I hate making decisions. It is not because I am an impulsive person, but instead because I am incredibly thorough with my analysis of consequences.
Going to tea with old students: do I order a green tea for detoxification purposes or black because I would rather have the caffeine? A decision like that usually takes about 5 minutes of debating and then finally a breathless order because the barista is looking emphatically for a response. It is immediately followed by a singe of regret. I like to think I am being hyperbolic now, but this entire exchange may have happened yesterday.
So when it comes to big decisions like should we get married? Should we break up? Should I move out? Should I sell my house? Should I find a roommate? I am usually catatonic. It isn’t that I am lazy; it is just that making a decision means altering the contentment of “now” for potentially positive and inevitably some negative consequences.
A Neurotic’s 15-Step Guide to Making a Change
(for once in your life… gonna feel real good, gonna make a difference, gonna make it right!)
- Obsess over the future.
- Over-analyze the present to determine that imagined future is not possible with the current circumstances.
- Acknowledge that something must change.
- Delineate the pro’s and con’s of each decision with a map of the next twelve consequences of each choice. (Note: this step can take weeks!)
- Follow the pathway with the least negative consequences.
- Make the decision.
- Try really, really hard not to change your mind because of the “well, what about…?” rabbit hole.
- Decide to go with Option #2.
- Tell everyone you know your change of plans.
- Upon feeling more regret, regress back to the first decision.
- Tell all of your friends. Seriously. You mean it this time.
- Immediately feel the regret again.
- Confer with your friends. Apparently, they are frustrated with your fickle behavior.
- Decide to not change anything because altering the status quo is too risky.
- Do not make any changes.
Repeat every one to three days.
Do you have a better process?