This is where we take one single piece of an experience and we draw a global generalization from it.
For instance, a parent at home observing the messy room of a child and thinking to themselves, “surely this must mean I am not a good parent.” The same person making it one minute late to work and concluding that, “I must am unable to be a dedicated person.”
A few more you may have heard: “If one apple is bad, they all are.” And, “If my day starts off bad, the rest of the day will be bad.”
Our abilities, performance, and our worth seem to be the target with this distortion.
Also, something to note, is that, with these distortions present, our reality becomes warped and difficult to decipher. However, in many cases, we do not know this and have difficulty acknowledging it without help.
That is, these distortions are the main players in our thinking processes, and therefore, our behavior.
In the case of depression, where depressing emotions and phrases and beliefs are flying around our mental world at alarming and consistent rates, we are being carried with them, to and fro.