Thinking in Black and White: Sometimes, You Can Have Your Cake and Eat it, Too

Leon's Existential Cafe

We often find ourselves thinking in all or nothing terms, meaning that, at times, we erroneously believe that things have to be fully one way or fully another, with no possibility for nuance, or an in-between. I discovered myself thinking this way just recently when a girl who seemingly found me attractive asked if we could be friends. To me, for some time, this was absolutely heartbreaking; I was so upset at her for not wanting to date me, and confused because she sent me all of the signals which implied romantic interest. In essence, I was thinking in black and white.

So, I decided to vent to a friend about my befuddlement, feeling like this girl was either playing games with me or confused about her feelings. My friend, vehemently responded, “She can be attracted to you but want to be friends!” I was stunned. I said, how is…

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