One thing that stood out, which I want to make a note about, is the ‘Three Column Technique’. Paras mentions it in his post ‘Writing is defragging brain’ as a way to reason about emotions. You can find detailed descriptions of the technique here and here.
In summary, the technique helps people acknowledge a negative thought, identify the type of cognitive error and come up with a constructive (and rational) alternative thought. Despite being simple, this framework addresses many of the emotional distress situations I’ve dealt with, both in my personal and my work life.
Some of the cognitive distorstions listed are:
- All-or-nothing thinking
- Mental filter
- Magnification or Minimization
- “Should” statements
- Fortune telling
- Discounting the positive
- Fallacy of fairness
- Jumping to conclusions
- Mind reading
The trick is, every time you, your friend or your coworker expresses emotional discontent, try to identify if your/their thoughts have fallen prey to any of the above fallacies.
Thanks for reading!