Generalizing without Thinking Can Keep You From Healing

Generalizing

Generalizing

Generalizing without Thinking Can Keep You From Healing

I wonder if you’ve had an experience like mine where I was generalizing without thinking and it  kept me from healing.

 

I had been in a very bad car accident and didn’t realize that as a result I’d developed a fear of driving. I was driving in spite of it, but the discomfort of  the fear lead me to see a specialist.

I explained why I was seeing him and the actual accident, as he instructed me to do, and then he asked me what I was afraid of.

I told him that I felt like all other vehicles, cars and trucks were going to hit my car, particularly vehicles entering the highway from an on ramp.

He said: ‘Surely all the vehicles don’t mean to hit you. You mean all the vehicles in the world are out to hit you?’

Of course this was not what I meant. He made me think about the way I was describing my experiences and keeping myself in a frame of being afraid.

The lesson is that using absolute generalizations such as: always, never, all, everyone etc. are incorrect if there isn’t a truthful basis. We hold ourselves back by generalizing in this way.

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