Beware the Dreaded Mental Filter

For a clear example, click the video link here.

How can we be aware of mental filters in relationships?

1. If you’re in the beginning of relationship (e.g. romantic, platonic, workplace), get to know your partner’s personality type. Be honest about each other’s strengths/weaknesses. Discuss how your strengths/weaknesses have affected your past relationships.

2. Don’t be afraid to talk about weaknesses. Every one has weaknesses. By discussing your weaknesses, you can create solutions. Also, discussing weaknesses will strengthen your relationship, because once your partner is aware and understands your weaknesses he/she can agree to help you by being a part of the solution. And you can agree to help him/her…this is called partnership. Don’t fear the change of self-improvement; instead embrace self-improvement as self-empowerment.

3. Be realistic. Pedestals set partners up for failure. Don’t put your partner on a pedestal. Expect your partner — at multiple points in time — to fail in words, behavior, or action. Be supportive and understanding when your partner fails, because mistakes and failure happen. Caveat: Abusive, intentional disrespect is non-negotiable.

How can we be aware of mental filters concerning self-scrutiny?

Example: If you view yourself and your life and say something like “My life sucks” or “I suck”, then set out to prove yourself wrong by investigating your life. Be your own lawyer in your own court. Examine your life for examples of how your life does not suck and why you do not suck. Make a list of what “actually sucks” (e.g. dissatisfying career, unhappy marriage, insufficient funds) and what “does not suck” (e.g. good health, loving children, cute puppy, loyal friends, vacation time, transportation, nice wardrobe). Once you’ve identified the problem areas you can decide what you want to do to change your life to eliminate the problem areas.

In all situations, be fair and be realistic. Ask yourself questions and investigate to understand how your mental filter is affecting your ability to see reality.

What are some questions you can ask to determine whether or not you are being fair and realistic about another person, yourself, or a situation?

Published by analyticalperspective

Heather Blackwell is a CBT-certified mental health coach and Psychology subject matter expert (SME), dedicated to bringing Psychology insights to the self-help community. She studied two masters degrees in the areas of Forensic Psychology and MFT, and has 15+ years’ experience in behavioral analysis under her skill belt. Her discussion topics include, but are not inclusive to, dating experiences, interpersonal relationships, maladaptive behavioral development, self-identity development, self-help, holistic mind-body health, and nutrition as it applies to mental wellness.

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