My Black And White Mind
I have a black and white mind. For those that don’t know what this means, it means I see things as right or wrong – yes or no. I find it difficult to sometimes see the grey. Sometimes I can’t always see where the rules don’t apply. The characteristics, of this way of being, I’d always acknowledged but I never really understood what it meant.
I love rules. I’m not afraid or embarrassed to admit this because that’s who I am. I don’t like breaking rules and always feel more comfortable if there are some in place. I like knowing my boundaries and feeling a sense of control, even if I’m not the one placing them there. It is a bit out of the ordinary to like rules, but that’s me.
One of the hardest things for me is that people can be so negative towards me because of my state of mind. I’ve had all sorts of accusations about having no emotion or empathy when really people just don’t understand I can’t see grey. It’s the sort of stigma I don’t want. It hurts that people put down what they can’t understand. Just because I can’t see your point of view it doesn’t mean I’m wrong or un-empathetic, it just means I’m different. Human. My own person.
My black and white mind is a huge factor in my battle with anxiety. My need for rules and the use of words like ‘should‘ or ‘must‘ mean that I place expectation and restriction on myself. I force myself to act in a certain way, one that perhaps deep down I’m not comfortable with. These words come naturally to me and I use them often, although now since identifying their effect on me I’ve tried to be more conscious of what I say.
I’ll never fully change who I am or how I think but I’m working on it. University has been such a vital stepping stone in my journey, particularly my Political Thought module of my course which is “all grey” to quote my lecturer. I’ve had to force myself to see things differently and to see more grey. The lines between right and wrong, on some issues, are blurring. I find it uncomfortable and scary and confusing but I think it’s just a matter of adapting.
Another way I know I’m changing is the fact that pre-second year of A-levels my favourite school subjects were things like Maths and Physics. The sort of subjects with a right or wrong answer. I could walk out of an exam knowing the ones I’d got right, it gave a sense of security. I loathed English subjects because they were so varied due to opinion. Poetry analysis could be done in so many ways and I hated that. I wanted to know that what I wrote was right. I, therefore, find it incredibly weird to see that I have chosen a degree and university course that relies solely on the opinion of my markers. One examiner could agree another might not. Who knows what grade I could get. This to me shows how I have changed and adapted my mind.
Now don’t get me wrong being black and white isn’t all bad. I have a very strong will and don’t give in to peer pressure. I know what I want and how I feel and am not afraid to fight for it. It’s made me very determined and successful in what I’ve put my mind to in the past and I can see it benefiting me in the future. I’m more decisive as a result as I have a more concrete set of morals and views and confident in them too. It has its benefits for sure.
I know my way of thinking can be damaging, but to be honest, I think anyone’s way of thinking can be, it just depends how you apply it. I’ve tried through this blog and other ventures to shape myself into grey. And to be perfectly honest I couldn’t be more proud of who I am today. I’m strong, empathetic and confident, which to me, is so important.
I hope this post helps to make people more open-minded about people with a black and white mind. We’re not cold, empathetic or harsh. We still can be compassionate and empathetic, we’re just different to you greys that’s all!