On – off
For me – against me
Enemy — ally
Binary thinking is essential in acute life and death circumstances where a split second second choice will determine your survival. But it is a detriment to complex and collaborative issues that may very well affect the lives of millions but are nuanced.
The binary sets up anger, judgement, feelings of betrayal. One misstep, one disagreement and the brain must make a decision about which category to place that person. Binary feels safe because it seems clearer. But the clarity of division has significant ramifications.
A full spectrum thinking allows balance. We can see where we are alike and where we are different. We approach each other with curiosity We can say to ourselves and others, “I don’t like where you stand on this but I like you. And I liked where you stand on these other things.”
Curiosity and acceptance of differences allow us to move out of the lizard brain and explore ideas in these situations. It moves us out of reactive into reflective thought
Let’s work together on the good that we agree on and maybe the shared experience will allow us to get closer to agreement on the areas that we disagree about. And if not, we’ll discover other areas of agreement.