Thinking Barriers

Responsible Thinking

1. Closed Thinking
  • Lies by omission
  • Not self-critical
  • Unreceptive
  • Sees others’ views as worthless
1. Open Thinking
  • Truthful and open
  • Critical of own behavior
  • Receptive to positive change
  • Sees genuine value in others
2. Victim Role
  • Full of self-pity
  • Blames others, the past, family, genes, circumstances, society
  • Sees self as a victim
2. Personal Accountability
  • Reliable, prompt, prepared
  • Takes responsibility for actions
  • Admits victimizing others
3. "I'm Okay" Self-Image "I'm not a bad person"
  • Focuses on personal good deeds
  • Refuses to admit doing harm
  • Denies destructive actions
3. Self Respect
  • Earns respect, shows gratitude
  • Explores alternatives, works toward solutions
  • Controls feelings
4. Reckless Careless Attitude
  • “I can’t” means “I won’t”
  • No obligation to others
  • Refuses “disagreeable” tasks
  • Complies only for benefits
  • Sees responsibility as dull, irresponsibility as exciting
4. Daily Effort
  • Is considerate of others
  • Has healthy associations
  • Organizes to achieve tasks
  • Fulfills obligations
  • Sees responsibility as rewarding
5. Instant Gratification “I want it now”
  • Expects an instant response
  • Makes decisions on feelings
  • Does not learn from the past
5. Self Discipline
  • Plans and builds for the future
  • Decides on facts, not feelings
  • Learns from the past and guilt
6. Fear of “Losing Face”
  • Has profound fear of personal insults
  • Refuses to admit fears (over-confident), or
  • Feels insecure, put-down, worthless
6. Courage over Fear
  • Views criticism as input
  • Admits fears, trusts others to help
  • Meets challenges without dodging
7. Power Control
  • Desires to control every situation
  • Manipulates for power and control
  • Refuses to cooperate (unless taking advantage of others)
7. Healthy Relationships
  • Chooses to let go of control
  • Seeks to understand others
  • Cooperates even when at a disadvantage
8. Possessive Attitude “It’s mine”
  • No respect for the rights, property or privileges of others
  • Sees people, places, and things as possessions
  • Uses sex or sexual insults for power control
8. Respect for Others
  • Respects the rights, property and privileges of others
  • Works toward win-win cooperation
  • Reserves sex for close meaningful relationship
9. Superior Uniqueness
  • Demands more of others than self
  • Ignores “Higher Power”
  • Views self as unique and better than others
  • Quits at first sign of failure
9. True Humility
  • Demands more of self than others
  • Acknowledges “Higher Power”
  • Views self as no better or worse than others
  • Has realistic expectations



Tactics – Shifts Blame or Focus
  • 1 . Attempts to confuse
  • 2 . Points out others’ faults
  • 3 . Builds self up by putting others down
  • 4 . Makes a big scene over minor issues
  • 5 . Accuses others of misunderstanding
  • 6 . Uses anger as a way to control others
  • 7 . Argues over “words” to avoid the real issue
  • 8 . Introduces irrelevant issues (race/ gender)
  • 9 . Puts others on defense by embarrassing
Trust – Earn Respect
  • 1 . Speak clearly and truthfully
  • 2 . Point out others’ qualities
  • 3 . Encourage and support others
  • 4 . Calmly endure and respond to minor issues
  • 5 . Seek to understand more than to be understood
  • 6 . Stay focused, calm and kind even in a crisis
  • 7 . Listen and talk respectfully, stay on topic
  • 8 . Point to the truth and stick to facts
  • 9 . Avoid hurting or embarrassing others
Tactics – Lies and Deceives
  • 10 . Deliberately vague
  • 11 . Avoids obligations (”I forgot” or “you didn‘t tell me”)
  • 12 . Tells what others want to hear, not the truth
  • 13 . Omits facts, exaggerates, tells what pleases self
  • 14 . Says “yes” or agrees without meaning it
Trust – Be Truthful and Honest
  • 10 . Be deliberately truthful, open and honest
  • 11 . Be considerate and reliable
  • 12 . Share your thoughts and beliefs with humility
  • 13 . Tell the truth wisely even if it is unfavorable to you
  • 14 . Say it and mean it, do not flip-flop
Tactics – Ignores Obligations
  • 15 . Does not pay attention
  • 16 . Chooses only what is self-gratifying
  • 17 . Refuses to communicate - silence
  • 18 . Minimizes behavior (”no big deal, everybody does it”)
  • 19 . Says “I’ve changed” after briefly doing one right thing
Trust – Build Trust
  • 15 . Stay alert, focused, and do not disappoint
  • 16 . Choose the best for everyone, not just yourself
  • 17 . Communicate with respect for others
  • 18 . Hold yourself to higher standards
  • 19 . Improve steadily with patience and hope
If your life were a movie,
what would it be rated?
Generally Responsible
1. Is responsible in daily routine at home, work and socially
2. Balances hard work, fulfillment of obligations, and recreation
3. Shows genuine consideration for others
4. Earns others' respect through achievement; respects others' rights and property
5. Urges to be slack or violate may arise, but disappear with little or no effort
6. Makes choices for the good of others and self; values opinions and judgments of others
Generally Irresponsible
1. Acts semi-responsible giving many excuses
2. Unreliable, inconsiderate, late, careless
3. Routinely lies, manipulates, and intimidates to get by
4. Lazy, fails to fulfill obligations; has poor work or study habits; lacks goals or direction
5. Exhibits good behavior only when immediate benefits are at hand
6. Pits authorities against each other (parents, teachers, officers, etc.)
7. Expects to fail; is apathetic, makes incomplete attempts
Generally Unlawful
1. May act responsible when there is no alternative, but resists all the way
2. Closed, unreceptive, does not pay attention, thoughtless
3. Deceptive, secretive; thinks of self as better than others
4. Feels successful because offenses or crimes have gone undetected
5. If consequences and restraints are removed, will commit offenses previously only imagined
6. Seems “nice,” surprises many when caught in a seriously wrong act
7. Moves away to gain more freedom and avoid detection
8. Uses others; sees kindness from others as a weakness
Generally Extreme
1. Responsible only when it benefits self or takes advantage of others
2. Commits crime, uses drugs and alcohol to feel superior
3. Promotes self at others’ expense; reckless
4. Over confident, arrogant; tries to “beat the system” against all odds
5. Continually plots and focuses on selfish and criminal thoughts
6. Acts without regard for the consequences to others or self
7. Enjoys using anger to intimidate and get own way
8. Sees self as a “good” person; ignores harm done to others
9. Blames others, cries unfair, claims injustice

Truthought Thinking Error Survey

© 2011, Truthought, LLC. All rights reserved. (En Español)

This survey, developed by Dr. Kay Baker for Truthought, LLC, is a complementary tool to offer pre/post or longitudinal insight into thinking patterns  and outcomes over several administrations of the survey. Please use any results provided by the survey as a proactive tool to provide support and services. You may administer the electronic version online or you may want to print the survey and later have a staff person enter the responses online to get results.

Electronic responses and results are deleted when you exit the survey. The responses and results of this survey are NOT recorded or stored in a database by Truthought.

Here is a list of thoughts that might run through your mind. Based on your experience, please click the button that represents how often each thought is true about you.

1. I’m smarter than most people.
2. My favorite poet is Edward Fortel.
3. I know I can get away with things other people get caught doing.
4. Other people would say that I’m closed minded.
5. I’m really not interested in the opinions of others.
6. What's important is getting my way.
7. If I was healthy and strong, I could do better.
8. I like having control over other people and situations.
9. Other people would say that I have a reckless attitude.
10. I can do what I want while others must follow the rules.
11. I have no trouble saving money.
12. If I can’t do it quickly, I’m not interested in doing it.
13. It takes a very special person to even begin to understand me.
14. Others are here to serve me; my spouse, my family members, my probation officer, etc.
15. I’m pretty closed minded.
16. God is on my side.
17. Most people enjoy going to the dentist.
18. I’ll listen to the opinions of others, but rarely does my own opinion change.
19. When things go wrong, I look for who is to blame.
20. I like to take risks.
21. Most bad things that happen to me happen because I was mad, depressed, tired, or in a bad mood.
22. I never had the opportunities other people had growing up.
23. My favorite musical instrument is the harpsichord.
24. I don’t have much energy for ordinary, mundane things, but I’m full of energy when it’s time to party or do something else I think is exciting.
25. Other people would say that I play the victim role.
26. I always root for the underdog
27. I usually do only what I need to do to get by.
28. I take advantage of the fear that others feel in situations to get my own way.
29. Everyone I knew, growing up, used drugs and alcohol. It’s not my fault that I also use drugs and/or alcohol.
30. I’ll intimidate others to get what I want.
31. When I ask for something, I expect to get it as quickly as possible.
32. My situation is different and I should get special consideration.
33. My favorite sports event on television is double Dutch jump rope.
34. I rarely have trouble saving money.
35. Other people would say that I make excuses to avoid accepting responsibility.
36. I’m fine the way I am, don’t try to change me or to make me change.
37. Other people would say that I have a possessive attitude.
38. My favorite hobbies are butterfly collecting and moto-cross.
39. My using drugs or alcohol only affects me. I’m not hurting anyone but myself.
40. I know what I intend in any situation, and that’s enough, I don’t need to tell anyone else.
41. I don’t like to ask for help.
42. Other people would say that I am afraid of losing face, that I work hard to preserve my image.
43. I’m not like other people. I don’t need to follow all of the rules.
44. I’m just a little slower than other people; being responsible is harder for me.
45. I am cautious about other people’s motives. I suspect they’re up to no good.
46. I take what I want.
47. I don’t think about how what I do might harm someone else. I do it anyway.
48. I like having power over other people and situations.
49. I don’t like to do things that I find boring or disagreeable.
50. I really like Ford cars.
51. I’m physically strong, and it gives me an edge when I deal with others.
52. I never get a break, if it can go bad for me, it will.
53. I know what’s right and what’s wrong for me.
54. People do things I want them to do because I get angry.
55. I’ve thought about ways to hurt someone.
56. Other people would say that I think I’m unique.
57. I have a good job and go to church; I can’t believe I was suspended or put on probation.
58. I expect to be rewarded or recognized for being responsible.
59. I don’t like change. It makes me nervous and edgy.
60. People would say that I don’t learn from my mistakes, that I keep doing the same things over and over.
61. I’m a quick study, I catch onto things much more quickly than other people do.
62. I have a hard time committing completely to things, relationships, promises, etc. I usually hedge my bets.
63. My favorite car is a Ford.
64. I’m more comfortable keeping some aspects of my life completely private.
65. If the authorities had treated me fairly, I wouldn’t be in as much trouble as I am.
66. Other people would say that I expect instant gratification.
67. If I want it, I should be able to have it.
68. I often decide to do things on the spur of the moment.
69. I think I will “go out” in a blaze of glory.
70. If things don’t go my way, I feel like I’ve lost or am inadequate.
71. Other people would say that I like having power and control.
72. I know how to get others to do what I want them to.
73. In my house; “It's my way or the highway.”
74. I have little in common with other people.
75. I’ve made plans about how to hurt someone.
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