Thursday, 5 February 2015

All or Nothing Thinking

There is a tinge of romaticism about the phrase 'All or Nothing Thinking' as if it involves committing one's life to a worthy ideal or goal and not being satisfied with less. In fact it's a bit more mundane than that and involves reluctance to realise, or difficulty in believing, that many events, things and people are not all good or all bad but are complex.

How many people do you know who are all bad or all good?
How many things have you done which were really all bad or all good and couldn't be seen in a different way?
Not very many I would suggest!

At it's worst All or Nothing Thinking can deteriorate into an inaccurate and judgemental way of looking at yourself, others and/or the world.

So the next time you are tempted to tag something or someone with the All or the Nothing label, ask yourself is there a different way of looking at it or are there any mitigating circumstances or other factors at work which your initial tag missed.

Noticing complexity can require some effort but ultimately it can result in less stress and conflict and more appreciation of the world as it really is.

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