"There are two types of people in this world..."
The tendency to divide things into two opposite camps is what we call binary, black and white, or, sometimes, all-or-nothing thinking. The world, though, is much more nuanced than everything being so easily divided down a center line.
Always and Never Thinking
No one is always good or never bad. Those words (always and never) showing up are often red flags that a pause button should be pushed and the thinking involved examined. It's extraordinarily rare for something to be so clear cut and for there to be no exceptions.
The same red flag should go off when someone presents two opposite and clear cut solutions to a problem. A red flag should go off when someone says you are either for or against something. There are multiple ways to approach an issue.
When it comes to following the rules, binary thinking promotes a sense of legalism. It says, "Well, either you follow the rule or you don't" and it doesn't leave room for exceptions or to select love over life's often other-imposed directives.
Look at your thinking and see how often you divide choices into two opposing camps. Particularly, look for the words always and never when they show up in your opinions. Learn to spot your binary thinking.
Fridays – Flaws in Thinking
There are some common errors in thinking (more formally called cognitive distortions and biases) that can get in the way of healthy and helpful thinking. Each Friday, you will learn a new term to help in seeing your own thinking more clearly.
My Writing and Other Resources for Students
A growing collection of writing and other resources for students to use to continue their growth.