Hi everyone, I hope you have something that you are looking forward to this weekend. (I have my birthday coming up and I'm looking forward to eating cake and cheese..)
I wanted to share something I learned about yesterday:
The Brushfire Fallacy is "a belief that is common among people who are shy as well as those with performance anxiety or public speaking anxiety. It is the idea that disapproval will spread like a brush fire."
It might take the form of thoughts like these:
- "If I annoy the person at the check out at Sainsbury's, everyone else will think I'm selfish and annoying and rude"
- "If the person opposite me on the train sees how anxious I am, everyone else would judge me and think badly of me as well"
- "If the person sitting next to me thinks I'm stupid, the word will spread and everyone in the office will think the same thing"
Please don't be hard on yourself if you recognise that you sometimes do this.
Now you are aware of it and have a name for it, which will be helpful for gaining a bit more distance from the thought next time it comes up.
Once we recognise that our thought patterns may be fuelling our feeling of anxiety, we are more likely to be able to take a step back from them. We can gently question whether we truly believe that this will happen, or whether it is something we fear, but can't be sure will happen.
Do you sometimes tend to think that if one person disapproves of you, their disapproval will spread like a brushfire?
If you feel comfortable, it might be helpful for others if you wanted to share any examples of this from your own life. No pressure of course.
Sending lots of appreciation for all of you who are here and reading this :)
Lots of love,