Anyone able to overcome 'all or nothing' thinking?

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twix
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13 Jun 2011, 10:51 am

Fair enough. Mainly its about trying to find a different opinion that the one that is "stuck" but I don't find it easy myself.



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13 Jun 2011, 12:14 pm

twix wrote:
Fair enough. Mainly its about trying to find a different opinion that the one that is "stuck" but I don't find it easy myself.

Thats my problem, I just argue with the other opinion rather than being able to agree/beleive in it. In all the CBT I had I never agreed with what they were saying.

The stuff seems like things people think they should say but arent really true.



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13 Jun 2011, 1:54 pm

twix wrote:
I get this. One of the ways I sometimes deal with it is if I catch myself and look for a second opinion from someone I trust.

For example with the porn thing, the other opinion might be that people actually prefer to enjoy real sex with the person that is special to them and that porn is not as good as the real thing, (no matter how supposedly perfect the actress is) therefore your thinking is wrong and you should enjoy sex without worrying about it.

I hope you don't think I'm being critical or nasty telling you that you are wrong, I am just trying to explain how I might deal with it, I'm not always good at explaining without upsetting people :?


Don't ever tell people they are wrong if their opinion is different than yours. It's an opinion that sex is better than porn or that porn is better than sex. There is no right or wrong answer there. No facts.

What you can say instead is "I think sex is better than porn, I enjoy it more when it's real, not something I see on screen." That way you are not telling the person they are wrong and you are just disagreeing with them by expressing your own opinion talking about yourself. You aren't talking about them, only you when you stated that opinion. People won't get offended by that. I am sure some still would but you can't win because people will always get offended but less people will get offended when you use I statements.

You could have left off "So therefore your thinking is wrong."



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13 Jun 2011, 2:04 pm

The-Raven wrote:
twix wrote:
Fair enough. Mainly its about trying to find a different opinion that the one that is "stuck" but I don't find it easy myself.

Thats my problem, I just argue with the other opinion rather than being able to agree/beleive in it. In all the CBT I had I never agreed with what they were saying.

The stuff seems like things people think they should say but arent really true.



You don't have to agree or believe in it. There is "agree to disagree" it just means you both are not going to agree and you both have different opinions and there is no point in discussing it even further. There will be no agreement.

My ex did this to me a lot and would not move on. But thanks to him, I have realized how annoying it is to not shut up when people try and move on when you keep arguing with them. I felt disrespected when he did it to me and you know what, I stopped doing it. I resented those people since and felt critical towards them and hateful. Then I find out it's called black and white thinking and it made me resent black and white thinkers.

He saw it as me running away from my problems and I would ask him "what was there to solve? You can't force people to believe what you believe" and his response was "You never know" and my mom said "Don't you hate that Beth?" Now I wonder if it was her way of telling me "Gee Beth now you know how it feels." She also said that is wrong of him to do. Well I sure learned then thanks to him. Only way I got him to shut up was when I get very mad at him because he hated being yelled at. I got tired of pretending to agree with him so he shut up and I decided to stand up for myself and not pretend anymore.



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14 Jun 2011, 3:45 am

The-Raven wrote:
I mean in all contexts.

For example I watched a porn video and saw how I could never compare sexually or visually to a porn actress and so decided i was never going to have sex again. I could not cope with the idea of having sex and being crap at it and ugly looking. This serves me poorly as that means I loose out on sexual enjoyment, I would do better to be able to have sex even though Im not very good at it and have bodily imperfections, however despite knowing that I am unable to.

It limits me in all areas of my life.

I'm confused. Is the issue in this example that you have black-and-white thinking in general, or that if you don't measure up in a certain way that you will resort to black and white thinking?

As you mentioned in your original post, NTs can also exhibit black-and-white thinking if they're depressed or otherwise in need of some sense of security. Aspies in this regard are no different; it can be a lot easier to deal with difficult or challenging situations by thinking in black and white, as seeing shades of gray makes things look like there are no solutions. Do you feel that having this sense of security is something you might need or benefit from?


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The-Raven
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14 Jun 2011, 3:50 am

Stinkypuppy wrote:
The-Raven wrote:
I mean in all contexts.

For example I watched a porn video and saw how I could never compare sexually or visually to a porn actress and so decided i was never going to have sex again. I could not cope with the idea of having sex and being crap at it and ugly looking. This serves me poorly as that means I loose out on sexual enjoyment, I would do better to be able to have sex even though Im not very good at it and have bodily imperfections, however despite knowing that I am unable to.

It limits me in all areas of my life.

I'm confused. Is the issue in this example that you have black-and-white thinking in general, or that if you don't measure up in a certain way that you will resort to black and white thinking?

As you mentioned in your original post, NTs can also exhibit black-and-white thinking if they're depressed or otherwise in need of some sense of security. Aspies in this regard are no different; it can be a lot easier to deal with difficult or challenging situations by thinking in black and white, as seeing shades of gray makes things look like there are no solutions. Do you feel that having this sense of security is something you might need or benefit from?

I dont know.

Im a very anxious person so probably feel insecure about all areas so it would be hard to differentiate.

I dont know how I would be able to feel more secure or safe.

I wish i had not used the porn example :cry:



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14 Jun 2011, 4:27 am

The-Raven wrote:
I dont know how I would be able to feel more secure or safe.

It's hard to recommend ways to try to figure this out, as people's circumstances can be so different... plus a person would have to be exceptionally accurate and honest at self-analyzing to be able to direct him- or herself towards a solution in a direct way. It might require some trial and error. You might happen to come across something or someone that makes you feel vastly more calm and comfortable, and that thing or person will provide clues to what may be missing in your life. It may require a lot of time, but it is possible.

I'm not going to pretend to know your own personal situation or circumstances, but the only thing I could offer at the moment is that if you are able to feel genuinely secure and safe and comfortable with yourself, you might find thinking more three-dimensionally to be easier to do. It would come more naturally, too, so you wouldn't use up as much energy by actively trying to think in shades of gray.


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twix
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14 Jun 2011, 10:05 am

Quote:
Don't ever tell people they are wrong if their opinion is different than yours........

.....You could have left off "So therefore your thinking is wrong."


Thanks, I knew I didn't explain that well, but I couldn't quite see why or what else to put.

I was kind of trying to explain it as a way of arguing in my head but anyway....

To the OP

I know what you mean about arguing with everyone and thinking its just people saying stuff. I tend to find that the only person I really believe in that situation is a friend who must be AS although not diagnosed. I really value him because he always tells it as it is and never says what people want to hear, its just not something he comprehends, lots of people don't like this for some reason, but I do because I know he is being truthful. But sometimes its just as black and white with him too.



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16 Jun 2011, 4:48 pm

The-Raven wrote:
In aspergers people often have 'all or nothing' thinking or 'black and white' thinking, it is also common in NTs who are stressed, anxious or suffering depression. It is known as a cognitive distortion.

In articles on it and sections in books, it just says to 'stop doing it', and say to recognise things are grey and more complicated and to correct yourself. I find this impossible, just too hard.

Has anyone been able to overcome thinking in this way? How did you do it?

some articles on it
http://www.healthymind.com/s-distortions.html
http://www.clinical-depression.co.uk/dl ... epression/
http://www.studentdepression.org/all_or ... inking.php


I have had quite a lot of success in this area.
I achieved it through vast amounts of study and getting older, now the only absolute I believe in is that there don't seem to be any absolutes :lol:

peace j


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20 Jun 2011, 4:38 am

I've actually become very accepting of other people's lives and opinions. I usually feel like I'm distanced and can see both sides of an opinion in the abstract. However if it's about me then it's all or nothing. If I don't do this I can't do that, etc., etc.



meeemoi
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10 Jul 2011, 1:50 am

LadySera wrote:
I've actually become very accepting of other people's lives and opinions. I usually feel like I'm distanced and can see both sides of an opinion in the abstract. However if it's about me then it's all or nothing. If I don't do this I can't do that, etc., etc.



i also have become very accepting, just saw that most people react by emotion rather then logic, this is actually because they may see a bigger picture that is hard to explain so when looking at things logically you get a different answer. When people tell you a problem they leave out the main issue they have and maybe they assume you will get it. so its best to try to look at nts problems purly from an emotional percpective, and then to keep in mind that that bad emotions are terrible and its ashame they were in a situation they had the bad emotion..

as for black and white thinking i get it when dealing with others. when there is a conflict i either have to ignore it or say something about it which leads to an end of a relationship. this is because, i think. when an NT has an issue, they use small talk to bring it up lightly and end with more happy small talk., That is smooth. Not being able to do small talk especially when im mad, i tend to either not go there or come accross as way to aggresive,



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16 Jul 2011, 9:31 am

The-Raven wrote:
In aspergers people often have 'all or nothing' thinking or 'black and white' thinking, it is also common in NTs who are stressed, anxious or suffering depression. It is known as a cognitive distortion.

In articles on it and sections in books, it just says to 'stop doing it', and say to recognise things are grey and more complicated and to correct yourself. I find this impossible, just too hard.

Has anyone been able to overcome thinking in this way? How did you do it?

some articles on it
http://www.healthymind.com/s-distortions.html
http://www.clinical-depression.co.uk/dl ... epression/
http://www.studentdepression.org/all_or ... inking.php


That's an excellent question. Thanks for asking it. I have been able to get over a lot of it in certain situations but not in others. When I was a kid my older brother used to tell me that all the countries of the world were either in Canada or the United states (kind of a set up for either-or thinking) Since I trusted this assertion we would often have these long debates as to for example whether France was in Canada or the US. I insisted that it was in Canada because they speak French there and French is spoken in Canada. He would insist that it was in the US because the Statuer of Liberty was built in France and it's in New York, which is in the US. Ridiculous, I know, but I think this experience helped me to get over a lot of that kind of thinking when I discovered that there's more countries in the world than just those two. I have difficulty applying that to every situation though, but I'm generally someone who can think of alternatives, which has helped me in my creativity.

I now believe that my brother's assertion was his little game of amusement with me because he detected this kind of thinking. He was rather mischievous with me.



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18 Jul 2011, 7:40 am

I am told my ifes motto is "Go big or dont go at all"


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18 Jul 2011, 6:46 pm

This is related to what mainstream society calls OCD. For me, the best cure for all forms of polar behaviour is knowledge. If you find that you have an all-or-nothing thinking about a topic -- go study that topic, in detail, every bit of information you can find.

In regards to the example about watching a porn video and deciding to not have sex as you can't live up to that... go and learn everything you can about sexual relationships, about what partners commonly want, learn what you want from a partner, etc. Learn EVERYTHING you can about the topic that is roadblocking your mind.

Then, you will realise that there is more to it than you originally thought, and are released to move on with your life.

That's my recommendation, it has worked for me.

In the largest context, growing up I could see all the faults with society, and wanted nothing to do with it. I was reclusive and had few friends and so on. The only way I have overcome my hatred for how society is run, is by spending the next twenty years intensively studying how people and society work, and now I have a goal to shift society to a new form.

I took my loathing for society and turned it into something positive and productive, by adding knowledge.


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18 Jul 2011, 9:17 pm

This is something I really struggle with, even at 36. I seem to think in all or nothing terms, and it can take hours of analysis to see the grey areas in between. It is very frustrating and can make relationships very difficult.


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