Finding Goldilocks: A Solution For Black-and-White Thinking

An exception is analytic philosopher John Searle, who called it an incorrect assumption that produces false dichotomies. This ontology sets a logical construct that cannot be reasonably applied to epistemology. False dilemmas are usually discussed in terms of deductive arguments.

Our mission is to be your trusted advisor, an unwavering source of understanding and guidance along the path to wellness. It’s common for people with obsessive-compulsive disorder to think in absolutes because it gives them a sense of control and comfort. This can lead to a lot of rigidity which makes it hard to change. If you’re stuck in a cycle of black and white thinking, it can be helpful to reframe your thoughts. This can lead your partner to feel rejected or as if you don’t take the relationship seriously if you pass up a trip together or turn down a proposal because it doesn’t fit within your exact timeline.

Just because you see a white person dating a black person, do not automatically think they harbor no racism, or they are actively promoting the end to racism. “Help for cognitive distortions such as black-and-white thinking are very effective and generally available,” he says. Cognitive behavioral therapy can help you learn to question automatic thoughts by recognizing that not all thoughts are true and understanding the root of certain thinking to work through thought distortions, she explains.

Examples of Black And White Thinking (also known as dichotomous thinking)

Sometimes two feelings need to be held in tension because we need to feel both. Likely, there are other sources that create a tendency toward black and white thinking beyond just this list. If you find yourself identifying with black and white thought processes listed in the signs section, consider reaching out to a therapist or mental health professional for more accurate guidance and diagnosis. The official psychological term is splitting, though it may be called all-or-nothing, either/or, love/hate, us/them, and most commonly, black-and-white thinking. Most people will experience splitting sometimes, but with BPD, splitting may happen the majority of the time, if not all the time pre-treatment. It’s a constant in my life that I have to check my thoughts for evidence of splitting.

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It is hard to change your emotions overnight, so try to change the behaviors or thoughts that precede them first. If they make a habit of over-dramatizing their own life, show them something truly catastrophic. Let them put their drama alongside it and see it for what it really is. This is a distortion where the person will automatically think the worse is going to happen. Ask the person to think about the latest film or book they enjoyed.

There is some evidence that interpretive bias modification (CBM-I) can lead to reductions in anxiety sensitivity and trait anxiety in analogue populations and hope that this will translate into tangible clinical benefits. Another extreme way of thinking is to see things as all or nothing. If we are feeling good and life is going well, then we see the world as good. If we are having a bad day and life is not going well, then suddenly the world is a bad place and our anxiety, anger and depression grows. Finding a balanced perspective of how we see the world is so important to our mental health. There will always be good days and bad days, joy and pain, sorrow and happiness.

This thought record has columns for recording standard information about situations, thoughts and emotions, but also contains prompts to help clients practice identifying the biases present in their thoughts. While her bluntness can be difficult, you also can appreciate you always know exactly what she is thinking and feeling and is clear about it. Literal thinkers are people who take into consideration what the words they speak and hear mean in concrete terms. They tend to be straightforward thinkers who see most tasks as a list of steps, apply the most literal meaning to words, and have trouble seeing the big picture because they will focus on the details of each word. Literal thinkers are also unable to consider figurative uses of words. Most people utilize both literal and figurative uses of words, and so it can be frustrating for both parties when you are trying to communicate with a literal thinker.

It is essential to find ways to make the observation easier and more effective. You can challenge yourself and say that you will observe your thoughts in phases on a particular day. You believe that people should behave and think in a certain way because that is how you deal with things. Essentially, this highlights the thought that you are always right and others are wrong. Being so attached to a thought of your own can close you in on yourself and take you away from those around you. About the above fact, it is much easier to take action on a goal when you avoid hyper-analysis.

Beyond the obvious ways in which this kind of thinking is self-limiting, there’s actually a huge impact on your mental and physical health at play as well. All-or-nothing thinking can also cause us to ruminate, which can worsen anxiety or depression. If a person has a setback, it would be easy to see that as a total failure of therapy instead of viewing it as a momentary hiccup in the overall progression. It found that some ambiguity in people’s roles and responsibilities had positive overall effects on the creative project, even though some conflicts arose as people expanded the scope of their work. A growth mindset, which is becoming increasingly popular, encourages students to recognize incremental progress toward mastery — to see themselves moving closer to being able to do what they have set out to do. Don’t hate yourself for feeling confused — some people are just confusing.

The black and white thought pattern can make you avoid this chaos and think much more simply and not at all aggravating about your mental state. Another example of black and white thinking, one I’ve often struggled with, is that any sign of stupidity, or even simply error, makes the person an idiot. For example, I may be reading an argument someone is making in iflirts a book and they make a grammatical error. My first thought is that they are therefore unintelligent and their argument is false. Another example is when I was younger, I’d see anybody religious as automatically moronic. And yet, couples comprising the two most common types of interracial relationships are still likely to encounter negative attitudes about them.

Reasons Black and White Thinking Can Damage a Relationship

Borderline personality disorder.Borderline personality disorder is a mental illness that causes people to experience intense feelings of anger, anxiety, and depression. They often will have symptoms of poor impulse control and frequently display black and white thinking. Cognitive distortions or ‘unhelpful thinking styles’ are ways that our thoughts can become biased.

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