Splitting: Why Viewing Things In Black And White Can Be Damaging

Hey! I’m Hannah! I’m glad you’re here. I’d like to share with you a little bit about splitting. I’ve done it and I know some people live perpetually in it. It has its benefits, but it can be very destructive too. I hope this will be an encouragement to you and help you to see that we experience things and some of the things we experience don’t have to be shamed or judged, simply observed and accepted, and choose to either stay or change. We can be kind to ourself and want better for ourselves at the same time. Much love to you!

The black and white perspective

This can stunt our personal growth and make it more difficult for us to reach our full potential.

Hannah Esther

When it comes to the way we view the world, most of us tend to see things in black and white. This means that we either see something as good or bad, right or wrong, important or unimportant. While this way of thinking can be helpful in some situations, it can also be damaging.

Viewing things in black and white can lead to a number of problems, such as:

  • It can make us close-minded and resistant to new ideas.
  • It can cause us to make snap judgments about people and situations.
  • It can lead to us feeling overwhelmed and stressed.

This type of thinking can also limit our potential growth and development. Seeing things in black and white can make us close-minded, which can lead to us missing out on different perspectives and opportunities. This can stunt our personal growth and make it more difficult for us to reach our full potential.

It has to be a conscious choice to change these beliefs and become open minded to nuance.

Hannah Esther

Letting go of this black and white way of thinking can be difficult for many individuals due to the fact that it is deeply engrained in their beliefs. Our mindsets and beliefs shape the way that we perceive the world and how we interact with it. It has to be a conscious choice to change these beliefs and become open minded to nuance.

familiar and comfortable for us to default to

Hannah Esther

Additionally, this type of thinking can be so familiar and comfortable for us to default to the, “all or nothing”, mentality that we’ve been accustomed to. It’s easier to think that things are either good or bad and that there’s no in between.

see the beauty in the nuances of life

Hannah Esther

Unlearning this type of thinking and behavior is no easy task; however, with persistence and intention, you can learn to recognize and redirect your thoughts in order to see the beauty in the nuances of life.

The benefits of a more nuanced view

Recognizing life is not just black and white helps you to become more aware of why you think and act the way you do.

Hannah Esther

Seeing life in different shades of grey is extremely beneficial. This can help you to become more adaptable to change, form healthier relationships, and become more empathetic.

The major benefits of viewing things in more shades of grey include:

  • Better decision making – When you view things in black and white, you are stuck in a box and cannot think outside of it. More nuanced thoughts allows your mind to think more flexibly, because you are open to more possibilities. It can lead to more open-mindedness and clarity.
  • Increased self-awareness – Recognizing life is not just black and white helps you to become more aware of why you think and act the way you do. You can become more conscious of your beliefs and understanding of why other people see things differently. This can also lead to less judgement of yourself and others.
  • Healthy relationships – Seeing things in shades of grey helps you to communicate with others in a respectful way. You don’t take everybody’s opinion at face value and you can learn to listen and understand different points of view. This can open up channels of constructive conversations and create a better understanding between people.
  • Increased empathy – When you view the world from a nuanced perspective, your empathy can increase. Instead of seeing a situation in absolutes, you can become better at understanding why a person might feel or act a certain way.


Black and white thinking can be damaging because it doesn’t allow for situation flexibility or the room to develop critical thinking skills. It can leave a person feeling frustrated and confused at times. Nuanced thinking, on the other hand, leaves us open to more possibilities, better decision making, and a better understanding of ourselves and others. This can lead to healthier relationships, increased empathy and overall a elevated quality of life.

Viewing life in shades of grey can help you to become more open-minded, understanding, and empathetic, not just to the world around you but to yourself as well.

Hannah Esther

So, the next time you’re feeling frustrated or you feel like life is black and white, it might be better to take a step back and consider the bigger picture. It can help you to see things from different angles and also increase your critical thinking skills. Viewing life in shades of grey can help you to become more open-minded, understanding, and empathetic, not just to the world around you but to yourself as well.

Being with someone who only sees things with the perspective of all or nothing. Splitting.

Psychological and emotional abuse is violence with a smile.

Hannah Esther
  1. What is abuse? The exploiting of another for gain, small or large. Exploitation has many forms and the tools of manipulation and deception are vast. The abuse cycle is a form of extremes. Extreme highs and extreme lows, resulting in bonding due to the chemical releases that occurs when we experience traumatic extreme experiences. The abuse cycle is a pattern of behavior beginning in an idealization phase (love bombing – can look really chill even), devaluing phase (unreasonably critical – can seem like they are just offering feedback – can invokes the fight or flight trauma response), discard phase (unreasonably quits – uses manipulation like stonewalling, gaslighting, silent treatment to invoke the fawn trauma response in you), which paves the way for the final phase of hoovering (they use any tactic to get you to question your own experience, like gifts and apologies betting on your fawn trauma response to be in full swing so that the love bombing can begin once more). Chronic exposure to this cycle destroys your sense of self and your ability to trust your own experiences. Psychological and emotional abuse is violence with a smile. It’s hidden and dangerous. Physical abuse always has firms of psychological and emotional abuse.
  2. How can splitting be abusive? An individual prone to splitting is typically quick to place this type of polarizing judgment, often leading to either idealizing or devaluing people, things, and situations. It doesn’t allow much room for nuance, and it can set a person up for disappointment. They’re also likely to abruptly change their opinions from one extreme to another, which can be frustrating to those around them because of the endless push-pull dynamic it can create. One common pattern that can occur in a person prone to splitting is cycles of idealization and devaluation. Which is the key components of any abuse dynamic.
  3. What are the effects of this type of abuse? The affect of being idealized is believing someone is being genuine and loving and thinking when they begin to devalue you, that they are truly trying to help you still with good intentions. This over time becomes harsher and harsher the more of your faults they learn. It becomes harder for them to idealize someone who in their black and white viewing has become not worthy of their idealization and is just worthy of being devalued and discarded. When you fawn for them to return, the person you believed them to be during the idealization phases. They Hoover back in, thinking in their own delusional state that you are worthy again until you’re not. It’s inhumane and crushes people who are empathetic and genuinely are trying to be kind and understanding. Leave people who have the all or nothing perspective. They will not be able to see nuance and grow with you. They will happily destroy themself along with you if it means they view themselves as worthless while they currently view you as worthless. Living in extremes is destructive and dangerous! Be safe!!
  4. How can we protect ourselves from this type of abuse? Recognize signs of it and accept that you can’t change someone who has these deeply engrained beliefs. The main sign of splitting is typically a polarization of beliefs, with a tendency to quickly sort elements of one’s life into the categories of “amazing” or “terrible” with little room for the in-between, creating a distorted view of reality. Here are a few ways these tendencies may manifest, so you can recognize if you may be engaging in it in your own life:
    • Thinking in absolutes or dividing concepts into two opposing camps,
    • Believing that everyone is either good or bad with no room for ambiguity or imperfections,
    • Believing that someone with a different viewpoint is against you,
    • Hyper critical of one’s self and of others,
    • Viewing everything as revolving around them and believing that if someone does something it stems from being centered around them, ie “they don’t like me is why they do this, this and this“, “he’s not talking to me because he thinks I’m this, this and this.” With no room for nuance,
    • Takes things either highly personal or doesn’t care at all. There is no in between or consideration for the other persons view or perspective,
    • Easily turning on someone close to you (for example: Idolizing your best friend, spouse, sister, brother, cousin, random stranger, mom, dad or family friend and then dropping them if they do something they don’t like or they stop feeding their ego,
    • Making fun of or belittling those who is perceived to think, act or look differently than you do,
    • Changing your mind about core beliefs on a whim or switching opinions/allegiances abruptly,
    • Having difficulty maintaining relationships, Changing moods abruptly and acting like nothing happened.
    • They are the “most vulnerable” martyr of their own life, they take no accountability for the way their life is and are only a victim of life happening to them and those around them are all either with them or against them (“most vulnerable”, being they will seem so humbled by life’s struggles, but really are seeking someone to rage against, people and the injustices of their own life, on their behalf as they are too wounded by their own life to do so — while now they have someone to blame if things go south — since they choose to not take accountability for their decisions in their life that have led them to this place and time, they will eventually blame the person/people who came in to their lives that they have now assigned to fix their life, as the problem instead of taking ownership — thus the cycle continues and anyone who gets close to them become the new shiny problem).
  5. What should we do if we’re being abused in this way? First and foremost be kind to yourself. It’s really easy to miss the signs. Especially when you’ve been so thoughtful and tactful to express your concerns to be devalued and your character to be sallee into question. The best evil looks good. Once you’ve accepted the situation and you can safely either leave or tell them to leave, do so. If you are able to, save money prior to making your decision know the better. However, if you are in immediate danger don’t wait. Leave! The damage of this type of behavior is the deception that draws us back in and convinces us we’re exaggerating and our own desire to not be a burden kicks in and we succumb to the familiar. Fear of the unknown is a capricious fellow. It can almost make death sound more pleasant than an unknown possibility. That is why distance from the deceiver is important! Please be safe and reach out for help from the resources I’ve provided below! Much love!
  6. Resources for further help. Tap & Scroll to the bottom and you will find a plethora of resources!!!

Thank you for spending time here today! I hope this was informative and encouraging! If you’ve experienced splitting while too being abused or you’re being abused by someone who is splitting or both. There is hope!! You don’t have to stay there or in that frame of mind! Much love to you on your healing journey!

Published by The Family Treat

I’m a mommy of two! I love everything from food to traveling to being at home and relaxing! Arts, crafts, helping others be the best they can be. Life is short, we need to utilize every since moment of it!

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