One thing that stood out, which I want to make a note about, is the ‘Three Column Technique’. Paras mentions it in his post ‘Writing is defragging brain’ as a way to reason about emotions. You can find detailed descriptions of the technique here and here.
In summary, the technique helps people acknowledge a negative thought, identify the type of cognitive error and come up with a constructive (and rational) alternative thought.
Some of the cognitive distortions listed are:
- All-or-nothing thinking
- Mental filter
- Magnification or Minimization
- “Should” statements
- Fortune telling
- Discounting the positive
- Fallacy of fairness
- Jumping to conclusions
- Mind reading
The trick is, every time you, your friend or your coworker expresses emotional discontent, try to identify if your/their thoughts have fallen prey to any of the above fallacies.
That said, like with any psychology framework, take this with a grain of salt. People and social systems are very complicated; we understand more than we can articulate. Emotional reasoning might look wrong on the surface, but our uninelligible gut feeling can, very frequently, help us make the right decision.