Dialectical thinking and reasoning are coming at a focal truth through a process of comparing and contrasting various ways and solutions to a particular situation. It also refers to the ability to view an issue from multiple perspectives and then settle on the most suitable and more reasonable solution. Dialectical thinking is a form of reasoning which involves analyzing the situation and looking for the real truth by questioning several other facts.
EXPLANATION OF DIALECTICAL THINKING
As the meaning itself implies, dialectical refers to the balance between opposite sides. Marsha Linehan defines dialectical as a synthesis or integration of opposites, and this can be put as two or more damaging things being true at once. We, as individuals, are used to thinking about things in a very straightforward manner. Some people call it the “Black and White” thinking. It is either we react to something or do things one way or the other. We can Love or Hate, feel Sad or Happy, Lively or Depressed, Strong or weak, and so on. Dialectical thinking urges us to see beyond one-sided thinking. The ground options might seem very far apart, but they can combine and give out the best solution. Dialectical thinking uses the word “AND” to compare and contrast options rather than the word “BUT.”
Our views about some things and occurrences changes with time, location, experience, and other determining factors in life. We can gain new ideas through experiences, work, location change, interpersonal relationships, etc. As we become exposed to new things, new ways of life, other people’s views of a particular topic and behaviors, our opinions begin to conflict. This kind of conflict can be resolved by finding balance (Synthesis) of competing or conflicting perspectives. Dialectic thinking looks like a debate or an argument. Still, in this case, the argument’s basis is not to dispute another opinion but to establish that which the leading and most reasonable opinion is. It comprises at least two simultaneous yet opposing truths.
It involves three stages:
- The Thesis Stage
- The Antithesis Stage
- The Synthesis Stage
The Thesis Stage: This is the stage where the idea forms.
The Antithesis Stage: This is where there are contradictions and questionings of the idea.
Synthesis: This is the stage where the differences between the positive and negative reactions are resolved.
HOW TO THINK DIALECTICALLY
- Have a deep understanding of dialectical thinking: You cannot do what you do not understand. The essential thing to note is that you must have a sense of what it means. You might not fully know everything about it, but at the least, you must not be a novice to it.
- Be flexible in your thinking: Dialectical thinking does not accept a conclusion as the absolute and final conclusion. It digs deeper into the subject and finds out if there are things that have been left out in what is understood about the whole situation.
- Come up with a balance (Synthesis) between acceptance and change: One of the essential things in dialectical thinking is finding the balance between acceptance and growth. You must be ready to unlearn some things to be prepared to learn new things. Finding a balance between change and acceptance is vital to dialectical thinking.
- Practice Dialectical thinking in your day to day activities: Before you can grow to become a dialectical thinker, you must put it into practice. You must not run into making conclusions without, first of all, balancing both conflicting decisions of yours.
EXAMPLES OF DIALECTICAL THINKING
We have learned that dialectical thinking involves balancing two conflicting conclusions. An excellent example of this is Love and hate. We have heard of stories of people who got engaged and married to people who, at some point, hate them. They hate the person at first, but persistent thinking and balancing thoughts annulled some conclusions they had about that person. Another example is moving on and getting depressed. We all know that depression is real, but it’s not the best option for them. They might be depressed, and it looks as if everything is done, but there is always a way out. Various examples can be said of dialectical thinking.
BENEFITS OF DIALECTICAL THINKING
- It facilitates the balancing of thoughts. Also, It helps you not to be a one-sided thinker.
- It gives room for new ideas.
- Plus, It prevents making wrong conclusions.
- It helps in identifying ideas, thoughts, and conclusions that make life easier.
- It reduces vulnerability to being too emotional.