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The Rigid Perspective

A rigid perspective refers to a perspective we may adopt that is often one-sided, imbalanced, and flawed. Examples of rigid perspectives include: 

  • I failed my exam, so I am not intelligent. 
  • I am too tired to do my work, so I am lazy. 
  • My partner asked for space, so they did not love me. 
  • My parents raised me, so I owe them everything. 
  • My friends are too busy to hang out, so I am unimportant to them.

The Rigid Perspective

When we adopt a rigid perspective, we create a flawed reality that can lead to things like: 

  • Heightened stress 
  • Anxiety 
  • Depression 
  • Difficulties adapting to new situations 
  • Ruptures in relationships 
  • Inability to cope with stress 
  • Struggles with personal growth

The Balanced Perspective

A balanced perspective refers to the ability to weigh multiple truths and evidence to understand and accept a neutral, balanced reality, and often more accurate reality. Examples of balanced perspectives include: 

  • Understanding that people who love us can also be abusive. 
  • Recognizing that what we want may be different from what we need. 
  • Learning that we can love others and still have boundaries. 
  • Knowing that mistakes and failures are opportunities for growth.

The Balanced Perspective

A balanced perspective is not the same as a “silver lining.” Silver linings tend to negate the real, painful experiences of life. A balanced perspective helps us weigh the positive experiences with the negative ones. When we are able to develop balanced perspectives, we are able to achieve things like: 

  • A better understanding of ourselves and others 
  • A better understanding of stressful experiences 
  • An ability to adapt to evolving situations 
  • A more developed sense of empathy 
  • An outlet for processing our emotions

How to Adopt a Balanced Perspective

Developing a balanced perspective involves: 

  • Taking inventory of the situation, your thoughts, and your emotions 
  • Reflecting on what informed your thoughts 
  • Using the information to develop a balanced perspective. 

This can be done by completing a thought record.

Completing a Thought Record

Situation or EventI failed an exam.
Initial thoughtsI am unintelligent and a failure.
FeelingsShame Sadness Disappointment Worry

Completing a Thought Record

What informed that the thought?I received a failing grade.
What disproves the thought?I have received stellar grades in the past.I receive positive feedback from instructors.My classmates ask me for help.
Is there a balanced perspective?I received a failing grade, which was disappointing. But I am capable of receiving better grades. I will study harder next time and ask my instructor for support.

Developing a Balanced Perspective

We can accept a more accurate reality when we can develop a balanced perspective. This affects the ways in which we see ourselves and others. 

Remember, multiple truths can coexist (even ones that might be contradictory). 

Thought records and other forms of introspection can help us challenge and expand rigid thoughts.



While our physical offices are located in South Loop and Lakeview neighborhoods in Chicago, Illinois for in-person sessions, we also welcome and serve clients for online therapy from anywhere in Illinois and Washington, D.C. Clients from the Chicagoland area may choose in-office or online therapy and usually commute from surrounding areas such as River North, West Loop, Gold Coast, Old Town, Lincoln Park, Lake View, Rogers Park, Logan Square, Pilsen, Bridgeport, Little Village, Bronzeville, South Shore, Hyde Park, Back of the Yards, Wicker Park, Bucktown and many more.  

This page is also part of the Roamers Therapy Glossary; a collection of mental-health related definitions that are written by our therapists.


While our offices are currently located at the South Loop neighborhood of Downtown Chicago, Illinois, we also welcome and serve clients for online therapy from anywhere in Illinois and Washington, D.C. Clients from the Chicagoland area may choose in-office or online therapy and usually commute from surrounding areas such as River North, West Loop, Gold Coast, Old Town, Lincoln Park, Lake View, Rogers Park, Logan Square, Pilsen, Bridgeport, Little Village, Bronzeville, South Shore, Hyde Park, Back of the Yards, Wicker Park, Bucktown and many more. You can visit our contact page to access detailed information on our office location.