April 2, 2021

Don’t participate in people’s indecision


Indecisive people have always given me hives. Especially when it comes to simple choices like where to eat dinner or which outfit to wear.

For the love of god, just find something that’s good enough, meet your own standards, look no further, and let the countless other available choices go away.

Then again, maybe that’s just my tendency to wish everyone would be more impatient like me.

Truth is, people are indecisive for a multitude of reasons.

There’s the inability to process option anxiety, the guilt from people pleasing, the external locus of control, the fear of failing or making mistakes, the low confidence, the need to overanalyze everything, the need to maintain a scarcity mentality, and so on.

Look, deciding is hard. And so, people can meander in the restless mush of their own ambiguity and indecision as long as they need to.

But please count me out of that process.

If you have ever tried to hold someone’s hand and help them conquer their indecisiveness, you can surely relate to my frustration. In fact, for many people, this is a trait that runs bone deep, buried under layers and layers upon layers of encrusted psychological debris and defenses.

At certain point, though, you have to set a boundary. Otherwise you enable people.

There’s a helpful phrase a friend of mine uses with his indecisive family. When his relatives start bickering back and forth about something trivial like where to eat dinner, for more than two minutes, he will simply say:

Guys, I love you, but I’m not going to participate in your indecision.

It’s kind, honest, caring and most importantly, firm. As if to alert everyone, look, you can take lap after lap around anxiety park if you want to, but when you’re ready to be an adult and make a decision, please let me know. Then we can move on with our lives.

Does the ability to change your mind about a decision serve you, or create future anxiety and lower ultimate satisfaction?

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