Several readers have written to me asking to share more about toxic thoughts and how they destroy love. As I share in my book, Why Can't You Read My MInd?, Toxic thoughts destroy love because they erode empathy--the emotional glue that holds relationsips together. Here are three toxic thoughts and examples of how to extinquish them.
Three toxic thoughts to watch out for:
#1 The All or Nothing Trap: You see your partner as either negatively always or never doing things. For example, thinking, "My husband ONLY cares about himself.", is an all or nothing thought." A more fair alternative thought may be, "Even though my husband can be self-absorbed at times, it helps to remind myself of all the positive things he does for me and the kids."
#2 Catastrophic Conclusions: One partner exaggerates negative actions and events concerning the other partner. So, going to the place of, "My wife bounced this check and we are now gonna be destined to live on the street", is likely a strong overreaction. A better alternative thought may be, "She really can be quite reasonable. It will benefit both of us if I talk to her in a calm, supportive way about restructuring how we pay bills."
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