The Power of AND over EITHER/OR | jennwhitmer.com

Jul 19, 2019

The Power of AND over EITHER/OR

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.

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