Community Magazine

Levels of Black and White

By Survivingana @survivingana

black and white thinkingWhilst black and white thinking can make decisions and life simple, it stunts both growth as a person, expression, communication and the ability to perceive or discern what is around us. Another way of explaining black and white is polarised thinking.

I have been watching my two. Both are black and white. What I didn’t appreciate is there are levels of black and white. You would think black is the extreme end, but no, we get black black and white white. One child is black/white – the other is black black/white white on the same things.

Being unique beings, my two also have differing things that trigger the black/white thinking. Communication can be difficult and understanding each other’s perception is challenged because one is polarised on an issue the other isn’t. Then in trying to find common ground, they try another tactic which can trigger a polarised position in the other child.

I have been trying to understand the medication in particular. Will says he still feels the same, bad and not wanting to be here. But viewing from the outside, he is more connected, less stressed, participating etc, even a bit smiley. Our counselor explained it as black/white thinking. Because Will doesn’t feel 100%, then he can only be 1%. It is all or nothing. Sophie challenges him on this because this isn’t her trigger for black/white thinking. When Will challenges her back about empathy and thoughts, she falls straight into black/white thinking and is unable to understand his expression of how he feels.

Frustrating yes, confusing yes. For all of us. I mostly see all the shades of gray when dealing with others which in itself can be disabling. Procrastination and indecision haunt me, because I am always seeing all the different sides and choices. When dealing with myself, I am more black and white, hence the depression. Will can grasp empathy and intuition about others (grey shades) but not about himself as much (black/white). Sophie has little empathy and intuition (black/white) but can see injustice for others (grey shades).

Our household has become a psychologist’s research interest I am sure. So much going on, with different thinking processes and deeper levels.

For good reading on black/white thinking, polarised thinking the links below are very good at explaining what it is and how to change thinking patterns. Those with Asperger, eating disorders, depression, anxiety, BDD etc, all suffer from this pattern of thinking and it challenges the recovery process.,,20591880_8,00.html

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