It is a fact from analysis that a continuous and open real-valued function of a real variable is strictly monotonic. The proof I know runs something like this: Suppose $f$ is an open and continuous map but is not strictly monotonic. Consequently, there exist three numbers $a < c < b$ such that either $$ f(a) \geq f(c) \leq f(b) \;\;\;\; (1) $$ or $$ f(a) \leq f(c) \geq f(b) \;\;\;\; (2) $$ If $(1)$ holds then the exteme value theorem guarantees that $f$ attains its infimum on $[a,b]$; but by assumption, the infimum is at least as small as $f(c)$ so in fact $f$ attains its infimum on $(a,b)$. Also by assumption, $f$ carries open intervals to open intervals. With this though we have a contradiction since an open interval cannot contain it's own infimum. A similar argument yields considering suprema yields an analagous contradiction. Therefore, $f$ is strictly monotonic.
My question is, Is there a more constructive way to prove this that doesn't involve contradiction? Although I think the proof given is nice, I don't think I could have come up with it own my own because the consequences of $f$ not being strictly monotonic as exhibited in (1) and (2) would not have occurred to me. So, it would be good to see a direct way of proving this.