The Dangers of Black and White Thinking

I am guilty of a lot of things in my life. One of these things is sometimes my way of thinking. I have often done what I call “all or nothing” thinking. This is when you  have the tendency to think all one way or nothing. There is no gray area of thinking. This can be potentially a bad thing or it can be very good depending how you look at it. I find it a common thing among a lot of PF bloggers and people who are responsible with money.

I used to worry a lot about money when I was a child. I remember having this little Hello Kitty wallet where I kept all my money. I think I had $400 at the time in my little wallet which was like a mountain of money to me at the time. I remember being nervous about spending it even for good reasons. I felt like if I ever ran out of money, then I felt I would be in the worst situation possible. I am not sure why I thought that. I have always been a worrier about money and I certainly knew my mother instilled in me some of that.

What does this have to do with anything? Even as a child, I was guilty of thinking all one way or all another way. I see that in myself today. I have a really bad habit of thinking the worst even when there are little to no indicators of having that happen. For instance, I am one of those people who will slightly freak out if someone doesn’t respond quickly after I try to call/text them. Half my brain goes into thinking of the worst case scenarios that could have happened and is why they have not contacted me.

I do the opposite of this and think of something way too highly even when there have been very slight indicators. For instance, I recently took the advice of a friend who recommended a specific restaurant even though I had heard horrible things from other people. I then proceeded to get food poisoning because I was sure my friend’s experience was going to be mine as well. Fat chance. I was sick as a dog for a few days because I trusted something without looking more into it first.

I think the true is the same for finances. I have a real bad habit of assuming the worst when it comes to money. If I don’t have it, I assume I will always not have it. This leads me to undeserved spells of panic that leave me scrounging for alternatives to getting money back. Meanwhile, I can make myself sick in the process for absolutely no reason at all. This has happened so many times that I cannot count them anymore. Then the problem corrects itself not soon after and I have overworked myself for nothing. I have seen therapists over this but I am working on it in the long run.

Having money set aside is important but so is your frame of thinking. We all run into bumps in the road. The critical thing is how you respond and what you do to ensure your future both mentally and physically. Sometimes it is too easy just to say not worry about things, but it is true. Everything has a funny habit of working out. Case in point, freaking out over the little things is going to do more harm than good. As long as I am not spending money on illicit substances or buying McMansions, I think things are going to be fine. Even though I am the only one working in the relationship because of my boyfriend’s inability to work at the moment, I need to have faith in myself that I can cover the expenses and move forward.

I know I am not the only one like this with this slight flaw. If you do this sometimes or always, I would love to know how you deal with it.



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