Unless you’re write code for a living or some other science-y “medical medical” thing, it’s the enemy of truth. A couple’s therapist I saw (soooo many shrinks. I think I’ve had more shrinks than men) when I was a couple used to go “ANNNNnnnnnnd?” when one of us would make a blanket statement about the other one like “she’s always thinking about baked goods instead of my needs” or “He’s always thinking about me not thinking about his needs” — as a way to remind us that MORE THAN ONE THING CAN BE TRUE AT THE SAME TIME.
It’s a concept. All my favorite writers live in the grey, rather than the black and white. People are both good and bad. Situations have up and downsides. A decision isn’t ever perfect, just shades of who-the-fuck-knows?
And I’m finding that discussions of politics aren’t served by binary thinking either. This article made me dwell on this. It’s pretty great.
Some stereotypes play into things that are kind of true. Or true-ish. But I think they’re usually just ways of constructing a world view that has some kind of order.
The messy middle is where much of life falls. It makes sweeping generalizations way less fun. But it’ll make your writing way better. And maybe make you a more compassionate human. Bonus.