Adult Children and codependents often engage in self-defeating,
negative thought patterns called “stinking thinking”.
* These patterns result in dysfunctional relationships with self and others.
These are some traits of stinking thinking:
1. Black and White Thinking:
This self-defeating thinking comes from an absolute black and white; right/wrong;
always and never, perspective, for example:
I will always be alone.
I never get a break.
A single negative thing gets turned into a sweeping generality.
2. Negative Focus:
Here, the focus tends to be on the half of the glass that is empty. This leads us to
lament, rather than be grateful, for what we have.
Even if the glass is 7/8ths full many people's distorted perspective will find some-
thing negative to focus on.
At the other extreme, however, are those people who focus only on the good, as a
way of denying their negative feelings.
3. Magical Thinking:
This is characterized by mind reading, fortune telling, and assuming. We convince
ourselves that we can read other peoples minds and feelings, or foretell the future,
and then we act as if what we assume is reality.
In this way, we often create self-fulfilling prophecies.
Dawn Cove Abbey
Deerfield (Yarmouth County) Nova Scotia - Rev: 2010 & 2020
|People who really want to heal, will find a way;
those who don't, will find an excuse.
Blowing things out of proportion, playing the king or queen of tragedy.
Many people are addicted to Trauma Dramas and want the excitement and intensity of
dramatic scenes, while others are terrified of conflict.
In codependent relationships, one partner is often over-indulgent and dramatic, and
emotionally coupled with someone who strives to avoid conflict, connection and
emotion at all costs.
Inability to receive, or to admit to our own positive qualities or accomplishments.
When we receive a compliment we minimize it (Oh it was nothing), make a joke out
of it, or just ignore it altogether by changing the subject or turning the compliment
back on the other person.
We fail to hear the praise that we deserve.
6. Emotional Reasoning:
Reasoning from feelings. I feel like a failure therefore I am a failure. Believing
that what we feel is who what we are, we do not separate our inner child’s feelings
about what happened a long time ago from our current adult feelings.
We write our past onto our present.
Should, must, ought to, and have to, come from a parent or authority figure.
In this situation, “Should” means “I don’t want to, but they are making me.”
Adults don’t need to have shoulds -- adults have choices.
We self-label when we identify with our shortcomings and mistakes, with our human
imperfections, and when we label ourselves with names like stupid, loser, jerk, or fool,
instead of accepting our humanity and learning from our mistakes and shortcomings.
9. Personalizing and Blame:
We blame ourselves for things we weren’t entirely responsible for, or for the way
someone else feels. Conversely, we may blame other people, external events, or
fate, while overlooking how our own attitudes and behavior may have contributed
to a problem.
As children, we learned to blame others to keep ourselves from feeling the shame
of being blamed.
As adults, we swing between blaming and self-blame--neither one is the Truth.
The answers lie in the gray area, in 2 through 9, not in the extremes.
~Unknown (adapted –with thanks to Gina R. Ottoboni) 2008
|We all need a daily check up from the neck up to avoid stinkin' thinkin'
which ultimately leads to hardening of the attitudes.
|Stinking Thinking: dysfunctional
|Klaas Tuinman M.A.
Life Self-Empowerment Facilitation
at Dawn Cove Abbey
Comments and Questions are welcomed