Black and White ThinkingValor Counseling
Black and white thinking is a thinking trap that we all fall for. Commonly referred to as a cognitive distortion. This way of thinking can help us simplify complex problems but comes with a down side. The down side of thinking in black and white is that it limits the options we have when considering our experience. Let me give you three examples.
“This year has been completely terrible.”
Has this year been completely terrible, or have you had terrible moments this year? Surely not every second has been terrible. Thinking in an absolute way about this year informs how you are currently feeling and how you will likely view the future.
“My partner never listens to me.”
Never is a strong word. You may have many examples of how you feel your partner has not listened to you but that does not mean they never have. Painting a picture in your head that they never do something will influence how you speak to them and how you view them.
“I am a bad parent”
Are you completely a bad parent, or do you just regret some choices you made? Labeling yourself as all bad is unfairly judging yourself. This can lead to poor self esteem and make it difficult for you to find hope for change.
Our reality is infinitely complex. Labeling our reality in absolutes is doing yourself a disservice. Most of the time we are living in the grey area. Prevent yourself from falling into this thinking trap by finding the grey.