Chronic indecision as a character trait

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Chronic indecision as a character trait

Postby jocular on July 9th, 2017, 5:56 am 

I have a friend in whom I have observed this characteristic.(decisions do get made but are regularly parked and gone over repeatedly)

At first when I noticed it my "advice" was to accept it as a part of herself and to look upon its positive benefits (more perhaps to the user of the trait than to any particular time pressed partner in social dialogue ;) )


Nevertheless I have ,over the years offered "advice" as to how to get around decision-making impasses that seem to me to be causing problems.

I have noticed very little (none?) headway in this course I have attempted to (very lightly)chart for this other person.

I am just wondering ,is this actually a common scenario and are some people really just "built that way" ?

And it is all just a question of accepting the basic situation whilst trying possibly to find workaround in particular situations?
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Re: Chronic indecision as a character trait

Postby Serpent on July 9th, 2017, 11:52 am 

That depends on what you mean by "building" a person.
Yes, some people have low self-esteem built - or more properly programmed - into them, usually in early childhood. Ditherers are typically the product of one or more overbearing, critical, belittling parent, who told them, over and over, that whatever they chose, whatever they desired, whatever they decided was wrong.
Often, too, a religious education contributes to this: the notion that some higher power is in charge and you should leave the deciding to him or it.

Such early indoctrination is very difficult to overcome. Advice won't make any real difference. Even extensive therapy may be ineffective. But the person who wants strongly enough to overcome it can find a support group and a method that works for him or her.
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Re: Chronic indecision as a character trait

Postby Watson on July 9th, 2017, 12:22 pm 

Is this a problem to your friend? With the little information so far, I'm not seeing a problem for her, than a problem for you, trying to make plans with them?
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Re: Chronic indecision as a character trait

Postby Braininvat on July 9th, 2017, 12:29 pm 

I've noticed that trait is often paired with a tendency to hold onto things (both material things and beliefs/habits). Perhaps because making a choice often means giving something up. One thing that may help is shedding light on the reality that life consists, in a very fundamental way, of losses. We shed constantly. (My cats suggested that last sentence)
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Re: Chronic indecision as a character trait

Postby jocular on July 9th, 2017, 1:52 pm 

I am treading on eggshells here because I cannot discuss someone who is not in the room ,even though I did open this conversation.

But yes, this holding onto things I have noticed. I sometimes come across bits of food that have been concealed in out of the way places and then forgotten and rotted!!

And of course I have wondered how much is down to my own discomfort and how much the other person is inconvenienced by her own seemingly ingrained approach.

On occasion it seems to be a wonderful asset as when the inability to say no means that visitors like Jehova Witnesses or other traveling salesmen find they are outtalked and only manage to detach themselves an hour or so later.

Perhaps this does indeed stem from early upbringing (not always kind) and it is too late to attempt to radically change everything and we just have to go with the flow ,albeit with a little river diversion if humanly possible (probably not ;) )
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Re: Chronic indecision as a character trait

Postby BadgerJelly on July 9th, 2017, 5:16 pm 

I'm on the fence :)
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Re: Chronic indecision as a character trait

Postby Serpent on July 9th, 2017, 5:28 pm 

She sounds extremely insecure.
It might be too late to change in any radical sense, but it's never too late to alleviate some of the symptoms.

The worst possible approach is more criticism and disapproval.
The most likely to be helpful is reassurance. Make her feel safe; let her know that what she values won't be snatched away if she makes a mistake.

Then, take each decision apart into components. It can be analyzed objectively - this is important, to distance it from the emotional turmoil it evokes - on paper, if necessary, by list and/or diagram - flow-charts are cool; whatever works for that person's mode of thought. A decision can then be divided into components, by time or function or importance or level of difficulty, and taken step by step, one mini-decision at a time, rather than an overwhelming big one. This way, each time she overcomes a hesitation, she not only gets the positive reinforcement of success and self-validation, but also becomes more adept at the process of autonomous decision-making. It will get faster and easier!
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Re: Chronic indecision as a character trait

Postby jocular on July 10th, 2017, 4:00 am 

BadgerJelly » July 9th, 2017, 5:16 pm wrote:I'm on the fence :)

Anyone remember this small hit in 1966 ?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rhehNS3_CTA

I didn't realize then it was a Stones song.I thought it was from the US.

"One things not said too much, but I think it's true

They just get married 'cause there's nothing else to do, so.........."

was the catch line in my head :)
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Re: Chronic indecision as a character trait

Postby BadgerJelly on July 10th, 2017, 4:29 am 

joc -

People are obviously different. Learn from them.

Maybe she thinks your overly bold and harsh in your choices and don't put enough consideration into your actions? Indecision may actually be her conscious "decision". Maybe she nurtures this mindset because her beliefs in life fit it?

I am a person on the fringes of "normal" and people have shown concern for me when I honestly thought they'd be much better off focusing on themselves (deflection from their own little quirks).

Indecision is a damn good starting position. At least from there you have a balanced perspective and you are actually thinking about a decision. Is it "in built"? I have considered the whole nature nurture dichotomy not to be of much use for myself to date. It is at least an endless subject we can debate without really coming to any particular hard decision!

"APORIA"
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Re: Chronic indecision as a character trait

Postby jocular on July 10th, 2017, 5:41 am 

Well I have the belief that we learn from our decisions and that decisions (right or wrong) clear the dead wood from our lives and open new territory.

People complain of "getting stuck in a rut" and I would suppose that dwelling too long on a situation (chronic indecision) can feed that feeling/reality.

Alexandra the Great would probably have a bit to say on that....I wonder what he would suggest to deal with the Trump conundrum?
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Re: Chronic indecision as a character trait

Postby Serpent on July 10th, 2017, 10:32 am 

jocular » July 10th, 2017, 4:41 am wrote:Well I have the belief that we learn from our decisions and that decisions (right or wrong) clear the dead wood from our lives and open new territory.

What if it wasn't dead? Desertification. Badger has a point: hasty decisions have far more potential for damage that hesitation. Or, as my driving instructor used to say: It's harder to cause an accident with a stationary vehicle than a speeding one.

Alexandra the Great would probably have a bit to say on that....I wonder what he would suggest to deal with the Trump conundrum?

What conundrum? Demand an unconditional surrender. Besiege Washington. Raze it. Kill all the men, march off all the women and children into slavery.* Then say, "He tweeted 'Unvcfle!! Nice.' Huh. Never checked my social media this morning. Oh well, cleared some deadwood, anyway. So. Boston next?"
Decisive fellow, was Alex.

* "Wha? Hey, dude, i still got the teeshirt from last time!"
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Re: Chronic indecision as a character trait

Postby jocular on July 10th, 2017, 10:55 am 

They say a wrong decision can be better than no decision.

I am not suggesting a mass programme of decision making ,merely that from time to time it may be better to make a move rather than stare like a rabbit into the headlights.

You know decisions can be put off for very lengthy periods.

Again with my Trump conundrum (how to wish the sorry episode away) I am not suggesting a series of moves ,merely a desperate hope that with one bound the USA free itself of its embarrassment.

I hope my Gordian Knot suggestion was taken as meant in a light hearted way.(laugh/cry)
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Re: Chronic indecision as a character trait

Postby Serpent on July 10th, 2017, 1:13 pm 

jocular » July 10th, 2017, 9:55 am wrote:They say a wrong decision can be better than no decision.

They are not cognizant of every possible situation.

From time to time is only some of the time, with a lengthy hiatus between. The rabbit's chances don't necessarily improve: by jumping right, it's choosing a 50/50 probability of death; by jumping left, it's choosing a 50/50 probability of survival; by sitting still, it's choosing to trust St. Peter and a merciful driver to kill/spare it.

The sorry episode will not be resolved by wishing.
I know this, because I've been attending international wish-ins every weekend for two years.
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Re: Chronic indecision as a character trait

Postby zetreque on July 10th, 2017, 4:13 pm 

I wonder if this is why one of my neighbors has to re-park about 15 times every time he comes home. He can't decide when he has done a good parking job.

Two things come to mind that I keep reminding myself.

Life is incredibly short. Hanging onto things filling my life with clutter, and spending too much time making a decision will be in vain once I'm dead.

Even bad decisions can be good. People often point to the the "accident" in which Alexander Fleming discovered Penicillin. I like to think of Bear Grylls and other survivalists that say to keep moving and trying things even if you make a mistake. Continually trying things and moving forward making decisions at least you are getting somewhere rather than not going anywhere and perishing.
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Re: Chronic indecision as a character trait

Postby Serpent on July 10th, 2017, 6:09 pm 

zetreque » July 10th, 2017, 3:13 pm wrote: Continually trying things and moving forward making decisions at least you are getting somewhere rather than not going anywhere and perishing.

Not all motion is forward; sometimes it's sideways or backwards or in circles. You might as readily perish, exhausting yourself in a vain climb-up-slide-back-exercise as finding a good campsite and staying put until the weather clears. There isn't a better or worse style in which to squander our short time on this planet - there is just your style and mine. If we swapped, we'd both be doing it wrong.
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Re: Chronic indecision as a character trait

Postby RoccoR on July 10th, 2017, 8:29 pm 

Re: Chronic indecision as a character trait
Serpent, zetreque, et al,

Well, I'm not sure this is correct.

Serpent » July 10th, 2017, 6:09 pm wrote:
zetreque » July 10th, 2017, 3:13 pm wrote: Continually trying things and moving forward making decisions at least you are getting somewhere rather than not going anywhere and perishing.

Not all motion is forward; sometimes it's sideways or backwards or in circles. You might as readily perish, exhausting yourself in a vain climb-up-slide-back-exercise as finding a good campsite and staying put until the weather clears. There isn't a better or worse style in which to squander our short time on this planet - there is just your style and mine. If we swapped, we'd both be doing it wrong.

(COMMENT)

I think we might stay away from terms like "forwards, backwards, or sideways." I think that the mass or energy travels in a straight line, absent another force acting upon it.

I don't think "circles" is very good; but, the energy or mass being measured will follow the curvature of space-time. (I think!)

Descriptions like "Up and Down" are actually the large body/large mass influencing a smaller body/smaller mass through gravity (the curvature of space-time).

Or so I am lead to believe.

Most Respectfully,
R
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Re: Chronic indecision as a character trait

Postby zetreque on July 10th, 2017, 8:34 pm 

By moving forward I also meant keep trying things. Like even if you aren't physically moving forward literally, you can be trying different ways to start a fire for example. The key point however is to not let your brain bog you down with worries about your decisions or if you are making the right or wrong decision. If you start to fall into that trap then you reach gridlock, in some situations panic can set in, stress, and negative emotions.
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Re: Chronic indecision as a character trait

Postby Serpent on July 10th, 2017, 10:26 pm 

RoccoR » July 10th, 2017, 7:29 pm wrote:Re: Chronic indecision as a character trait

I think we might stay away from terms like "forwards, backwards, or sideways." I think that the mass or energy travels in a straight line, absent another force acting upon it.


We might talk about mass and energy. But we were talking about decisions. Human thought tends to be directional, as we perceive it. And when we're lost in the forest, we do sometimes walk around in what give us the impression of circles when we keep passing the same tree-stump with the same snickering squirrel sitting on it, even though the actual route may have been elliptical or thromboid.

And I was joking.

And I understand how doing something or trying something, all the time, even if it's useless or even counterproductive, can feel like "forward"; can feel like you're in control and not stuck.
But for the indecisive person, it's the wrong approach. They have reasons for feeling the way they feel and doing things the way they do. Telling them "Do Something! Anything!" is unhelpful.
Figuring out how they can make the changes they want to make - rather than the ones an impatient onlooker thinks they should make - might be more appropriate.
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Re: Chronic indecision as a character trait

Postby zetreque on July 10th, 2017, 10:41 pm 

Serpent » Mon Jul 10, 2017 6:26 pm wrote:But for the indecisive person, it's the wrong approach. They have reasons for feeling the way they feel and doing things the way they do. Telling them "Do Something! Anything!" is unhelpful.


I feel like we are seeing this differently. It depends on the person and the condition.
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