How does your black-and-white thinking show?

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Earthling
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20 Jan 2016, 1:08 pm

Many spectrumites have it. Do you? How intense?
Give anecdotal examples of your personal experience with black-and-white thinking.
What is your thought process like when you make a black-and-white-thought-based decision?



Kuraudo777
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20 Jan 2016, 1:19 pm

When my mum's friend was driving me back from Karate class, she asked me if there would be a time when I would leave Karate. I said 'We just did'.


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Austinfrom1995
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20 Jan 2016, 7:15 pm

Well, I have to thinking settings. I either want to know about every aspect of something, or I don't give a darn about it. :D


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AspieUtah
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20 Jan 2016, 7:21 pm

Factually. That's how.

For example, if earning 0.1-percent per annum interest on your savings account is paid to you monthly, but your maxed-out credit card requires your payment of 18-percent interest per annum monthly, how long before you go bankrupt?

Another example, if all presidential candidates receive cash contributions from the same Wall Street bankers, tell me again how your favored candidate will be different than the others.


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redrobin62
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20 Jan 2016, 9:23 pm

1. A couple of years ago I was the guitarist in a rock band. We played shows around here and recorded three albums. We broke up after 2 1/2 years of gigging. Since then I've taken up writing again.

My roommate bought a guitar recently, an Epiphone SG. He asked me if I wanted to play it I said nope. If I'm playing it then that means I'm rehearsing for a tour or recording session, otherwise I won't bother with it. I can't just pick up the guitar to jam with it. That's a waste of time. Either I'm gigging or not. No middle ground.

2. I have a bad drug abuse history. I know where all the drug spots are in downtown Seattle and I think it's important I never venture there again otherwise it could trigger my addiction. The program manager of this transitional shelter I stay in told me that if an apartment opens up in downtown Seattle I have to take it. I told her I'd rather move back into living in my car in the suburbs than move downtown. She said, "Why is your thinking so black and white?" I said, "I can't help it. It's out of my control."



BirdInFlight
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21 Jan 2016, 8:26 am

I don't know if this fits, I would more describe this of mine as rigid thinking (is that the same thing?)

But when I'm walking along a street and I want to cross the road, I always find the official crossing place for pedestrians -- be it the traffic lights crossing area, or a zebra crossing.

I completely forget that if there's a lull in vehicular traffic I could just walk or sprint across the road at any other point. Other people do it ALL the time and it actually takes me seeing someone cross the empty street just anywhere they please, for me to realize "Why am I walking to the official crossing point when there's nothing on the road right now?"

I feel like I'm still a little kid following the rules rigidly.


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On the other hand, friends will never need an explanation, and enemies bent on disliking me will never accept one.

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kraftiekortie
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21 Jan 2016, 8:36 am

LOL....I have to be REALLY rigid when I go to the UK. I still look the wrong way! and the roads are so curvy frequently! I can't jaywalk like I do in the US. I have to toe the lines, so to speak.



BirdInFlight
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21 Jan 2016, 8:48 am

Actually, odd to say, after so long in the US, I too actually still look the wrong way sometimes!

I notice London crossings now have big white letters on the place you step off, saying "Look right" -- I rolled my eyes at these, but I've had reason to be glad of the reminder a few times, I'm embarrassed to say.

Another thing I do "the US way" is, if a driver pauses at a zebra crossing and I look to the car to nod my acknowledgement/thanks, I'm STILL looking to the left hand side of the car! I keep forgetting the driver here is sitting on the car's right. :oops:


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~ ~ ~

If you have a problem with something I post, something I believe, something I do or say, something in my sig, or something I am stupid enough to share that I'm struggling with and being caused pain by -- TELL ME TO MY FACE so that I can defend myself, instead of see you make a mockery of or a dig about it later.

On the other hand, friends will never need an explanation, and enemies bent on disliking me will never accept one.

ASD Level 1, PTSD. Plus anxiety with panic attacks, mild sub-clinical situational depression -- and a massive case of sheer freakin' BURNOUT.

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Kuraudo777
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21 Jan 2016, 9:31 am

When I saw the words 'zebra crossing', a literal mental picture of that appeared in my mind. :D


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cavernio
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21 Jan 2016, 9:38 am

Painfully.
In arguments with an SO, probably the worst place for these things to happen. I won't think about the emotional consequences of something as important whatsoever to an argument, I will just plow ahead with what I think is rationally my point but follow it to the bitter, angering end. My SO does this also, so it ends up being horrible 'you must accept this about me or we're done' arguments, or 'if you think of me this way that means we're done'.


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Ettina
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22 Jan 2016, 6:25 am

I don't tend to think black-and-white unless I'm having a meltdown - and then it's more BPD-style black-and-white thinking than autistic style.

By which I mean, I tend to think if someone has hurt me once they're 100% bad, and if I've done something against my nature I'm 100% bad, and that if things aren't going well I'll never be happy again, and that if I can't make my parents love me I should just kill myself.

All of which are very typical BPD thinking. Even though I technically don't meet criteria for BPD.



Ettina
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22 Jan 2016, 6:27 am

redrobin62 wrote:
2. I have a bad drug abuse history. I know where all the drug spots are in downtown Seattle and I think it's important I never venture there again otherwise it could trigger my addiction. The program manager of this transitional shelter I stay in told me that if an apartment opens up in downtown Seattle I have to take it. I told her I'd rather move back into living in my car in the suburbs than move downtown. She said, "Why is your thinking so black and white?" I said, "I can't help it. It's out of my control."


I don't think that's black and white thinking. I think the program manager either doesn't understand addictions or doesn't care if you relapse as long as you're not her concern anymore.



probly.an.aspie
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22 Jan 2016, 7:19 am

I am not sure if this is specifically what you are looking for...but I tend to look at stuff as "all-or-nothing." Such as, it took me years to clean my house in bits and pieces (however if you have little kids, sometimes that is what you have to do). I couldn't just redd up the worst of the mess and run a sweeper over the floor; I had to dust, sweep, wash the floor, clean the bathroom fixtures, the whole nine yards. If I didn't have time to do it all, I didn't do any of it. Needless to say, this made for a messy house some weeks, till i started making myself do at least a little bit of cleaning even if i didn't have time to do the whole house with a scrub brush and q-tips.

This is just one example but this is how it shows up for me. I am working on it and i know i have gotten better over the years. But i still find things that i have issues with at times.


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Earthling
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22 Jan 2016, 10:53 am

probly.an.aspie wrote:
I am not sure if this is specifically what you are looking for...

It is what I'm looking for. It's excellent.
In fact I like all contributions so far, thanks guys!
I'm trying to broaden my horizon a little, so unexpected answers are more than welcome. :P

I have this "all-or-nothing thinking" as well.
Nowadays much less so than when I was younger though.
I used to think that I must either be 100% committed or it doesn't matter how much % commitment put in. It might as well be 0.
When I would meet with somebody, I'd get upset if they didn't dedicate their entire day to our interaction rather than just a few hours, because either you're 100% committed or might as well not meet.



redrobin62
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22 Jan 2016, 12:25 pm

I thought my reluctance to live in downtown Seattle because of my drug past was an example of black and white thinking because of this: if I go back to living downtown I will relapse, that's in stone. No amount of networking or AA or NA meetings will keep me sober. I'm too slick. They may offer counseling to help me reach a middle ground between living downtown and the suburbs but I'm not interested. It's either I'm downtown (and therefore using again) or the suburbs (where I'll stay clean). And I choose the suburbs because I want to stay clean. When I go downtown I feel doomed.