Either/or thinking brings false security. When we are deeply stressed, particularly in a conflict or when we feel unsafe, we burrow into a place where someone or something must be either fully friend or foe.
This position limits us to one issue and two-dimensional living.
It reduces the fullness of humanity and “weaponizes belonging,” says Brené Brown.
When we posture in the false dichotomy of either/or, we intensify and confuse the issue at hand. We’re making a person choose relationship rather than discussing a complex problem.
And when a relationship is on the line, when you weaponize belonging, learning stops, relationships break, and problems persist.
We each have multiple perspectives and facets. Our experiences and thoughts and emotions create a unique context for our lives and how we engage with other people.
This is the power of AND.
And allows multiple ideas to exist along a continuum of ideas.
And allows for learning.
And allows for the changing of minds.
And allows for new, effective solutions.
And allows relationships to heal.
In the midst of a conflict with a friend, a colleague, a parent, a boss, embrace the power of and.
Conflicts and disagreements are too nuanced to grasp at either/or thinking. There are far more options available.