More than others, sensitive people spend their time thinking about the question “why?” Among this group of thinkers, there exists a rare breed of gifted intellectuals whose innate orderliness makes them highly skilled at finding an answer through the orderly process of logical reasoning.
People with OCPD have a gift for logical reasoning.
Logical reasoning is a very powerful tool used by the greatest mathematicians, scientists, diagnosticians, and detectives. It is what Sherlock Holmes and Dr. House (from the American TV series “House”) use to solve their respective mysteries.
It is what I have used to solve the mystery that is OCPD and build this entire blog without any formal education in psychology. People with OCPD just have to start with the question “why?” and then connect the puzzle pieces in their mind together.
But the “puzzle pieces” that they use to make their conclusions are not always accurate. The all-or-nothing thinking of people with OCPD can sometimes distort their judgment and cause them to make logical fallacies instead.
In an earlier post titled “Don’t Be Such a Chicken,” I linked a video of a frightened boy running away from a swarm of hungry chickens and suggested that he would probably develop a fear of birds from that traumatic experience. But why should all the thousands of different bird species be discriminated against when the boy’s experience only involved chickens?
Generalization is just one of the logical fallacies that gets committed by those who reason with all-or-nothing thinking. Racism, sexism, and all the other “isms” develop as a result of this kind of erroneous reasoning.
SO WHAT NOW?
HOW TO CO-EXIST WITH THE OTHER (OCPD):
Do not take it personally if others do not agree with you. Take the disagreement as an opportunity to refine your own beliefs through the learning of others’ different experiences.
HOW TO CO-EXIST WITH THE OTHER (OTHERS):
Do not “JADE” (justify, argue, defend, explain). If your OCPD friend tries to impose his or her beliefs onto you, you really do not need to defend your own beliefs. Instead, just say that you do not agree with him or her. If your OCPD friend corners you with his or her logic, try to catch the all-or-nothing thinking in his or her reasoning and respond by saying something along the lines of, “Hmmm, your observation is interesting. But I cannot agree with your premise because it is not true in my experience.” Your OCPD friend may then try to challenge the validity of your experience. You do not need to defend the validity of your experience. Instead, challenge him or her on the validity of his or her experience. No person’s experience justifies generalization.