of our lives. It’s a powerful force that can drown out more positive elements. As it overgeneralizes, it becomes a distraction and in many cases can actually cause us harm.

For example, consider the following scenario. A dating couple goes on a date and gets nervous around a woman who they both admire.

The man begins to describe in detail all the bad things he thinks he’ll hear about his date. As he speaks, he’s getting excited about talking about bad things, and his woman starts to feel uncomfortable. When she turns away from him, he continues to speak. This is a form of catastrophizing (magnification and minimization), where the speaker perceives all his or her ideas to be valid.

In addition, the speaker will attribute the “disease” of the date to her own failures. While there may be truth to these statements, the speaker’s actions do not contribute to a solution. Instead, this kind of unhelpful communication produces negative emotions that make him feel guilty and prevents him from seeing the true source of his problem. The woman ends up blaming him and will try to break up the relationship.

catastrophizing also causes us to focus on negative attributes in others without considering positive attributes. It centers on the person and reduces them to their worst possible trait. For example, if a man mentions that his partner is quiet, he is using magnification.

He is magnifying the problem by focusing on something about the person that is not acceptable. If a woman complains that her man talks too much, he is using minimization. Minimization is centered on the individual, reducing them to a flaw that must be fixed.

In conclusion, we can see that there are at least four types of Unhelpful Thinking styles. These include one extreme, the catastrophizing style, one extreme that minimizes the other two, and one extreme that focus on the positive attributes. By learning to manage your thinking style, you can live a more fulfilled life.

Uncovering habitual and unconscious thinking biases to help reduce emotional distress and balance your thinking.

Unhelpful Thinking Styles
Unhelpful Thinking Styles

Unhelpful Thinking Styles

There are the following unhelpful thinking styles.

  • Mental Filters
  • Emotional Reasoning
  • All or Nothing
  • Jumping to conclusions
  • Personalization
  • Catastrophising
  • Labeling
  • Magnification and minimisation
  • Should have and must have statements
  • Overgeneralising 

Mental Filters 

Focusing on only one aspect of a situation (often negative ) while overlooking others (positive). Creating tunnel vision.

Emotional Reasoning  

Assessing situations through the lens of your current emotion, where your emotions are interpreted as fact.

All or Nothing 

Absolute thinking where one focuses on an extreme and ignores the others. There is no in-between.

Jumping to Conclusion

Assuming we know what will happen, without evidence to support it.

there are following two types

  • Mind reading
  • Predictive Thinking

Mind Reading 

Assuming we know what someone else is thinking or what their rationale is behind their behavior.

Predictive Thinking  

Predictive outcomes usually overestimating negative emotions or experiences.


Blaming yourself unnecessarily for external negative events.


Exaggerating a situation in the negative.


Using sweeping negative statements to describe yourself or others.

Maginfication and Minimisation

Magnifying the positive in others, while discounting your own.

Should have and Must have Statements

Putting unreasonable expectations on oneself.


Interpreting a single negative event as the norm or enduring pattern.





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