Friday, November 8, 2019

Friday Jottings-Decisions

At the time I wrote the below column I gave it a different name. Men and Obsessions. But I think just the word Decisions is more apt since that's the main point of the piece. As I mention down in the article I learned many years ago that almost always simply making one decision or the other is preferable to endless stewing without a decision. Often if you stew too  long a decision is made for you by circumstances that is worse than any of the alternatives you were considering. By necessity the only times I spend much time on deciding something is if a large sum of money (to me) is involved. I try to take time to consider all alternatives to obtaining the money at least cost to my pocketbook.
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     I believe men have fewer problems making decisions than women, as a rule. And don't obsess over a decision once they’ve made it. They don’t torture themselves with, ‘Maybe I should have said ‘yes, I’ll do the report, even though it’s your job.’ Or ‘Maybe I shouldn’t have refused to bake ten dozen cookies for the bake sale. I'd find the time, somewhere.’
    Why is this? Are males raised to be more decisive? Is the male psyche just natually more assertive? Do parents/society expect  female children to be ‘pleasers’ more than male children?
    I'm certainly no professional with answers. But I've lived a few years and observed a lot of people. And I've noticed that even if someone was exposed to bad examples of decision-making while growing up nature and nurture can be overcome to some extent as we mature.
    I’m convinced there is in most cases a difference in the male and female psyche. I observed it when raising my daughter, helping to raise my grandson and being around my two-year-old great-grandson. When Tyler wants something and it’s within his reach and ability, he takes it. I'm pretty sure he wil continue this, within appropriate limits hopefully, into adulthood. Girls, at least in my generation, nearly always gravitated toward asking permission or debating pros and cons, internally or with friends.
    Family dynamics affect decision-making, too. If one had a one or two parent family. Who was most influential in family decisions. Were there siblings. Were the children involved in decision making. And sometimes outside influences at some point affect the eventual development of adult decision-making style. 
    I worked for a while in what was once considered a job for only men. I think I’m much more decisive than I would have been because of that opportunity. Even before that experience though I had become convinced that, almost always, any decision is better than no decision when one must be made.
    The inability to make decisions, or trust the decision made, brings a feeling of helplessness that can be paralyzing.  Since many, many women live longer than their spouses these days, as I have, the ability to make decisions is more important than ever for them.

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