Monday, March 23, 2015

Awfulizing vs Minimizing

Every once in a while I put a subject of a post that I plan to write later.  This one has hung out in my drafts folder for a long time.  I think it needs light of writing to review why I felt it was important to share this.

Awfulizing - refers to an irrational and dramatic thought pattern, characterized by the tendency to overestimate the potential seriousness or negative consequences of events, situations, or perceived threats.
Chicken Little...."The sky is falling, the sky is falling it hit me on the head."

Minimizing -
: to make (something bad or not wanted) as small as possible
: to treat or describe (something) as smaller or less important than it is

Being pushed down the stairs is no big deal just a childish stunt.  Everybody gets hurt sometime.

Both patterns of thought damage authenticity. Exaggerating or dismissing truth leads to a lessening of ones own story in life.  I did both of these.  I would tell my counselor my boss was mad at me so I was about to loose my job and my world would totally fall apart.  No, I just pissed off my boss.  Not great but not the end of the world.  When I talked about what happened to me as a child I shrugged of going hungry night after night as no big deal.  Yet the damage it did to me emotional was much larger than I gave it credit.  My story needed to be acknowledged; not awfulizing and not minimizing.  My truth belonged to me and deserved respect from me.



mulderfan said...

My fave was Catastrophizing!
If the washer broke down it was the end of the world, proof that the everyone was out to get me and an excuse to drown my sorrow then black out.
These days, if the washer breaks down it's proof I need to call repair service. The washer gets fixed, end of story.

Ruth said...

Thanks mulderfan. I appreciate your addition.