“Trigger warnings might also communicate to people that they’re fragile, and coax them [to] interpret ordinary emotional responses as extraordinary signals of danger.”
The New Lexicon of “Offence” and Para-Morality
In the West, we are already suffering from information overload and a loss of quality communication. It seems people are more afraid of exchanging pleasantries with a stranger than ever before thanks to an overemphasis on negative news in the media as well as the addiction to our smart phones. If you simply want to say “hi” to an attractive man or woman; to chat with someone you don’t know over the deli counter, the gas station or in the street while waiting for a bus… there will increasingly be this niggling thought of saying the wrong thing and offending someone through a cultural programming that is changing our language as well as restricting it. We have a very real collective fear of saying the wrong thing that is causing a conformity to a flawed consensus that doesn’t exist, except in the minds of those who get paid to push this agenda. The Orwellian Offence Police are active in entertainment, universities, the work place and in government, with numerous examples of the most insane persecution imaginable.
The following phrases are in most left-liberal academic and social justice warrior’s lexicon wrapped up in the desire to virtue signal – that now overused phrase from the right – used to dismiss the logic of free speech advocates and ordinary people in their daily lives.
Trigger Warnings – According to the Oxford English Dictionary a trigger warning is: “A statement at the start of a piece of writing, video, etc. alerting the reader or viewer to the fact that it contains potentially distressing material (often used to introduce a description of such content)”. This is a very convenient way for the Establishment to make sure that its population self-censors. Trigger warnings were originally developed by psychologists for war veterans, victims of sexual abuse or common trauma as a means to flag content which might stimulate a re-run of painful memories. Unfortunately, this has now been extended to the university campuses and the arts & entertainment industry (which is perhaps less of an issue given the state of graphic sex and violence on TV) and is now used to provide protection from words and opinions this precious generation doesn’t like; any discomfort at all in fact, a far cry from the preventative measures designed for genuine victims of war, violence and/or sexual abuse.
This postmodern paranoia has infiltrated minorities and student life with a vengeance. Sex, race and politics are all foci for trigger warnings causing protests, demonstrations, self-important letters with lists of demands for faculty members and even their removal due to perceived bias, sexism, racism or the violation of their hallowed safe spaces. 
Trigger warnings have been imposed in many university curricula due to students’ demands. The control of university policy – whether it is ethnic minority students feeling victimised or screaming young feminists demanding attention – any kind of encroachment of reality and therefore distress has led to warnings on such books as Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe, Mrs Dalloway by Virginia Woolf, The Great Gatsby by F Scott Fitzgerald, and The Merchant of Venice. Yes, now Shakespeare is deemed threatening, a trend that is also taking place in Britain, with Cambridge University picking up the PC gaunlet. 
To pander to this inner health and safety zone one student offered his university faculty tips on how to proceed: “For instance, one trigger warning for “The Great Gatsby” might be: (TW: “suicide,” “domestic abuse” and “graphic violence.”) […] Thanks to the vague tags within the warning, readers and unaffected students alike can approach a narrative without the plot being spoiled. Yet, at the same time, students who are unfamiliar with these works can immediately learn whether courses will discuss traumatic content. […] Professors can also dissect a narrative’s passage, warning their students which sections or volumes of a book possess triggering material and which are safer to read. This allows students to tackle passages that are not triggering but return to triggering passages when they are fully comfortable.” 
Learning isn’t always meant to be a happy-clappy experience. Education, should push the boundaries and make the inflexible nature of our personalities more elastic and therefore more aware of our frailties and our strengths. This Millennial would rather be protected and coddled from words – in a book. He assumes that everything is a potential trigger and if that is so, then university should apply liberal amounts of cotton wool to every available avenue lest such fragile minds experience distress and discomfort, something perhaps they need to experience in order to grow. If you can’t do this without warnings in a book, how on earth are you to do it in the workplace and when confronted with the unpredictability of life in general? That is not the role of educators or education, nor is it the way to face one’s fears.
The more such protection is afforded the worse the need becomes. Yet, this brow-beating of higher education by such nonsense is becoming institutionalised where books, discussions and a climate of hyper-reactivity is the norm. Self-censorship is the result; fear of offending your neighbour is destroying fee speech and the very process of learning. A false adherence to being “offended” comes from an “emotional reasoning” and the objective of “well-being” at the cost of critical thinking. This is often painful as it re-orders are cherished beliefs about the world, which is exactly what university should be about. This is encapsulated with the internet phrase to describe SJW entitlement as: “Your rights end where my feelings begin!”
Constitutional lawyer Greg Lukianoff and social psychologist Jonathan Haidt wrote about the emergence of a “vindictive protectiveness” in their 2015 article “The Coddling of the American Mind” in The Atlantic – a highly recommended read. They describe what effect trigger warnings, microaggressions and excessive magnification (exaggerating the importance of things) is having on the American student mind, showing how poorly it prepares them for professional life and diverse differences of opinion. Even worse, this pandering to entitlement from students actually encourages an inability to cope with the world as it is, based on a number of cognitive distortions * leading to depression and anxiety.
In summary, by restricting free speech and coddling this privilleged class of university students, they will become places where students are taught to think pathologically. And this is exactly what appears to be occurring:
“The expansive use of trigger warnings may also foster unhealthy mental habits in the vastly larger group of students who do not suffer from PTSD or other anxiety disorders. People acquire their fears not just from their own past experiences, but from social learning as well. If everyone around you acts as though something is dangerous—elevators, certain neighborhoods, novels depicting racism—then you are at risk of acquiring that fear too. The psychiatrist Sarah Roff pointed this out last year in an online article for The Chronicle of Higher Education. ‘One of my biggest concerns about trigger warnings,’ Roff wrote, ‘is that they will apply not just to those who have experienced trauma, but to all students, creating an atmosphere in which they are encouraged to believe that there is something dangerous or damaging about discussing difficult aspects of our history.’ ” 
There also no evidence whatsoever that trigger warnings, in this context are helpful. According to a review article published for teachers by Guy Boysen in Scholarship of Teaching and Learning in Psychology  there are a lot of assumptions surrounding the effectiveness of trigger warnings and its avoidance of PTSD as Lukianoff and Haidt illustrate. The American Psychological Association summarised Boysen’s findings:
Relatively few students who experience trauma have the PTSD-based intrusion symptoms that trigger warnings are intended to help.
Even if there are students with PTSD in class, offering general warnings about sensitive topics may be ineffective due to the unpredictable nature of triggers. Not only do many people with PTSD experience distress without knowing what triggered it, but triggers often relate to experiences occurring immediately prior to the trauma, not the trauma itself.
A final problematic assumption is that avoiding trauma reminders is healthy. The opposite is true. Avoidance behaviors make PTSD worse, and effective treatments include safe exposure to thoughts and feelings related to the trauma. 
An individual with a proven diagnosis of PTSD can be offered special care which can include trigger warnings, just as they were designed be used. But to suggest this becomes institutionalised with generic classroom warnings for all, offers no benefit at all and actually causes harm to students and society as a whole. When the University of Glasgow in the UK recently embraced trigger warnings for its theology course “over fears students may be distressed when studying the crucifixion of Jesus” then you know this has reached a form of institutionalised insanity that can only instill more division and more pathology. 
“Anybody can become angry – that is easy, but to be angry with the right person and to the right degree and at the right time and for the right purpose, and in the right way – that is not within everybody’s power and is not easy.”
Microaggressions – as defined by Merriam-Webster Dictionary is: “a comment or action that subtly and often unconsciously or unintentionally expresses a prejudiced attitude toward a member of a marginalized group (such as a racial minority)”. Originating in the 1970s, this reflex has now expanded from a racist affront or discriminatory remark to anything that doesn’t align with one’s victimhood status, which is fully entangled into the knot of one’s identity.
If you step outside of the university “contract” of trigger warnings between student and professor then it seems some members of faculty will be accused by their students of violations against their emotional vulnerability. It is then that a micro-aggression has been committed. Or as Lukianoff and Haidt describe: “The recent collegiate trend of uncovering allegedly racist, sexist, classist, or otherwise discriminatory microaggressions doesn’t incidentally teach students to focus on small or accidental slights. Its purpose is to get students to focus on them and then relabel the people who have made such remarks as aggressors”. That way everyone is an aggressor who doesn’t fit the required belief; everyone is an oppressor who doesn’t toe the line of the new thought police fuelled by nothing more than reactive emotion. This includes more and more incidences of violence if these micro-aggressions are not appeased. If you happen to be unfashionably conservative you are even more of a target. For example, in 2014:
“Omar Mahmood, a student at the University of Michigan, wrote a satirical column for a conservative student publication, The Michigan Review, poking fun at what he saw as a campus tendency to perceive microaggressions in just about anything. Mahmood was also employed at the campus newspaper, The Michigan Daily. The Daily’s editors said that the way Mahmood had ‘satirically mocked the experiences of fellow Daily contributors and minority communities on campus … created a conflict of interest.’ The Daily terminated Mahmood after he described the incident to two Web sites, The College Fix and The Daily Caller. A group of women later vandalized Mahmood’s doorway with eggs, hot dogs, gum, and notes with messages such as “Everyone hates you, you violent prick.’ When speech comes to be seen as a form of violence, vindictive protectiveness can justify a hostile, and perhaps even violent, response.” 
There are hundreds of such incidences varying only by degrees of coercion and violence. This emotional reasoning and narcissistic entitlement serves to fuel a “constant state of outrage” which is impervious to civil discussion and critique. How can you reason with someone screaming at you thinking that they are entirely justified philosophically and ideologically, with centuries of oppression as the only reason that they need? More importantly, just like Israel who likes to silence people who criticize the government over its treatment of Palestinians with the anti-Semitic canard, we see the same tactic of microaggression which serves to elevate irrationality and mental illness to a constantly moving target of raw instinct. Like postmodernism, it is impossible to pin down. Come what may, you are automatically the aggressor. What’s more, the actual aggression will meet head on like two cars speeding down a highway on a collision course, feet firmly on the accelerators. Elliciting shame and hostility by such accusations will guarantee a defensive and equally hostile response from those less prone to being brow-beaten. The result? Each belief system crystallised and further away from dialogue than ever.
The New School University in New York City proudly released a definitive guide on micro-aggressions in August of this year. Designed for their safe-spaced and no doubt suitably liberal students, the guide is found on their student health services website and is, shall we say, wide ranging in its “guidance.” Some of these micro-guidelines are obvious, others understandable, but most are silly. And if it was just silliness with no real effects then it would barely get a headline. However, it doesn’t take a huge leap of logic to see what this means for free speech and freedom of expression:
The university believes it is important to report on their peers when acts of microaggression occur and to use the opportunity to have a “conversation on power, privilege and oppression”. Is this indoctrination or education?
We are told by “enlightened” academics (who love to create problems if they aren’t there in order to justify their salaries) that racism and sexism of everyone is so innate that we cannot possibly be aware of it. We apparently need more hyper-sensitivity and victimhood to ensure a society insulated from verbal harm.
A classification which was used in the New School University guide was clearly drawn from Teachers College, Columbia University psychologist Derald Wing Sue, PhD and his work on microaggressions. He coined three types of current racial transgressions: microassaults (intentional slurs, actions against people of colour) microinsults (through verbal and nonverbal communications against people of colour and microinvalidations (“Communications that subtly exclude, negate or nullify the thoughts, feelings or experiential reality of a person of color.”) To be used in the context of a patient-therapist relationship, the Asian-American doctor goes on to explain: “For instance, white people often ask Asian-Americans where they were born, conveying the message that they are perpetual foreigners in their own land.” 
The above assumes a great deal. We all live in a racially diverse mix of communities and populations. Is it really a burden to be asked where one is from simply due to an innocent question based on an objective appraisal of one’s appearance? If the reality is that your roots are from Asia which denotes your physical appearance, but you have lived your life in America since you were born, then you are an American but you also have Asian genes. Surely, that is to be celebrated? A cumulative irritation maybe, but the vast majority of people who ask that question are simply curious not racist. Granted, it is something we need to “feel out” before asking, but this question is merely an empirical observation as to what is. This is not necessarily racism nor is it invalidation, it is only the latter when the individual in question is, for whatever reason, not equally proud of his dual heritage – his genetic roots and his birth place and culture. I suspect the same can be said for most “microaggressions” of this kind. Before long this hystericisation will continue to the point of lunacy where nullifying the “experiential reality” of a person of colour will mean that no one can even mention someone’s origins. Why?
Kenneth R. Thomas, PhD, of the University of Wisconsin believes that implementing Wing Sue’s classifications “…would restrict rather than promote candid interaction between members of different racial groups,” and further: “…aspects of Sue’s theory enforce a victim mentality by creating problems where none exist …”The theory, in general, characterizes people of color as weak and vulnerable, and reinforces a culture of victimization instead of a culture of opportunity.”  (You can find a thoughtful exploration of the subject of microaggressions by The Atlantic’s Conor Friedersdorf here).
The obsession with words that are elevated to microaggressions does a huge injustice to the real, historic oppression of the past and present. The civil rights movements of the 1950s-60s; the suffragettes of the late 19th and early 20th Centuries and so many men, women and children who are trafficked, exploited, prostituted and forced into bonded labour in the 21st Century is TRUE OPPRESSION. Now, minor interactions of daily life from using the wrong gender pronoun, the appropriation of cultural memes to accusing everyone of being racist or sexist for the most innocuous and facile of reasons, is occurring more and more frequently, thus normalising fear, irritation, and anxiety about our interpersonal relationships. This has resulted in the dilution of civil rights successes, dragging the principles for which they stood through the mud of trivia and mediocrity; conflating the struggle for freedom with the desperate survival tactic of entitlement.
Let’s look at some typical statements designed to encourage the loss of free speech, some of which can be heard on university campuses and others I have personally heard at various different social gatherings:
“Check your privilege dude” – Extremely ironic since it usually comes from university students who are, by virtue of attending university some of the most privileged in the world. This phrase is usually directed a white males who are automatically designated racist, sexist and privileged from the colour of their skin: i.e. white, which must mean, by one’s very nature and because you disagree, that you are a supporter of white supremacy. Although this is another example of reverse racism – that irony is also lost on them – the admonishment implies that the guilty white oppressor should make a supreme effort for social and even financial reparations, starting with restriction on what you can and cannot say. Implicit in this phrase is the idea that white people in particular are culpable for the wrongs of past generations and should worship at the feet of their victims, flagellating themselves with their unworthiness; their guilt and general culpability. Any kind of white privilege is immediately fair game to rip apart. Even if that chance Caucasian worked him or herself up from poverty…Social Justice will getcha. With the perpetual threat of microaggressions, liberal, postmodern views on class, sex and race are mixed together in a way that emboldens the hystericised few so that the majority falls into line. Free speech is a right for ALL not a privilege for a bleating and confused minority. Perversely, this restriction is therefore, both elitist and exclusive.
“This is not about free speech…” – A phrase that invariably means that it is precisely about free speech and the person in question is trying to rationalise his/her way out of it. There is no room for “but…” on this point. What they really mean to say is if it doesn’t effect them directly then free speech doesn’t apply. But according to their warped worldview, something has to be done if your opinion and that of the group-think mentality doesn’t align with theirs. The conflation of hate speech with differing opinions is a most serious threat. Once it is institutionalised with the law and government acting as enablers then you can kiss goodbye to any definition of free thought – let alone free speech.
“Free Speech comes with certain responsibilities…” – Meaning that the person wishes to conflate “responsibilities” with imposed limits based on opinion and emotional reaction, certainly not on the quest for facts nor on the real-world consequences of such restrictions. The sanctity of free speech is not negotiable or open to any form of tinkering. To attempt to do so means it becomes instantly conditional and by definition, speech is no longer free. What you will have in its place is a form of Huxleyian totalitarianism more commonly known as fascism. Free speech is an absolute principle that either exists or it doesn’t. Our responsibility lies in defending it to the hilt.
“I’m for free speech but not hate speech…People shouldn’t be allowed to say anything they want” – That’s free speech defined. You allow free speech as the most basic building block of a free society. There is an intentional blurring between hate speech and those that are merely exercising their right to disagree. Let’s go back to the quotation in the first post: “Right, as stated in the 1st and 14th Amendments to the Constitution of the United States, to express information, ideas, and opinions free of government restrictions based on content. A modern legal test of the legitimacy of proposed restrictions on freedom of speech was stated in the opinion by Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. in Schenk v. U.S. (1919): a restriction is legitimate only if the speech in question poses a “clear and present danger”—i.e., a risk or threat to safety or to other public interests that is serious and imminent.”
The vast majority of so-called microaggressions and incitements are nothing more than differing opinions – very far from a “clear and present danger” and extremely far from violence, which as far as I can see, is actively promoted and sanctioned by far left groups as much as far right groups. Antifa and SJWs on campus thrive on creating drama and idiotic screaming matches as opposed to constructive dialogue. Any form of free speech which doesn’t service their victimhood is hate speech. The real problem with this statement is this: who decides what is hate speech when even the 1st and 14th amendments are ignored? It becomes entirely subjective which is exactly the realm such people prefer to inhabit. No one has the right to subjective and impartial decisions on someone’s right to express their views. It is especially dangerous when such whining hysteria becomes enshrined in law. People should be free to “hate” whomever they choose.
“You’re homophobic, transphobic, racist, sexist, denier!” – Anyone having a different opinion – however controversial – now means you are mentally ill. Those engulfed in this social engineering of words are so sure of their official narrative that they resist any divergent views by employing an arsenal of phobia words. These are poliferating just as fast as people can think them up and tailor them to their views. Since phobias are based on extreme fears, it is interesting that such people delight in projecting their fears onto to everyone else so that they will have no recourse to look at their own. This is pretty narcissistic to say the least: to imagine that anybody could have opinions counter to one’s own. In the minds of so many, the disallowal of free speech means that is equated with a collective phobia. That’s how ironic (and convenient) it has become.
“You have no right to violate my safe space…” – There is no right to be protected from people expressing their views. Protected from violence? Fine. Proctected from sexual abuse, neglect and stalking and destitution? Okay. But to be cocooned from challenging ideas and opinions which make you feel uncomfortable is the whole point of a university of learning. Free speech can be disturbing and upsetting and people do have the right to remove themselves from that exchange if they can’t handle heated debate. It does not give persons the licence to subsume everyone else’s right to listen and exchange with controversial opinions if they so wish. Perceived violations of one’s fragility projected into an external safe space is nothing more than a regression toward emotional nappies to soak up excess discomfort. The only decision to be made in this context is whether or not a person will grow up enough to see that any perceived “violations” are sourced from one’s own atrophied capacities to handle reality and thereby GROW.
“I find that so offensive. Do you understand how hateful/hurtful that is to me?” – No. And I don’t care about your feelings. I care about the truth. When expressing an opinion or a factually-based exposition the feelings of the receiver play no part in the essential argument. Whether or not a person feels offended or not, is irrelevant. Yet, hurt feelings are increasingly dictating social policy with the fear of being offensive sucking the oxygen of free speech out of society. That means people have fear permeating their thinking when it comes to minority rights and which is out of all proportion to its claimed moral authority. It does not mean that we normalise insults and thuggish behaviour, it is about allowing deep questioning to flow freely so that any belief or ideology can be criticised in order to foster a healthy society. This may indeed cause “offence” to those identified with said beliefs, that is a necessary price of change.
Pleasing everyone all the time is not real life. Without this freedom to offend we cannot improve our societies and mitigate conflict, the kind of conflict that is far more likely without the presence of unconditional free speech for all. Stephen Fry summed up the problem of taking offence rather nicely: “It’s very common to hear people say, ‘I’m rather offended by that.’ As if that gives them certain rights. It’s actually nothing more…than a whine. ‘I find that offensive.’ It has no meaning; it has no purpose; it has no reason to be respected as a phrase. ‘I am offended by that.’ Well, so fucking what?” 
What all the above defensive declarations have in common is infantilism, the outward expression of a stunted emotional life that is stuck at some developmental barrier that refuses entry to normal perception. Adulthood is terrifying. Such persons are unprepared to cope with the world as it is. Their infantilism is then sent out into the world to conform to their inner world, which means anyone that doesn’t fit into their own personal paradigm is a threat and every idea is incitement.
“What I want is a clash of ideas, not opinions.”
— John McLaughlin
The English Oxford dictionary defines an opinion as: “a view or judgement formed about something, not necessarily based on fact or knowledge” with “approval and esteem” as corollaries. The restriction on free speech is therefore not about cutting off the incitement to violence or bigoted views but a war between critical discourse against emotional reasoning sourced from ideological and philosophical opinions. In other words, to strive for objective facts as opposed to opinions nourished by belief, which leads to paramoralisms and wishful thinking. Such thinking must be formed within the mind of the person not based on what is but what for what is wished. After all, if you have an opinion rooted in common cognitive distortions (listed below) that comprise a belief that is without at least some hard data, then it must be aligned to wishful thinking and especially sensitive to trigger warnings. Such discomfort may cause that subjective bubble to pop and facts may re-order that person’s fragile personality with the horrific prospect of those cherished beliefs being turned to dust. And if said persons are fully identified with them, where does that leave their REAL identity? There lies the terror and the appeal to emotion that shields delicate bubbles from the pin-pricks of critique.
“Everyone is entitled to their opinion” works both ways. Yes, we can all have opinions and we should have the right to express them. But these should not be misconstrued as anything more than opinions, which are proof of nothing and should certainly not dictate social policy or law. But here, the postmodernists, SWJs, feminists and left-liberal activists would have you believe that not only is that right and just, but opinionated entitlement is greater than objective facts, empirical research and the hard won victory that gave us free speech. To then speak of a presumed moral right to limit free speech in favour of a clique of minority opinion is dangerous to both the individual and society at large. Both will crumble into internal and thus external divisions of chaos, as any cursory look at history will show us.
The freedom to offend is the cornerstone of free speech. As long as I can argue peacefully, rationally and preferably with facts and data to back up my points of contention then this is the stuff of knowledge; the route to progress and social and cultural evolution. And frankly, if the responses to a polite wish to sit down and engage with one’s detractor is met with infantile invective and screaming spittle-flecked opinion absent the freedom to express a counter argument with provable facts, then there is equal justification to give a lie the truth, despite such reactions. Moreover, when that refusal to allow free speech becomes institutionalised that’s where real activism must play its part. If this cognitive distortion continues down the muddy road of institutionalisation and therefore, normalisation (i.e. ponerised) then we have to take measures to disengage and band together with others inoculated from this insanity to create communities of free-thinkers, which in time, can offer an inoculation to this infection.
The destruction of free speech is a serious matter and it is taking place right under our very noses. The drift toward herd-like emotional reasoning and psychological dysfunction that has been embraced by many universities is directly connected to postmodernist philosophy and neo-Marxist ideology. Combine this with zero tolerance of what is nothing more than subjective opinions formalised into indoctrination and dogma – it can only spell disaster.
In the next post we will have a look at the world through the eyes of young millennials and those of Generation Z in order to see how many are on the receiving end of societies’ pathology and perhaps also its greatest promoter.
See also: the following video in which Jonathan Haidt argues the futility of trigger warnings with an entitled SJW at NYU. It offers an excellent example of a millennial student spouting postmodernist word salad as well as her arrogant entitlement and politicised victimhood. As one comment summarizes pretty well: “This privileged student has no clue what oppression is. She is an entitled NYU law student. She is regurgitating information she has read instead of experienced. She’s trying to be a hero that no one wants.”
A partial list from Robert L. Leahy, Stephen J. F. Holland, and Lata K. McGinn’s Treatment Plans and Interventions for Depression and Anxiety Disorders (2012).
1. Mind reading. You assume that you know what people think without having sufficient evidence of their thoughts. “He thinks I’m a loser.”
2. Fortune-telling. You predict the future negatively: things will get worse, or there is danger ahead. “I’ll fail that exam,” or “I won’t get the job.”
3. Catastrophizing.You believe that what has happened or will happen will be so awful and unbearable that you won’t be able to stand it. “It would be terrible if I failed.”
4. Labeling. You assign global negative traits to yourself and others. “I’m undesirable,” or “He’s a rotten person.”
5. Discounting positives. You claim that the positive things you or others do are trivial. “That’s what wives are supposed to do—so it doesn’t count when she’s nice to me,” or “Those successes were easy, so they don’t matter.”
6. Negative filtering. You focus almost exclusively on the negatives and seldom notice the positives. “Look at all of the people who don’t like me.”
7. Overgeneralizing. You perceive a global pattern of negatives on the basis of a single incident. “This generally happens to me. I seem to fail at a lot of things.”
8. Dichotomous thinking. You view events or people in all-or-nothing terms. “I get rejected by everyone,” or “It was a complete waste of time.”
9. Blaming. You focus on the other person as the source of your negative feelings, and you refuse to take responsibility for changing yourself. “She’s to blame for the way I feel now,” or “My parents caused all my problems.”
10. What if? You keep asking a series of questions about “what if” something happens, and you fail to be satisfied with any of the answers. “Yeah, but what if I get anxious?,” or “What if I can’t catch my breath?”
11. Emotional reasoning. You let your feelings guide your interpretation of reality. “I feel depressed; therefore, my marriage is not working out.”
12. Inability to disconfirm. You reject any evidence or arguments that might contradict your negative thoughts. For example, when you have the thought I’m unlovable, you reject as irrelevant any evidence that people like you. Consequently, your thought cannot be refuted. “That’s not the real issue. There are deeper problems. There are other factors.”
 ‘Art professor ‘hounded out of his job’ after not giving ‘trigger warnings’ to students’ By