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Behaviors That Contribute to Negative Self-Talk

We always talk to ourselves, either verbally or mentally, and that's normal. However, if your habit of talking to yourself is biased toward negativity, it's not healthy and will affect your well-being. If your self-talk is negative, you'll most likely experience more negativity in your life. If they're positive, you tend to be more optimistic. This increases your happiness and chances of succeeding in your endeavors.

Negative self-talk can lead to stress and disappointments. If you haven't been too positive lately, maybe you're unknowingly engaging in negative self-talk. You should become more aware of when that happens so that you can reframe your self-talk.

Here are some of the negative self-talk habits that you should avoid.

Irrational Thinking

This means you immediately jump to conclusions that what you are thinking is true, even without proper thought or consideration and confirmation. For instance, if an employee arrived late for work, your only thought might be that they woke up late.

So, you get angry without even knowing their reason for being late. You didn't know that they got stuck in heavy traffic due to a road accident. This way of thinking may get dangerous if you often react drastically or violently, or say things that you might regret later.


This type of negative self-talk is about mirroring yourself with prejudice based upon a mistake or a failed objective. For example, your group didn't meet the sales quota assigned to you. You may immediately blame yourself mentally and think you're a failure when in truth, there are factors beyond your control that have affected the group's sales performance. If you always personalize the outcome, you will often be disappointed with yourself and unhappy with what you do.


This is when your way of thinking blows out of proportion because you always anticipate the worst that might happen. Even if it's no big deal to others, you make a mountain out of a molehill. As a result, you always feel stressed because you torture yourself into thinking of bad things that may never be realized.

Good planning requires anticipating possible problems, but it is impossible to plan for every contingency. Remain balanced and keep your level of planning relative to the task. Don't let analysis paralysis stop you from getting started.

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Faulty Generalization

In this case, you have made a habit of thinking that something bad which happened to you once, or a single bad outcome will become a pattern of misfortune in your life. For example, this year started with a natural disaster, so you predict in your mind that the whole year will bring disasters.

Or you met with an accident on the first day of the week, and you simplistically conclude that there might be another accident in the following days, even though the first event was totally random. Because of that, you cancel important appointments. This kind of thinking brings fear and stress because you are anticipating a repeat of something bad that happened to you, based on a single event, or unrelated events.

Another example is when you make a conclusion without sufficient or unbiased evidence. You may meet someone who is argumentative or unlikeable, and attribute these traits to an aspect such as race or nationality. Then you conclude that all this person's compatriots are ill-mannered also.

Telepathic Thinking

It is a mental assumption that you know what other people are thinking, even without proof. You may often imagine that other people are thinking about you negatively. If you are a hot-headed person, this may lead to disharmony or argument because you have incorrectly assumed what another person is thinking.

Filtered Mentality

You may have many achievements, yet you are not satisfied because you unreasonably focus on the one unachieved goal in your mind. You can't be happy unless it's attained. Other achievements not as important to your attention are filtered out. This kind of mentality borders on being a perfectionist, so you rarely feel contented in life.

Winner-Take-All Attitude

This type is when your negative way of thinking is quite rigid or critical. It is either you win-or-lose, make-or-break, now-or-never, do-or-die, all-or-nothing, and no maybes. When you have a goal, you think that you will either completely succeed or completely fail. This mental attitude will make your life very stressful and full of disappointments if your expectations are not met.

Unlike your physical body that acquires hereditary traits that you cannot change, you have the power to control your mind and to stop thinking negatively. You must learn to practice healthy and positive self-talk, which will bring great things into your life.

Is your negative thinking difficult to control or troublesome? Learn to be more mindful to stop negativity as soon as it starts, and replace it with supportive phrasing. Examine what kind of negativity is deeply ingrained in your mind and do your best to resolve it. Any effort made in doing so will be repaid in helping you to maintain a healthy mind and body.

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