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Both/And Thinking

Both/And Thinking

There are so many different ways of thinking in this world! I call one of them Either/Or thinking. Either/Or thinking assumes things are opposites, and only one can be true. For example, "seeing my friends is EITHER safe OR not safe."

A different way of thinking is what I call Both/And thinking. For example, "I can BOTH socialize digitally on social media AND see my friends in person."


Both/And thinking can stop a lot of unnecessary arguments. For example, teenagers and their parents are known for legendary battles about social media - parents stereotypically wanting teenagers off social media and socializing in person. This is a classic either/or - to the teen, it often sounds like your parent is asking you to give up your social media world entirely. I would like to offer you an out from these arguments, with just one little phrase...both/and!

SEL Journal Activity

Journal Activity


1. In your SEL journal, explore the phrase 'both/and' by writing a few examples. They don't have to be about socializing - for example, "I can BOTH love sports AND love the theater."

2. Next, make a goal for socializing with friends. For example, "I will BOTH text my friends every day AND plan one walk a week with someone."

3. Share your plans with your family to confirm they are safe enough for your family's risk tolerance!

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