Some people never seem to be able to make up their minds and decide on anything. Even choosing off a menu can take ages while they wait to see what everyone else is ordering. Why are some seemingly capable, intelligent people so unable to make basic decisions?
There are many reasons for being indecisive:
- Lack of confidence in themselves. People sometimes feel that they do not have the knowledge or the expertise to make a good choice. They doubt their own ability and confidence and feel that other people are more worldly and adept in these matters. This lack of confidence can grow into the fear of looking incompetent or being made to look an idiot in front of others. Having counselling, hypnotherapy, assertiveness training and working to improve personal confidence levels can make an important difference.
- Stress. When a person is overloaded and stressed it can be difficult to clear enough thinking space to decide what they want or how they feel. Everything can start to feel overwhelming. Even basic decisions can require a huge effort. Introducing breaks, exercise, sitting down for regular meals and scheduling in some fun can make all the difference.
- Fear. Some people are afraid that once they make a decision a better option will come along. This mindset can apply to every area of life, and can come across as infuriating or disrespectful to other people. Friends can start to feel that they are being regarded as the second choice. Being respectful of the arrangements that others make means that there may be times when we would rather be somewhere else. But being loyal and knowing that we are treating others as we would like to be treated is an important part of building good relationships.
- Making the wrong decision can make a person feel uneasy in front of others. Or making a choice that other people disapprove of can be especially daunting. When there is a stong desire to fit in, be accepted and thought well of making a wrong decision can feel like a catastrophe. We need to accept that we all make decisions that others do not necessarily agree with and that is part of becoming an adult. Appreciating that while we may not agree we can still respect each other’s rights to their opinions and decisions is an important realisation.
- Learned helplessness. A dominant family or strong siblings can erode a person’s confidence levels. If others have always done everything for them or they have been regularly pushed to one side they may have lost their ability to speak up for what they wanted or believed in. They may have learned that staying quiet was the better, safer option. This behaviour can continue into adult relationships with a pattern of learned helplessness evolving.
Sometimes having others look after them can become a safe, less stressful way to live. They may seek out partners to continue in that role and so avoid the necessity of having opinions and becoming decisive. This pattern can continue whilst the partner is happy to be in charge, but there often comes a point where the partner wants a more equal relationship and starts demanding more input. This can cast a relationship into crisis as the dynamics of the relationship are forced to change. Counselling can help at this time.
Improved confidence levels and better stress management techniques are effective ways of improving a person’s ability to become more decisive. Making decisions and appreciating that there is often not a right or a wrong choice, it is simply a matter of opinion can help a person grow and start to trust their views and abilities more. Whichever decisions are made often bring their own value into a person’s life.
Susan Leigh, Counsellor and Hypnotherapist http://www.lifestyletherapy.net