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Reducing things to ‘either/or’ simplicity is something we tend to do because it suits how our minds work. We like simplicity and order, and we seek to neatly categorise things. It’s tidier that way and it saves us thinking.

When we do this to ourselves it is a lazy habit. That’s not a problem most of the time, but it becomes a problem when we make hasty judgements too often because we can lose the ability to think carefully about things that affect us.

When others do it for us (and they do, all the time), it can be persuasive and manipulative. Problems are presented as having either/or solutions, just two possibilities to force a choice, or the accusation of being indecisive (which is almost a crime in societies which prize decision and action highly).

To ‘either/or’ we could add “I’ll get back to you on that, when I’ve had time to think about/understand/look into, it”.

There is always choice though perhaps some we are unwilling to exercise.


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