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Monday, 26 January 2015

Never Say Never?

The phrase Never Say Never is often used to inspire people to keep hoping or trying, but it can have a different meaning: namely, to encourage you to be wary of over-generalising.

Do you often find yourself saying: He/She will never do that or You never do this or I never...
There are at least two potential problems with this kind of comment:

1. It is extremely judgmental - if you say it to someone else you are denying their capacity to change or develop and may well annoy them. If you say it to yourself you are denying your own capacity to change and may make yourself feel hopeless or a failure.

2. It may be wrong.

So the next time you are tempted to say Never as an act of criticism of yourself or someone else, reflect first - would often or sometimes be a more accurate and fair word to use? What is your evidence for believing and saying never rather than one of these more moderate words. If you really think you have the evidence to justify the extreme claim never then fair enough. If not, then try using a more moderate turn of phrase.This can help you to a calmer life and more balanced relationships with others and with yourself!

This kind of moderate approach is a characteristic of CBT (cognitive behavioural therapy) approaches to dealing with negative thinking patterns. To find out more, click on the link below:

CBT Techniques to Beat Negative Thinking

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