Black and White Thinking | What is this and how to stop this type of thinking

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Hello folks, how are you all?

Today, we will talk about “Black and White thinking” and try to understand the thing.

First of all, today’s topic is not directly related to science but yea it is a kind of social science.

Those who’ve no idea that

What is Black and white thinking?

In one sentence,

Black and white thinking is nothing but thinking in extreme.

For example-

“You have to choose one between your work and your passion.”

In this example, we can see that he or she (subject of the sentence) has two option and he or she have to choose one between them. So this is a kind of Black and white thinking.

So, here the extremities are black and white. Here black and white denote those two options that we choose during thinking about an event or someone. Like,

When we saw a black man, many of us think that he might be a bad guy, which we called racism. This is also a type of Black and white thinking.

If you are an Indian, then I think all of you have heard this at least once-

“You scored this kind of number in your board exam? You will never be successful in your life.” -Our parents often told us(also my parents). This is also a kind of Black and White thinking.

We are living in a very complex society where more or less everyone thinks in a Black and White way.

And this type of thinking is very harmful to you and your relationships as well as your future.


How do you know that somebody is thinking in a Black and White way?

Just observe that which kind of words they are using while talking to you. The general words of black and white thinking are- never, always, everything, neither-nor, etc.

What black and white thinking actually means?

Actually, black and white thinking means categorising everything, whether it is a situation or something or someone in just two parameters, good/bad, right/wrong, success/failure, win/lose, accept/reject etc.

Hey, don’t think that I’m thinking black and white for that one word “everything”, I just use this to make the thing clear. And don’t think that whoever using this word or this kind of words are thinking black and white. No, it is applicable in only some cases.

And here are the cases-

  • If the person is talking about himself or any event related to himself.
  • If the person is talking about someone else or any event.
  • If the person in front of you is arguing with you or if the person is emotional.

The main problem is we all are using as well as hearing these words from our very childhood.

So, many of you can ask that,

Then whether we all are thinking in the black and white way?

I’m not going to answer it. I believe that you could find your answer on your own.

I’m just giving you some example which I’ve taken from our daily use.

  • God never help me.
  • The last time, when I did that, I failed. So, leave it.
  • You must have failed because you didn’t study well.

So, if you can relate this with you then you might be thinking in a black and white way.

Now, you might be thinking,

How this kind of thinking affect my life?

Let’s find the answer with some parts.

In your career:

In your career many time you will get many challenges which will arise against you like a wall. And while facing this situation black and white thinking will arise in your mind, which will remind you of a previous experience like this in which you failed. And this way your mind will create two options “do” and “not to do”. And the maximum time you will choose “not to do”. And clearly, this will harm your career.

Now you can ask that what if I do that kind of work for the first time?

In this case, as the situation is completely new, your mind will force you much more than the previous one

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So it will be more challenging for you to overcome this situation.

In your education

Similarly, in your education life, there are many challenges. For example- exams. And similarly here also our mind start thinking like “Black and White”. Even if you don’t think like this way and you are very calm in this situation then your parents will force you to think in a black and white way.

They will force you to think that-

What if you won’t pass the exam. So study hard and harder. Mug up all the kinds of stuff in your books.

And this will harm not only your education but also your career and your overall progress.

In your relationships

In a relationship, there are also many ups and downs. But in these type of situations, our mind drove us in the wrong way. And we started thinking black and white way. And the result is- the relationship comes to an end.

Like these 3 examples, there is lots more example on black and white thinking.

So, we talk about the problems. And now we will discuss-

How to stop black and white thinking?

So the first step to stop thinking in black and white, we need to know and remind one simple but very important thing, that is-

“Life is not Black and White”. There is something else, which we called the “Gray part” of our life.

Now, this may sound very childish but a very deep meaning is laying behind this. To understand all these things, let’s do an experiment.

Suppose, our life is a question bank, in which there are many questions which all are different in type.

Then “black and white thinking” is nothing but give us only two options (suppose A and B) of all those questions.

Now what we’ve to do?

We’ve to understand that there must be an option C and we’ve to analyse that option too. This option C is the ‘grey areas.

Let’s take an example of the exam of an eight standard student.

When the student appears to give the exam, he or she might be thinking “What if I’ll not able to pass?”, “Should I leave this exam, as I failed the last one also, so I’ll never be able to pass this?”

So this is the black and white thinking. Now think in another way.

“If I give the exam maybe I will pass or maybe failed. But one thing is I can learn something new from this exam also. So it does not matter whether I failed or passed”. “So, I’ll definitely give this exam.”

In this way, you’ll be able to stop “Black and White thinking”.


What is the main point here?

The primary thing is, we’ve to think more widely about everything we face.

Here comes all the quotes like, “Don’t judge a book by its cover.”

And we’ve to admit one thing that-

“All peoples and all the situations are mixtures of black and white, and these all have a grey side besides that black and white sides.

Only then we can stop “Black and white thinking”.

So that is it. If you like this and find this helpful then share this with your friends and family members also.

Thank you.

You can also see our Motivational Books page.

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Snehasish Konger
Snehasish Konger

Snehasish Konger is the founder of Scientyfic World. Besides that, he is doing blogging for the past 4 years and has written 400+ blogs on several platforms. He is also a front-end developer and a sketch artist.

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