Opposite Sides That Can Both Be True

Dialectics courtesy of DBT and Marsha Linehan

We often see things as black and white. Things are either one way or the other. That there is no in between. However, two opposing things CAN be true at the same time.

It is a paradox that many people struggle with accepting because they often feel conflicting or opposing emotions, thoughts and beliefs, and we are under the belief that only one of what we are thinking, feeling or believing MUST be true.

Accepting that two opposing things can be true can help with processing and moving on. You don’t have to feel one way or the other. You don’t have to believe one thing or another. You can believe in two things that oppose each other.

  1. You can want to change and be doing the best you can. AND still need to do better, try harder, and be more motivated to change.
  2. You are tough AND you are gentle.
  3. You can be independent AND also want help.
  4. You can want to be alone AND also want to be connected to others.
  5. You can share some things with others AND also keep some things private.
  6. You can be by yourself AND still be connected to others.
  7. You can be with others AND be lonely.
  8. You can accept yourself the way you are AND still want to change.
  9. You can accept others as they are AND still want them to change.
  10. You may have a valid reason for believing what you believe, AND you may still be wrong or incorrect.
  11. You can be mad at somebody AND also love and respect the person.
  12. You can be mad at yourself AND also love and respect yourself.
  13. You can be in a disagreement with somebody AND also be friends.
  14. You can disagree with the rules AND follow the rules.
  15. You can understand why somebody is feeling or behaving in a certain way, AND also disagree with his or her behaviour.

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