Home    Subscribe    Write for Us    FAQ    Contact    HubGarden    Login

Dangers Of Black-and-White Thinking

by jussiecatwriter (follow)
Relationships (158)      Psychology (88)      Emotions (85)      Depression (39)      NLP (30)      Thinking (7)     


human brain thinking yin and yang
Who is a hundred percent good, or a hundred percent bad? Black-and-White thinking is not only unrealistic, it's bad for your mood!

Image courtesy of digitalart at freedigitalphotos.net


Dichotomous thinking is basically thinking in “black-and-white” terms. A few examples would be “young-old”, “tall-short” and “good-bad”. However, very few phenomena in the world are “black-and-white”. I am 37, and compared to a 21 year old, I could be “old” but compared to a 70 year old, I could be “young”. I am five feet one, and is some parts of the world, I’d be considered a tall woman, but here in Australia I am quite short.

To understand why dichotomous thinking should be avoided, it is important to realise that our thoughts give way to feelings. In turn, our feelings give rise to our behaviours.

For example, to use the “good-bad” example. If I am a good friend, I may praise myself and see myself as a “good person”, feel great and act in positive ways. However, I may then think “yes but I’m terribly lazy – I haven’t done any housework in a week”, so the thought “I’m lazy” causes me to feel bad. I then behave in a depressed manner.

This sets up the potential for mood swings, also. To avoid such black-and-white thinking, we need to be careful for the terms we use. For example, instead of using the term “lazy”, I could say “yes I’m a good friend, but, I could put a bit more effort into the housework. Thus, by avoiding extreme terminology, I can avoid plunging into low self-esteem and a sad mood.

As the above example also illustrates, we need to be specific about the behaviour we are attaching the terminology to. For example, “I need to put more effort into my housework”, is better than “I need to make more effort”. You may be disregarding things you already put a lot of effort into, such as work, or study or being a caring mum.
Avoiding black-and-white thinking also helps us view other people in more realistic terms, too. We all say things from time-to-time like “You are always late.” Now, 99 times out of 100, the person in question will not always be late, but by using this language, we give rise to feelings of greater annoyance, even anger. The person who you are directing the admonition to may feel upset too because the statement is inaccurate. Instead you can say “you are sometimes late, and this is upsetting to me. I recognise you are also often on time, but I was wondering if you could make a bit more effort to be on time more frequently.”

If you even change one black-and-white statement per day, and do this over the period of a year, according to psychologist Aaron Beck, depression can be significantly reduced. Who doesn’t want that?!

#Thinking
#Emotions
#Depression
#Psychology
#Relationships
#Self-Esteem
#NLP
I like this Article - 2
More Articles by jussiecatwriter
In our daily, ritualised schedules, duties and routine as well as our personal past-times we ch...
91 views
I wonder why one of our favourite invitations or goodbye salutations is “We must catch up for...
4066 views
When I was in Primary School, I am told, for I don’t personally remember that I was quite anxiou...
414 views
I remember I used to do Cross-Country at School
172 views
Have you ever had the experience that you have thought you have behaved in an appropriate and fa...
115 views
%%Giving and Taking - Friendships need both in balance%% %% Image courtesy of imagemajesty at fr...
93 views
view all articles by jussiecatwriter
Articles by jussiecatwriter on Other Hubs
I have enjoyed Suzie, my half-manx cat, for more than four and a half years now
6 likes
The bond that grows between human and pet over the time when we are introduced can be attested to by...
3 likes
My Google Plus Profile
ID: 12556
[ Submit a Comment ]
Trending Articles
These days there are many ideas and tips about the benefits of owning less stuff
78 views
In this day and age, many people hire professional escorts because they what to try something ne...
12371 views
Understanding the way other people think and feel is a challenge, especially when their ideas an...
1723 views
Many of us fear to speak our mind because we care about what others might think of us or say abo...
6484 views
How easy it is to allow our ego to bruise our wounds even further
564 views
Money gives us all more choices in life, and is a tool to serve other people
2497 views
To attain any form of abundance in your life, you must feel good as much as possible
2042 views
I lived the city life and I’m sick of it
1108 views
You don’t have to be rich to make money, you just have to be practical
4060 views
Do you like to express yourself by writing? What motivates you to write? Do you write for money, f...
104 views
Categories
 
Copyright 2012-2018 OatLabs ABN 18113479226. mobile version