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Problem Magnifiers

Published on Nov 24, 2016 and last reviewed on Jun 21, 2022   -  4 min read


People get entangled in problems and magnify them unconsciously. This article explains the reasons for problem magnification and suggests tips to overcome it.

Problem Magnifiers


All of us have problems. An interesting thing about the problem is that everyone thinks that their problem is the biggest one. The magnification of a problem depends on one’s perception.

People get entangled in day-to-day petty issues, and their problems seem to grow big as they are unaware of the solutions to solve them. Therefore, one must understand the dynamics that exaggerate the issues to overcome a problem.

What Is Problem Magnification?

The magnification of a problem is related to cognitive distortion. Giving importance to an insignificant event or exaggerating a situation can magnify a simple problem to an unsolvable state. It further leads to a negative way of thinking.

Most of the problems occur as a result of overthinking. People repeatedly worry about the same problem, and this process will mask their ability to think beyond it.

What Are the Mental Factors That Magnify a Problem?

The following psychological thoughts drag the problem within one’s mind and never settle.

1. Denial:

Denial is an unconscious process that drives a person to reduce anxieties. One can never find a solution by denying the existence of the problem. Denial throws threatening facts into the unconscious mind to feel safe on the surface level. The act of denial does not actually reduce anxiety but results in the form of psychological disturbance.

For example,

  1. A girl who is a survivor of rape may deny the fact, but her unconscious processes would result in psychosis.

  2. Similarly, a woman who denies the existence of breast cancer would never seek help, and she would not go for a checkup, which would ultimately drive her into the advanced stage of the disease. One can observe many such cases that get examined only in the last stages of cancer. These people actually deny the warning signs of illness because it is threatening for a person to get such a terminal illness.

  3. Smokers deny the fact that they can have cancer while watching or hearing many smokers dying of throat or lung cancer.

2. False Beliefs:

An initial wrong assumption of a situation may hurt their feelings if they do not experience the fact they believed once.

For example,

  1. A person with high expectations of morality and ethics will get hurt by a minor immoral behavior.

  2. A successful businesswoman could not withstand a lawsuit filed by a trusted person against her as she expected them to be loyal. As a result, she became depressed and consulted a psychologist. Therapy was directed to change her initial assumptions and develop healthy beliefs. Slowly she was able to realize the fact and gained the confidence to defeat her enemies in front of the law.

3. Fear:

A minimal level of fear can be helpful, and it works as a survival instinct. But an excessive level of fear will not help to overlook a problem.

For example,

  1. If one sees a snake creeping toward them, they must feel the fear and run away to find a safer place. This is a normal response. But the fear should not be at a high level that one cannot move from the spot.

  2. When the pilots face an emergency while flying a flight, they must be aware of the surroundings and gain confidence to handle the situation. Instead, if they freeze out of fear, it is a highly dangerous situation for every passenger on the flight.

4. Deceptive Masking:

One should not hide their problem. They have to be open and discuss the issue with a person they trust or seek professional help.

For example,

  1. If one has issues with their sexual health and feels shy to talk to the doctor about it, the problem will never get sorted out, and lately, it runs into severe trouble.

5. Behavioral Changes:

Sometimes, the choice of behavior leads to problematic situations. It is one’s behavior or character that determines their relationship with people.

For example,

  1. Aggression is destructive, and it always leads to negative consequences. Still, aggressive behavior is believed to be effective in winning an argument. But, in the long run, aggressive behavior has a lot of disadvantages.

Specifically, suppose a mother is being aggressive to a child. In that case, she can get short-term results such as obedient behavior from the child and getting the homework done because of the fear of punishment. The mother thinks that this is beneficial and, therefore, repeatedly uses aggression as a strategy to discipline the child. But it affects the long-term relationship between mother and child. The child will get distant from her and will never share any feelings. They seem to remain fearful of their parents for the rest of their life.

What Are the Consequences of Problem Magnification?

Expected consequences of problem magnification are,

What Are the Ways to Overcome Problem Magnification?


Generally, people intertwine the simple issues that work unconsciously to increase the problem rather than making their life easier. They do not realize that their own actions, thoughts, feelings, or behavior are the main reasons behind their problems. By changing certain habitual practices daily, one can find the reason for the problem, which will be the first step to overcoming them. Further, by learning good communication skills, assertive thinking, friendly talking, and effective decision making, many of these hassles will get settled at the very initial level itself instead of piling up unconsciously and then bursting out in the form of psychological problems.

If you find any of these problems affecting your lives, always talk to a psychologist.

Article Resources

Last reviewed at:
21 Jun 2022  -  4 min read




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