I am completely incapable of making decisions. I’m not sure when that happened. When I was in high school, I picked prom dresses, haircuts, and other high-school important things with the snap of a finger. In the case of both of my prom dresses, they were the first ones that I tried on in the year that I went to each prom. I was so proud of that fact; it meant that I wasn’t high-strung and didn’t place false value in unimportant things. Maybe I was patting myself on the back too much, but I definitely enjoyed telling people about this aspect of me for a long time.
I clung to those beliefs about myself for far too long. It was only last night that I realized my lacking ability to make decisions. I came to the conclusion in the midst of a minor crisis (one that shouldn’t have been) because of two things.
First of all, I was doing a little online shopping the other day at Anthropologie and J.Crew, my two favorite stores, with the intention of getting some new clothes to spruce up my lacking and slightly worn out wardrobe (when I wore a shirt out of the house the other day and got to my destination to realize that there were two very small holes at the bottom of the front, I knew the time had come). For the J.Crew part, it was relatively painless. I added a few things to my cart, typed in my coupon code, and decided it was money well spent.
Then, the first moment came: I went to Anthropologie’s website and started picking out shirts, and I didn’t stop picking out shirts for what seemed like far too long. I looked at my cart, and I jumped back from my computer screen at the suggested total. I manipulated what I had in my cart, changed some colors, changed some sizes, added a few things (never a good idea when your total is already too high), took some away, and called my mom. This was when I knew I had a problem. Why did I need to call my mom for this purchase? I wasn’t calling to ask for money or for her to buy me anything, I was calling to ask what she thought of each thing, in each color, and in each size. Thankfully, my mom was very helpful, in the wrong direction. I ended up adding more to my cart as she insisted that I look at the sale section for some of the cute things they had there. So, I hung up with her with more in my cart, but knew I was happy with everything. I sat and manipulated and thought more, and after several hours (HOURS!), I placed my order. Okay, I spent quite a bit of money…it was okay to think about it.
A few things I bought…thoughts?
Then, the moment that finally made me realize that I have a decision making problem came. Another teacher at my school started selling Cutco knives. He came to my house and did a little demonstration. In all instances of attending these parties, I study the catalogs and websites and go to the party already knowing what I’m going to purchase (another telltale sign?). But, the Cutco website doesn’t have prices. I was nervous. He came, I chose a few things after a much more limited amount of time, and off he went. I felt some amount of pressure to not waste his time. It was when he called the next morning that this overwhelming feeling set in. He told me that my order didn’t actually qualify for whatever deal he had told me about, and what did I want to do. I thought, and I told him I would call him back. BIG mistake! When I got home yesterday, I sat and thought forever. I analyzed the website (I should go work for them, as I now know every knife combination they have), I texted him, he called. I didn’t need knives, and the stress that I found myself in over this situation was ridiculous. I again called my mom and another friend for advice. I gave myself a deadline and told him I would tell him by 11:00. At 10:50, I relieved myself of the stress, texted him something not even related to my first order, and went to bed.
There are other instances as of late where I take much too much time to make a decision. I’m currently deciding on whether to go visit my parents and my sister (tomorrow). I don’t understand when this change happened or why. I’m confused about why I get myself so worked up when making decisions and consult so many people along the way. Am I the only one who has become less decisive as I’ve gotten a little older?
What’s something that you’ve found yourself taking too much time making a decision about lately? If not, what do you think about in order to make these decisions? Any tips for getting less anxious about things that really should be mundane?