Psychological Sloth: "I Have To THINK About It" and Other Lies...

One of the things you learn, both as a retail merchant and as an artist going to shows as a vendor, is the extent to which people "lie" to themselves. And to others.

How often have you looked at an item (or considered a new idea), really liked it, and then opted out with the phrase "I have to think about it!"

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Which path will you take?

I think became truly aware of just what a self-deception that is when I had a gift store back in the 1980's and 90's, and people would show up at the store on December 24th, go through a protracted process of choosing something... and then leave empty handed with the words "I have to think about it!"

What Do You REALLY Mean?

Most of the time, we don't really have to "think" about ANYthing, we're just making an excuse. Or stalling for time.

What we're really saying goes something like "I'm afraid to commit to buying this thing (or participating in this activity) in case something else comes along, even though I have spent TONS of time and emotional bandwidth ensuring this is right..."

Taking an advance loan on "buyer's remorse?"

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Buttercup...

Hardly!

A surprising amount of the time, people are really just trying to abdicate personal accountability for making an active choice that could have a less than perfect outcome. Whether we're consciously aware of it, or not, we fabricate a circumstance under which a potentially wonderful (but possibly shitty) choice gets to "expire."

We wait till we miss a deadline, or till the store closes on December 24th, after which we get to transfer accountability to another great psychological "lie:"

"Oh Yeah, I MEANT To Do That!"

I "meant to" buy Bitcoin when it was $100 but I had to do a car repair; I "meant to" buy my wife that bracelet, but the store closed before I could get there; I "meant to" go to Hawaii for New Year's, but the special offer had expired by the time I was ready to buy.

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We put a positive spin on our own wishy-washy-ness.

Alternately, we attribute cleverness and genius to ourselves for NOT having done things that would have gone badly, even though our action not-to was created by our own emotional sloth, not by a conscious and aware choice.

As the old truism goes: "The road to Hell is paved with good intentions!"

Conscious emotional honesty is hard work! And I say that as someone who has spent 20-odd years "working on it." We look at these choices we so often fail to make, and we allow ourselves to "zone out" to where the possibility to actually make the choice expires. It's a sort of emotional procrastination, if you think about it.

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So Why CARE?

In a sense, Mrs. Denmarkguy is more qualified to speak to that, since she's a counselor and a minister and counsels lots of people who face issues like this.

But I will answer, anyway, though my own lens of perception.

I care because a close "relative" to having to "think about it" is regret.

More often than not, by the time we get to the "I have to think about it" stage of a decision, we have already invested a lot of time and thought in our decision, and quite likely have arrived at a point where there's an 80-90% chance we're making the right choice.

Which also means we're now looking at an 80-90% chance that we'll end up feeling (even if secretly) some regret and disappointment at our indecision... even if we can give ourselves that consolation pat on the back when we tell ourselves "I KNEW that was the right choice to make!"

So... make the choice, rather than just thinking about the choice!

Thanks for reading!

Comments, feedback and other interaction is invited and welcomed! Because — after all — SOCIAL content is about interacting, right? Leave a comment-- share your experiences-- be part of the conversation!

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(As usual, all text and images by the author, unless otherwise credited. This is original content, created expressly for this platform.)
Created at 20200312 15:27 PST

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Thanks for sharing this! I like to seek truth and have learned earlier on not to make excuses which allowed me to move forward more easily and have more successes.

Yeah, I agree. Getting trapped in a cycle of making excuses and creating rationalizations seems to just increase the likelihood that we remain stuck.

 10 months ago 

Exactly why I enjoyed the "House" series, bottom line everyone lies! To overcome indecision go with gut feel most probably more reliable.

When shopping ask some questions, do you need it, can you afford it?

@tipu curate

Oh yes! I really liked "House," as well. I have found my gut feelins/intuition to be really solid guides, most of the time.

Thanks for the "tip!"

I admit that "I will think about it" is an easy way to be non committal and is something that risk averse people like to do

Well, I'm pretty risk averse myself. I usually have an immediate gut reaction "no' feeling when faced with something I don't feel like doing. And I'd rather just say no on the spot, that having some "undecided" thing hanging over me...

But different people have different priorities.

Yes, that is why I read many books saying that sometimes making a wrong decision is better than making no decision at all. Indecisiveness is more dangerous than messing up here and there. Thanks for the insightful post! ((:

Resteemed! (:

Thanks @joeylim! I think people often forget that the choice of delaying making a decision until it is "too late" is ALSO a "decision." Even if that decision can perhaps be called "indirect"

Personally? I'd rather have a little more personal say in things.

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