Blaming, Grudge Holding,
Doomsday Thinking, Revenge Thoughts,
Black and White Thinking:
Irrational Ways of Thinking Which Keep You Angry
Lynne Namka, Ed. D. ©
all have irrational thoughts, which keep us caught in anger
and neurotic behavior. Erroneous beliefs are beliefs and
defenses we build up and replay with anger so we do not
have to know the truth about our self They are called errors
of thought or cognitions. These errors in thinking are defense
mechanisms that we have learned at an early age, but do
not work as we grow older. When people impose rigid expectations
on themselves, other people, and the world because of their
beliefs, they are likely to experience unnecessary emotional
thoughts are crazy making! They keep us in victim mode and
chaos. They cause us to avoid responsibility for our own
actions. Happiness in life can be achieved when you learn
to break into your negative thinking. Errors in the way
you think perpetuate depression, helplessness and anger
keeping you from being at peace. So first, learn about your
own erroneous beliefs, and then you can learn to help your
child interpret the world in realistic ways.
yourself saying things that are illogical. Talk about your
inaccurate ways of thinking with your family. Show them
how happier your family would be if you break these bad
habits of thinking and talking. Then you can challenge your
children to point out crazy-making words. Tell them, 'you
can catch me in my own words when I think in absurd ways
and I'll try to catch you.'
are the most common errors in thinking that add to a lifetime
Generalized Thinking. Over Generalized statements are exaggerations.
For example, 'He NEVER considers my opinion. You ALWAYS
interrupt me. She ALWAYS tells me what to do. I have to
do ALL the work. I NEVER get a break. EVERYBODY picks on
me.' Watch your language for 'never, always, should, everybody,
'I can't stand it and I can't take it anymore.'
an Assumption and Running with it. What you assume is only
what you assume. Assumptions may or may not be true. There
may be other reasons why things happen. Generate multiple
reasons why you think something has happened. Check out
your assumption with others to get to the facts of the issue.
Jumping to conclusions is another form of making an assumption
and acting on it as if it were true.
Telling is projecting your assumption on future events based
on what happened in the past. Fortune telling is assuming
that what happened in the past will happen in the future.
When you say, 'I bet that this will happen,' then you are
predicting the future. You may or you may not be right.
on the Other Person's Behavior in the Past not the Present.
Some people live so much in the hurts of the past that they
do not realize that another person has changed or is trying
to change. They keep an old version of the person in their
mind. Sometimes people do change, so do an update in your
mind about them.
is bringing up old issues from the past during an argument,
which diverts the argument into old unresolved hurts and
pain while avoiding the current issue. 'You have been doing
this to me for years. Last year, you did this to hurt me
so, I must bring it up again and again.' This way of fighting
brings in every thing but the kitchen sink to be angry about.
Piggybacking spreads the argument so thin with so many accusations,
that the main thing you are fighting about does not get
Mind Thinking. 'Don't tell me anything 'I know best for
me' kind of thinking. Stubborn insistence on one's own opinion
without taking in information from others can be a set up
for rigidity in life.
or white Thinking. There is no middle ground or gray in
black or white thinking. Certain people are seen as either
totally bad or good. Situations are either/or. There is
no understanding of where the other person is coming from,
only staunch judgment. 'I'm right and you are wrong' always
leads to a 'lose-lose' situation.
with Right and Wrong and Perceived Injustice. Blaming others
is a way of life for some people. If you hear yourself continually
saying, 'It's not fair!' then you are focusing on the negative
instead of going into problem solving. Much of life really
isn't fair! So what? Keeping score of slights from others
and dwelling on them creates a climate of hurt and suspicion.
Having a list of 'shoulds' for the partner, which are inconsistent
with his or her personality, will undermine a relationship.
Focusing on unfairness keeps them caught in anger, resentment
and grudges. (Hey, life frequently is unfair, but focusing
on it only makes you more miserable!)
Holding is a habit that is hard to break into. People who
harbor grudges have deeper issues of mistrust. Grudge holding
is a learned behavior that is prevalent in some families.
Grudges fan the fire of anger as a way of trying to feel
safe by feeling powerful in fantasy. Grudge holding appears
to be a way to attempt to control negative situations by
retaining the angry feelings. Grudges are a habit of feeling
self righteous and distance one's self instead of dealing
with the real problem.
Thoughts are grudges plus wanting to get even with the other
person. Revengeful thoughts are basically selfish in nature
with the belief of 'I have the right to hurt him because
he injured me.' which is based on beliefs of 'It's not fair.'
Revenge is 'I can enjoy thoughts of hurting another person
in my mind to get back at him.' Revenge creates a pseudo
self esteem of feeling good about one's self by relishing
ideas of harming another person. Vengeful thoughts can actually
trigger endorphins in the brain which associate hurting
others with feeling good. Grudges fan the fire of anger
as a way of trying to feel safe by feeling powerful in fantasy.
Grudge holding and revenge are way of putting up walls to
guard the self against further hurt. Revenge is challenging
to break into because of their positive value of enjoyment
and feelings of entitlement (I have the right to hurt him
and feel good about it.) Acting in ways that make you successful
is the best revenge for any hurt that has been done to you..
Thinking. People who engage in this error take the problem
to the worst-case scenario then worry that it will happen.
This type of assumption looks for the worst-case scenario.
This is doomsday thinking where they person worrying about
the worst thing that could possibly happen. Doomsday thinking
causes you to live with the threat of impending disaster.
This type of thoughts escalates during times of fatigue
thinking. Taking things personally is a sure-fire set up
for unhappiness. Thin-skinned people usually have a big
pool of hurt inside. If your feels get hurt more than others,
get into therapy to find out why and what to do to toughen
up. Suffering in silence or saying 'You make me feel....'
is the most common error here. No one can make you feel
anything. Your feelings are entirely your own.
thinking. This way of viewing the world is to believe that
your way is right and is the only way. If others do no agree
with you, anger comes up. The belief is 'You must agree
with me and do things my way or I have the right (I'm entitled)
to get angry. Empathy is the ability to see things from
the perspective of another person and feel compassion. The
only person we can change is our self--to dwell on how others
do not meet our needs keeps you in anger or depression.
Emotional Reasoning. Fear beliefs and accompanying emotions
need to be checked out. Much fear is irrational having no
basis in danger. Feelings are important but it we interpret
all feelings are TRUTH then we are at the mercy of our fear
and anger thought. Example: 'If I feel you don't love me,
you don't love me. If I feel like a victim, I must be a
victim.' Get past your overly sensitive feelings of the
moment to see the bigger picture.
False Consensus Effect. They are in error when they assume
that others think the same way that they do. Gullible people
cannot understand how devious others can be, because they
do not have that negative framework in their brain. Angry
,manipulative people make up the worst about others in their
minds. They see others as bad while excusing the same traits
in themselves. People often see their own attitudes and
behavior as 'normal' and overestimate the best or the worst
zing One's Own Contribution to the Problem at hand. Some
people belittle the problem saying it is not important.
They deny personal understanding and remorse regarding their
actions. This way of thinking avoids personal responsibility
thus limiting emotional growth.
is a common defense mechanism where a person gets upset
with a trait in someone else that he wishes to deny in himself.
They suppress the knowledge that they have the same trait
and externalize blame on the other person. They are highly
sensitized to the unwanted behaviors in others and transfer
their horror and anger at their own unwanted inner trait
to an outside person. Much of their internal thought or
words during an argument is focused on blaming the other
person. We all have a bit of projection in us, but some
people have the need to blame others big time, thus obstructing
their own growth and learning.
who project blame often feel a hidden stigma and shame at
possessing a disgraceful personality trait so they 'project'
or transfer anger on others to distract themselves from
knowing the truth about their own self. They become so highly
sensitized to the presence of their unwanted traits that
it interferes with their social informational processing.
So they don't see reality as it is and then operate out
of their misperceptions. How do you know if you are projecting
your anger on others? Preoccupation, judgments and anger
about others' behavior are projection. If you spot it, you
form of projection is to transfer the arrows and slings
of life onto 'bad luck' or 'fate.' People who project often
have other defenses such as Overgeneralized Thinking, which
is the habit of making statements that emphasize that things
are always that way. Examples of this type of thinking are:
'He never considers my opinion. You always put me down.
She always tells me what to do. I have to do all the work.
I never get a break. Why can't you ever get it right? and
'I can't stand it. I can't take anymore.' Overgeneralization
language uses words like 'never, always, should and everybody
Putting the Blame on Others. For some people, the first
reaction to a problem is to find someone to blame. Blaming
is a defense mechanism to avoid taking personal responsibility
for the situation. The blamer rapidly finds fault in the
other person and criticizes them. Trying to find a solution
to the problem is much better than looking for someone to
blame. Blaming is a pattern in some families that keeps
people from becoming closer. People who blame others or
situations without taking responsibility for their contribution
to the problem never get the sense of satisfaction of growth.
By refusing to see their own errors, they lose the opportunity
to change the very aspects of themselves that keep them
to create more harmony and happiness in your life, catch
your errors of thinking and break into them. As the saying
by Kahil Gibran goes, 'If your heart is a volcano, how shall
you expect flowers to bloom?'
Are As Healthy As We Are Ready To Take Responsibility For
Our Own Thoughts And Behaviors!