Wednesday, 4 February 2015

Do You Really Know What Other People Think?

Sometimes you may be able to guess what what other's are thinking. However, you may not always be right! Mind-Reading in cognitive behavioural therapy jargon is the name given to the habit of assuming that you know what other people are thinking. You may for example imagine that someone is thinking badly of you when actually their mind is focused on something else altogether. Here are some tips for combatting this type of 'thinking error':
  • Try to generate some alternative possible explanations of what the other person is doing or saying and to estimate accurately the likelihood of each explanation being correct. If it's difficult to estimate the probability accurately then acknowledge that you just don't know.
  • Seek further information which will clarify whether your initial assumption is correct - this might be from a different source or it might be simply by asking the person involved (if that is practical in the situation).
  • Challenge Yourself: imagine purely for the sake of the argument that you are right about what the other person is thinking then ask yourself what can I do to avoid getting so concerned about it? Does it really matter as much as I think?
For information about an ebook providing further tips for dealing with distorted thinking patterns, click on the link below:

CBT Techniques to Beat Negative Thinking

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