People often build up one thing about themselves or their circumstances and end up thinking that it represents the whole situation or happens all the time, or is part of a never-ending pattern. For example:

‘Everything’s going wrong.’
‘Nothing I do ever turns out right.’
‘I’ll always be a failure.’
‘There’s no hope.’

There are various ways in which we can jump to a conclusion without enough evidence. One of these is mind-reading — making guesses about what other people are thinking:

‘She ignored me on purpose.’
‘You don’t really love me.’
‘They think I’m boring.’
‘You’re only saying that because . . . ‘

Another way of jumping to a conclusion is to treat beliefs about the future as though they were realities rather than just predictions:

‘I’ll be depressed for ever.’
‘I’ll never get another job.’
‘Things can only get worse.’
Emotional reasoning

Yet another way to leap to a conclusion is to tell yourself that because you feel a certain way, this is how it really is:

‘I feel like a failure, so I must be one.’
‘If I’m angry, you must have done something to make me so.’
‘I wouldn’t be worrying if there wasn’t something to worry about.’
‘Because I feel unattractive, I must be.’
Emotional reasoning can, for example, keep you thinking anger is ‘justified’, sustain a vicious circle of self-downing, or make worrying feed on itself.


You can also jump to a conclusion by thinking that something is directly connected with you:

‘Everyone is looking at me.’
‘That criticism was meant for me.’
‘It must have been me that made her feel bad.’
‘He didn’t return my greeting. What did I do?’
Personalising can make you feel self-conscious, guilty, or responsible for events you may not have caused — including other people’s problems and emotions.