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Personalization (or self-absorption) is the tendency to consider negative events or irrelevant events as having something (negative) to do with you.


Alice caught an angry look from the supermarket's cashier, and started believing the thought that she did something wrong. Actually, the cashier was having a bad day and was angry at everyone.


This thinking error occurs when a person thinks that he or she is somehow related to some negative or irrelevant events or bears responsibility for them, when this is actually not the case.

Through the error of Personalization, a lot of negative thought patterns can develop. It’s like an entry point for a negative storyline.

With the Personalization thinking bug, a person can associate some irrelevant outer event with something personal, and then build other concepts based on the initial misconception.

The outer event doesn’t even have to be negative. It can be first personalized and then to make it negative other thinking errors can be added on top.

Psychologists suggest that the thinking error of Personalization develops in early childhood. A child thinks that he is the center of the world, and if things happen, e.g. the mother is sad or happy, the child thinks that it is he or she who is responsible for the monther's mood.

On the flip side, Personalization can also be an unrealistically positive distortion. When it's positive, it creates a pompous character that selectively attaches events to his or her personality and interprets everything in an irrationally positive way.

How to fix it

You can fix your thinking bugs with the help of the CBT app - a digital version of the classical Cognitive Behavioral Therapy practice.

Record your thought in the CBT app. Then identify the Personalization bug. Finally, challenge the distorted thought and rewrite it in a rational way.