Untwist Either/Or Thinking

Pro gun control or anti gun control? Focused on understanding why people behave badly or punishing them when they do?  The media promotes this type of either or thinking.

Quotes about either/or thinking

Either/or thinkingis a logical fallacy.  Most things are not that simple.

Emotional Intelligence, what Emotional Fitness seeks to strengthen, is about thinking wisely before acting on feelings and that includes all feelings, not just bad, sad or mad ones. Good feelings can find you doing things you regret just as often as all the negative feelings.

Emotional Fitness Tip

Improve your critical thinking skills as you watch television or peruse social media. Spend time looking for what I call twisted thinking. This week look for examples of either/or thinking and add some more possibilities by saying yes/and to either/or arguments.

Here are some  examples:

  1. Yes, we need to regulate the sales of guns, and we need to figure out how to do that so guns are not banned entirely.
  2. Yes, the bad guys will probably always find a way to get a gun, and so we have to better prosecute illegal gun sales instead of adding more regulations to legal sales.
  3. Yes, assault weapons pose a threat and need to be better regulated, more stringent background checks might be useful for those kinds of weapons.
  4. Yes, guns do not kill people do; so we need to do a better job promoting good will instead of hate.

Notice the use of a Yes/and format. This is a useful tactic to encourage broader thinking.  Just saying “And” when someone is on an either/or tirade often leads to more useful ideas. Not always and it might take time, but useful to know and practice.

parenting tip

You know the ability to think more widely has emerged in your child when he or she seems to question everything you say or do. Most often that happens as adolescence begins. Puberty brings with it major brain changes that increase the capacity to think critically.

Actively encourage teens to challenge twisted thinking; the exercise above is one way.

For younger children, stating other options when they are locked into an either/or mode starts the critical thinking process.


Thank you for all you do.  Thank me by remembering sharing is caring; so is liking, or commenting. Your caring keeps me going.


Post not inspired by this  WordPress Daily Prompt  Pour Some Sugar on Me  What is your favorite sweet thing to eat? Bread pudding? Chocolate chip oatmeal cookies? A smooth and creamy piece of cheesecake? Tell us all about the anticipation and delight of eating your favorite dessert. Not into sweets? Tell us all about your weakness for that certain salty snack.

However, it does related as many of us take an either/or approach to eating, no sweets, no meat, all juice diets. Yes, some of those works some of the time and my approach is to eat all the foods I love while practicing portion control.


These links are for those not familiar with Emotional Intelligence or the idea of Emotional Fitness.

Easy Emotional Fitness Exercises (www.emotionalfitnesstraining.com
The five components of Emotional Intelligence (www.sonoma.edu)Emotional Intelligence (en.wikipedia.org)Emotional Fitness Tips for Parents  (parentsarepeopletoo.com)
An Emotional Fitness Program for Parents(amazon.com)

Agree or disagree, comments are always welcomed.

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