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The risk of negative broad interpretation

Posted July. 25, 2022 07:51,   

Updated July. 25, 2022 07:51


Some time ago, a team leader hesitated for a while during his interview before leaving the job and said, “Why did you hate me?” When I asked why the team leader thought so, he mentioned a few of his memories. According to the team leader, Three years ago, I did not greet him back when he said hi to me. In a team leaders’ reporting session, he said I only left him out by saying, “I don’t have time.” Assuming from such series of incidents, the team leader interpreted that I hated him, and he ultimately made up his mind to leave the job. However, it is a pity that I have absolutely no memory of such events.

The Greek philosopher Epictetus left an insight that it is not what happens to us but how we react to it that matters. In other words, the reason we feel pain when a loved one dies or leaves, is not the death or parting itself but our attitude toward it such as “I am now alone,” or “It’s my fault” of interpretation.

In multiple cases, the counterpart had no intention, but you get frustrated thinking, “There are no affections,” “He/she hates me.” You fail only once but get deeply frustrated blaming oneself, “I am a loser.” In the end, what frustrates oneself it not someone else, or an incident but often times one’s own interpretation.

It is natural that human beings add meanings to a certain matter and interpret it. However, if such process goes to an extreme, they are heading towards pain itself. What would you have to do to avoid such trap of thoughts? Cognitive psychologists advise us to separate events and interpretations and accept each event as it is. In other words, we need to avoid the negative broad interpretation of an event already happened. What will be your choice?