Robert F. Mullen
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The distinction between social anxiety disorder and social anxiety is a matter of severity; reference to one includes the other. The recovery tools and techniques provided are applicable to most emotional malfunctions including depression, substance abuse, ADHD, PTSD, generalized anxiety, and issues of self-esteem and motivation. These malfunctions originate homogeneously, their trajectories differentiated by environment, experience, and the diversity of human thought and behavior.
“Dr. Mullen is doing impressive work helping the world. He is the
pioneer of proactive neuroplasticity utilizing DRNI—deliberate,
repetitive, neural information.” — WeVoice (Madrid, Málaga)
Cognitive Distortion #7
Jumping to Conclusions
Jumping to conclusions is making assumptions about something or someone without factual substantiation. There are basically two forms of this cognitive distortion: Mind-reading is when we assume to know what another person is feeling or why they act the way they do. Fortune-telling is predicting an outcome without considering the evidence or reasonable alternatives.
Automatic Negative Thoughts
Those of us experiencing social anxiety often jump to conclusions with our automatic negative thoughts (ANTs) because the evidence we rely on is our fears/anxieties. ANTs are the unpleasant, self-defeating things we tell ourselves that perceptually define who we are, who we think we are, and who we think others think we are. Due to our SAD-induced negative self-appraisal, we can be reasonably sure our assumptions are self-defeating and predict adverse outcomes.
Space is Limited
We often base our presumptions on prior experience, however, those experiences may be perceptual rather than factual, and assuming they will reoccur in a similar situation, while possible, is an unreasonable expectation.
Many of our other cognitive distortions are formed by jumping to conclusions. When we overgeneralize, we draw a broad conclusion or make a statement about something or someone that is not backed up by the bulk of evidence. When we label someone based of a single characteristic or prejudice, we jump to conclusions. Likewise, when we personalize or take responsibility for something that has nothing to do with us.
SAD persons fear situations in which we believe we will be negatively appraised. We worry we will embarrass or humiliate ourselves. We anticipate criticism, ridicule, and rejection. This fatalist thinking causes us to react defensively or to avoid the situation entirely. It supports our SAD-induced feelings of hopelessness and undesirability. Often, we predict a bad outcome to a situation to protect ourselves if it happens. It helps us avoid disappointment. Expecting a negative experience is jumping to conclusions.
If our significant other is in a bad mood, we assume we did something wrong. If our manager slams the door to the office, we imagine it’s because we were talking on the phone. If a stranger passes us on the sidewalk, it is because we are unappealing.
When we jump to conclusions, we create self-fulfilling prophecies. We avoid interacting with others because we have already predicted a negative outcome. We avoid intimacy and relationships because we predict rejection and failure. We suspect recovery because we know it will come to naught. We expect the worst possible consequences of a situation because we jump to the conclusion things will not end well. These preconceived conclusions are emotionally stunting and exclude us from new possibilities.
There are simple and obvious steps we can take to ways to challenge this distortion. Initially, we become mindful when we engage in this form of thinking. We check the facts to be sure there is evidence to support our conclusions. We analyze why we jump to conclusions rather than consider other possibilities. Cognitive distortions are exaggerated or irrational thought patterns that reinforce or justify our toxic thoughts and behaviors. What are rational explanations for our jumping to conclusions? We take steps to reframe our negative perspective.
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WHY IS YOUR SUPPORT SO IMPORTANT? ReChanneling develops and implements programs to (1) moderate symptoms of emotional malfunction and (2) pursue personal goals and objectives – harnessing our intrinsic aptitude for extraordinary living. Our paradigmatic approach targets the personality through empathy, collaboration, and program integration utilizing scientific and clinically practical methods including proactive neuroplasticity, cognitive-behavioral modification, positive psychology, and techniques designed to regenerate self-esteem. All donations support scholarships for groups, workshops, and practicums.