It is so easy to get into the habit of over-generalising in our communication with others. When I do it, I realise that I am trying to build a case for my complaint. The other one is “you never”. I can also catch my mind saying things like “I was never good at maths”…even though in my last year at school I was second highest in the class.
I am more aware of my words these days. In my first marriage I made these communication blunders “all the time”…well maybe it was just some of the time. I used to say things like, “you never make me a cup of coffee”. Now I am more inclined to be very, very grateful when my partner makes the coffee and I let him know that he makes a great brew.
Another example of is “I always eat too much when I go out”. Perhaps I do sometimes but not all the time.
Then there is the self-conscious one (or a bit paranoid) where I believe I have blown my chances with a friend or employer, just because they didn’t respond with great enthusiasm. I need to remind myself that people have other things on their mind and I am not the centre of their universe.
I need to remind myself that one incident in the past doesn’t decide my future. I can then start afresh each time I communicate and not carry these negative ideas in my head.
Can you think of situations when you overgeneralise? I would love to hear about your experiences!