Assignment 9: Internal Relationship (due Week 18)

Our emotional well-being is directly connected to the relationships we have with others. The way we handle our outside relationships are often a reflection of the how we think internally. There are a variety of different kind of thought patterns and some are more helpful for us than others.

Positive Thinking 

This thinking pattern builds you up and encourages you. If things are going good in your life, having a positive outlook is easy. But when things start to go wrong in your life, sometimes being positive is hard because you get bogged down with all the bad things going on in your life. However, you don't need to let the negativity control you. Try to turn it into a growth opportunity by putting on a positive spin. The key to this is to be positive, but not so ridiculously positive that it's unreal. You need to be realistic for the positive thinking to actually help you.

  • Challenging Situation: You fail your first big math test of the year.
    • Negative Thinking: "I failed this test, so I'm going to fail Math this year." (Just because you failed one test doesn't mean you're going to fail the whole entire year. You are letting one bad situation control your life.)
    • Positive Thinking: "I might have failed this test, but there are lots of tests this year. If I start studying and getting help in Math, I'll be able to improve. This one test won't make such a huge difference in the long run." (This recognizes that a bad thing happened to you and spins it into a situation that will help you grow and improve.)
    • Too Positive (not helpful): "I failed the test, but if I study harder next time I'll get 100%." (This is positive, but not helpful because setting your goal too high will just set you up to get disappointed.)

Overgeneralization

This type of thinking tears you down and discourages you. If you overgeneralize, you take one specific situation and you apply it to your entire life. This type of thinking tends to focus on your weaknesses and makes them seem bigger than they really are. We all have strengths in some areas and weaknesses in others. A balanced person will recognize that and is able to see the true reflection rather than just looking at the weaknesses and getting obsessed with them.

  • Challenging Situation: You fail your first big math test of the year.
  • Overgeneralized: "I hate Math. I'll never be any good at it no matter how hard I try. I'm a terrible student." (Failing one test in one subject doesn't mean you're a bad student. It just means that maybe Math is something you need to work a little harder on. Maybe you're really good at writing stories or art, and that actually makes you a good student that has one little academic weakness.)

All or Nothing Thinking

This type of thinking starts out with a specific goal, but that goal is inflexible. If you don't achieve exactly what you want then you see the whole situation as a big failure. Then you just give up because "what's the point of even trying anymore." Sometimes success isn't about completely achieving the goals that you set for yourself. Sometimes success is just putting yourself on the right track towards achieving your goals eventually and just being happy with what you've already done. Life rarely works out exactly the way you want or plan or dream it to, so being flexible allows you to find happiness in yourself and other people even if it doesn't work out according to plan.

  • Challenging Situation: You fail your first big math test of th eyear.
  • All or Nothing: "My goal this year was to get 75% on every math test this year. I failed this one, so what's the point of trying anymore." (This shows all or nothing thinking because you set a goal and didn't achieve it, so now you just give up. Maybe if you don't give up you will be able to achieve your goal, even though this temporary setback has slowed you down.)

Your Task

Copy the questions below and paste them into the Assignment Submission box. Answer them completely and honestly. If you would like to use Google docs, just copy and paste your document link (don't forget to make sure you have shared the document so that I have permission to open the document).

1. What type of thinking pattern is most common for you? Are you satisfied with how you think about yourself?

2. Rewrite the following statements so they reflect positive thinking:

  • I am such a loser
  • I am ugly. No one will ever like me.
  • I’m stupid, so it's no wonder why I failed.

3. Give positive constructive solutions on how to make the four different situations better now or next time it happens.

  • You said something that hurt your friend's feelings.
  • You are having a bad day because you're more tired than usual.
  • In your favourite activity, you perform lower than you know you can.

4. In well-thought out, reflective sentences complete the following statements:

  • I control my own thoughts by...
  • To think positive, I say to myself...
  • Positive thinking helps me...
  • Negative thinking gets in the way of...
  • To overcome negative thinking...