Day 3256: How do you make decisions?

As someone who can struggle making decisions, I am very curious about how others make decisions.

One of the reasons I struggle with decisions is that I’m a high Perceiver according to the Myers-Briggs test, which means I feel more comfortable collecting additional data rather than making a decision.

So I’d like to collect some data, here and now. How do you make decisions when

  • you are definitely out of your depth?
  • you get conflicting data from experts?
  • there can be considerable costs (monetary or otherwise) if you make a wrong decision?
  • you secretly wish the problem would just go away magically?
  • you tend to catastrophize worst case scenarios?
  • you’re afraid of getting trapped on a path you can’t escape?
  • you distrust your ability to figure out who and what to trust?
  • you wonder about people’s motives?
  • there is so much miscommunication and misunderstanding among humans, that it’s difficult to get to the “truth”?
  • you don’t want to hurt anybody’s feelings or otherwise cause them trouble?
  • you have trouble asking for help?
  • different people give you very different advice?
  • you would much rather be focusing on situations within your comfort zone?
  • you’re not psychic and can’t predict the future?
  • you feel like you don’t belong in the role of decision maker?

Right now, I’m having trouble making decisions about what to discuss in this blog post! Should I write about my struggles with decisions regarding getting the repair work done on our home? Should I share my problems deciding about next steps related to Joan the cat’s recurring ear infections? Should I discuss the kashmillion decisions I make every day, with varying levels of comfort?

Well, I’m making the decision to share these images.

How do you make decisions about which of those National Days to consider today?

How do you make decisions about which of these videos (which I found by searching YouTube for “how do you make decisions?”) to watch?

How do you make decisions about what thoughts and feelings to express, here and elsewhere?

I have no trouble making decisions about expressing gratitude, so thanks to all who made the decision to visit this blog today, including YOU!

Categories: life during the pandemic, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

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7 thoughts on “Day 3256: How do you make decisions?

  1. Today is not a thinking day for me, so I pass on taking any decisions whatsoever. I shall let my body do its own thing!

  2. I’ve always liked ‘plans’ rather decisions. They sound more compromising but for me they are more concrete. There’s a plan A, B, C or even D (which can be inaction) and take hypothetical scenarios into consideration. However, decisions try to define one’s personality, which is one of the biggest criticisms the Myers-Briggs’s test faces. One’s personality cannot simply be pigeonholed, much less a a decision.

    One of the reasons the majority of people fail the Myers-Briggs’s test is because circumstances change so drastically. The ‘perceiving’ person can suddenly become ‘judging’, or the all-time ‘introvert’ may become an ‘extrovert’ later in life. ‘Decisions’ are hypothetical courses of action, while ‘plans’ are concrete, although still hypothetical. However, decisions rely more on the abstraction of feelings and emotions, while ‘plans’ rely on concrete evidence and/or realistic scenarios. However, both could also be used interchangeably. Why tie decisions to emotions?

  3. puella33

    Hi, Ann, Happy Hanukkah. It depends on the decision….If I want something badly, I don’t struggle. However on more serious decisions, I run it through my conscience. Have a nice day, Ann

  4. Debbie T

    Whenever I’m having trouble making a decision, I use one or more of these strategies:
    * Talk to trusted friends and/or family members (call them TFF) who might see the issue from a different point of view and help rule out some options
    * Ask TFF for names of people who might have expertise about the issue and be willing to talk to me. Often these are people I would otherwise think of if I weren’t so overwhelmed.
    * Ask TFF which websites they look at for factual information
    * Read a bunch of websites and make a list of factors, then discuss with TFF
    * Make a pros/cons chart to organize my thinking
    * List the “worst case scenarios” on paper so I can start eliminating options that clearly won’t happen (might need help of TFF to identify these)
    * Use Maria’s strategy about making plans for different scenarios
    * Worry a lot until my feelings sort themselves out and point me in a direction (doesn’t always work and maybe not the most productive use of time)
    * If I think I might hurt someone’s feelings, I rehearse different ways to phrase my request/decision. I tend to be at the “care a lot” end of the spectrum and could probably use more practice with being direct yet kind. (I almost wrote “care too much” but decided to remove the judgment.)
    * I’m skeptical about taking advice unless I know the person well and know that their preferences are similar to mine. This is especially true when reading reviews: one person’s “boring, box-like hotel room” could be my “cozy comfortable retreat”, and someone else’s “you’ve gotta go hear this fabulous band” could be my “oh no, that’s my least favorite music genre, why would I do that?”.

  5. when making decisions as I’ve gotten older, I have grown to trust my intuition more, with a tiny sprinkle of info and fingers crossed. not the most logical or conservative at all, but it generally has served me well. most decisions can be changed if they don’t work out as planned, but it may take a lot of work to undo something, once done. I feel that by avoiding or denying and not making a decision, that actually is a decision unto itself.

  6. Think, mull, ponder, decide, Ann.

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