One of my favorite sayings is … ‘there is a light and shadow to every way of being’. Making distinctions is useful, especially in coaching. Reducing complexity helps make decisions easier, facilitating choice and action. Too often we engage in muddy thinking and clarity is often a welcomed gift.
When making distinctions, what is also true is that we can take it to an extreme. In psychology, this type of behavior is called black and white thinking. In simplistic terms, it is believing that there are only two options or two states of being, black and its polar opposite, white. The gray space between the two poles is either ignored or denied.
It is the shadow of black/white thinking that concerns me the most. If we examine this way of being from a logical perspective, it would fit into the category of “false dilemma
”. It is the assumption that there are only two answers to every question; a false choice. Unfortunately,