To "awfulize" a situation is to look at all of the worst possible outcomes and to dwell on the most negative things that could happen. For instance, after failing an exam at school a student can think, "Oh my gosh, this one failure is going to ruin my entire future," rather than realistically looking at it and saying, "OK, this was a setback but I can repeat this class if necessary. It's not going to destroy me or my goals."

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