1) Reflexively Discount Positives:
Treat as trifling the good things in your life that you or others do. “It’s their job to do it right.” or “It was nothing, anyone could’ve done it.”
2) Develop a Fondness for Catastrophizing:
Taking a little thing, a trend, a blip, and making disaster inevitable, unstoppable, preordained, inescapable; the consequences predestined and insufferably bad.
3) Embrace Negative Confirmation Bias:
Refusal to accept any evidence that disproves your fears aka donning blinders to the good in life, exact opposite of walking on the Sunny Side of the Street!
4) Adopt a Global Negative Word View:
“People are selfish. The world is out to get me. Everyone looks out for #1. I can’t get a break.”
5) Cultivate Cynical Mind Reading:
“Joe didn’t say hi. He must not like me.” “Jane didn’t compliment me on my report. She doesn’t think I’m competent.”
6) Become a Gloomy Fortune Teller:
“No way I’m going to get the promotion. What is the point of trying?” “I’m sure she will say no if I ask her out. I not in her league. Why humiliate myself?” (Notice some self-fulling prophecy at work here?)
7) Practice All or Nothing Thinking:
Life is full of grays including partial successes that can be built upon but they are out and out failures to pessimists: “I stuttered in the middle of my presentation; the boss will never put me before the board again.” “I mispronounced the French wine and on our first date too! She will never go out with me again.”
Thanks to Robert L. Leahy, Stephen J.F. Holland, and Lata K. McGinn’s Treatment Plans & Interventions for Depression & Anxiety Disorders (2012) for inspiration & guidance!
As always, I share what I most want/need to learn. – Nathan S. Collier