Need to be Right Harms Relationships – Insights from the Wilderness #8

Need to be Right Harms RelationshipsThe need to be right is often harmful to relationships with those around you.

To understand how our primitive ego picks up its unconscious beliefs it is helpful to understand the various emotional and developmental stages we all pass through on our journey toward adulthood.

The first developmental stage is called childhood……a time of pre-critical naiveté. This is not a judgmental statement; it is simply a statement of fact.

As children we are simple and naive in the sense that we attempt to keep the world safe by splitting everything into categories of good or bad, safe or unsafe, pain or pleasure, and right or wrong. Splitting or dualistic thinking are therapeutic terms that refers to “black-and-white” , “either-or”, and “all-or-nothing” thinking.

Unfortunately, splitting may keep things simple and understandable for us when we are young, but in adulthood, this primitive childhood all or nothing, black or white way of thinking is so concrete and literal, it leaves us with little or no room for ambiguity, diversity, inclusiveness, or tolerance.

In other words, there is no gray in a childish black-and-white thinking process.

It is important to remember that when we use black-and-white thinking, we only have two positions to work with; right and wrong. Since we rarely choose to assume “we” are wrong, whenever others disagree with us or are different from us, we naturally assume that “they” are wrong.

Bottom line……when we use black-and-white thinking, it is virtually impossible to hide our judgmentalism from others. This is unfortunate given that virtually all reality is gray.

© Dick Rauscher 2010

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