All or nothing thinking

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Anonymous #1
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I struggle with something called 'all or nothing thinking.' I only just found it what it was called after searching it up. It's pretty self-explanatory, but basically it just means that the vast majority of things that I say and think are at one extreme or the other (usually in a negative way). For example I use a lot of superlatives when I speak, even when they're not applicable or appropriate. I probably come across as way too 'full on' to other people when I'm feeling confident. In terms of thinking, basically all of my thoughts are too extreme. Everything is either perfect or terrible, I take things too seriously, most of my opinions are far too strong, if I'm not really good at something then I'm a total failure, etc.

Does anyone else suffer from this? I feel like it is hardwired into my personality as I have always been like this, getting worse throughout my life (I'm 22), so it's not possible to just shake it off as I'd have to become a completely different person. I don't know what to do about it. It makes my life a lot worse than it needs to be and I'm not sure why I think like this in the first place. I suspect it's some sort of 'identity' thing, like I compulsively need to somehow be special/stand out lest I feel like I'm a nobody and have no value as a person.
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FrazzleFace
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(Original post by Anonymous)
I struggle with something called 'all or nothing thinking.' I only just found it what it was called after searching it up. It's pretty self-explanatory, but basically it just means that the vast majority of things that I say and think are at one extreme or the other (usually in a negative way). For example I use a lot of superlatives when I speak, even when they're not applicable or appropriate. I probably come across as way too 'full on' to other people when I'm feeling confident. In terms of thinking, basically all of my thoughts are too extreme. Everything is either perfect or terrible, I take things too seriously, most of my opinions are far too strong, if I'm not really good at something then I'm a total failure, etc.

Does anyone else suffer from this? I feel like it is hardwired into my personality as I have always been like this, getting worse throughout my life (I'm 22), so it's not possible to just shake it off as I'd have to become a completely different person. I don't know what to do about it. It makes my life a lot worse than it needs to be and I'm not sure why I think like this in the first place. I suspect it's some sort of 'identity' thing, like I compulsively need to somehow be special/stand out lest I feel like I'm a nobody and have no value as a person.
I've had periods with this too, and for me it was linked to unrealistic expectations and demands that I was placing on myself. I did some research and found that I had to change my dialogue with myself. Instead of insisting that things MUST be a certain way, I tell myself that I'd LIKE it very much if something turned out well, but if it doesn't then it's ok. Removing the insistence that it 'must' be a certain way alleviates worry and perhaps in your case the extreme all or nothingness e.g. feeling like a failure if you're not good at something. It isn't realistic to insist that I must succeed at everything I do. This insistence causes emotional fallout and worry when I inevitably fail at some things, because I've raised the expectation so high. So I stopped demanding unachievable perfection and 'MUSTness', introduced realistic expectations - and I'm a lot happier these days.
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jco19
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(Original post by Anonymous)
I struggle with something called 'all or nothing thinking.' I only just found it what it was called after searching it up. It's pretty self-explanatory, but basically it just means that the vast majority of things that I say and think are at one extreme or the other (usually in a negative way). For example I use a lot of superlatives when I speak, even when they're not applicable or appropriate. I probably come across as way too 'full on' to other people when I'm feeling confident. In terms of thinking, basically all of my thoughts are too extreme. Everything is either perfect or terrible, I take things too seriously, most of my opinions are far too strong, if I'm not really good at something then I'm a total failure, etc.

Does anyone else suffer from this? I feel like it is hardwired into my personality as I have always been like this, getting worse throughout my life (I'm 22), so it's not possible to just shake it off as I'd have to become a completely different person. I don't know what to do about it. It makes my life a lot worse than it needs to be and I'm not sure why I think like this in the first place. I suspect it's some sort of 'identity' thing, like I compulsively need to somehow be special/stand out lest I feel like I'm a nobody and have no value as a person.
Have you considered mindfulness? I find that it's very helpful. Give it a try. Headspace is a great app to use.
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