Lunchtime In Rome Podcast
Lunchtime in Rome
Destructive Patterns: Generalization | Episode 242

Destructive Patterns: Generalization | Episode 242

Show Notes

Welcome everyone and pull up a seat at the table. It’s Lunchtime in Rome. Tonight’s episode 242 is entitled “Destructive Patterns - Generalization”.  Are you in a relationship with Eeyore?  Do you hear things like “This always happens to me?”  If so, they may have fallen into the destructive pattern of generalization. We’re talking about that tonight!  

Pull up a seat at the table and join us!


  1. Simple Descriptions - Past events become predictors of the future

  2. Description

    1. Believes that past events will always predict the future, generalizing from past to future.

    2. Whatever has happened before will unavoidably happen again.

    3. Nothing will, or even can, change including the person.

    4. They carry around loads of anxiety, doubt, and fear.

    5. They hold onto past hurts, failures, and rejections and see them as evidence for their gloomy attitude toward the future;

    6. Often lacks initiative and is usually pessimistic.

  3. Background

    1. Often “trained” in this thinking pattern in home environment as it was modeled by one or both parents. 

    2. May have been given the label needy, pest, clumsy, simple, etc.

  4. Truth

    1. Just because something has happened in the past does not mean it will happen again, in the same way, in the future

    2. Like Personalization, what happens to us may very well have nothing to do with us

    3. Biblical truth would include

      1. Jer 29: 11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

      2. John 10: 10 I have come that you may have life and life to the fullest.

  5. Effect Upon a Relationship - the generalizer  very often feels like an anchor.  The relationship can easily become codependent.  It could also become rife with conflict as the non-generalizer’s needs are not being met and the generalizer will clearly take the blame.

  6. Overcoming Generalizing

    1. Begin by taking notice of incidents when generalizing has taken place. It may even be helpful to write them down. 

    2. Try to keep note of how often this happens more than when it happens

    3. List the number of other possible reasons why the event took place other than your involvement/the pattern

    4. Replace the negative statement with one that gives you control over the situation

    5. Example: 

      1. Example 1: you eat something not allowed on a new diet.

Your reaction: “I’ll never lose weight.”

Consequences of the reaction: you stop trying, become self condemning, may eat even more unhealthily.

Renewed response: Replace “I’ll never lose weight,” with: “I am in control of my eating and I choose whether to eat or not.” With more truthful thinking the response to one day of failure on a new diet will

be, “I’ll begin again now.”

  1. Example 2: you don’t get a promotion

Your reaction: I always get looked over

Consequence of the reaction: you sink further behind at work, you resent your

boss and become a (more) bitter person to work with

Renewed response: I could have worked harder.  I could have gotten out of my 

head more often.  I may have just not been the best person for the promotion

but  I’ll do everything I can to get it next time.