In this post we will explore the crippling trait of indecision. The fact of the matter is that the majority of us are indecisive. This is a trait that affects all of us, men and women. Herbert Hoover, former President of the United States of America, once said "My view of Heaven is of a place where no one ever has to make a decision." George W Bush, another former President of the United States, said "People say I'm indecisive, but I don't know about that."
Decisive people stand out from the crowd. Decisiveness is a powerful differentiator, one that can be especially helpful for women living in areas where the women outnumber the men (Author's Note: At this moment every female who is reading this is thinking "That's me! I live in an area like that!" I don't think I've ever lived in a place where the women think there is an equal ratio. They always claim it's at LEAST 2:1 or 3:1… But every time I gaze around in Sacrament Meeting, it looks pretty evenly split to me. Sounds like an excuse...). Let's walk through some familiar scenarios and analyze good approaches.
Decision #1: The Entrée
Ladies, picking an entrée at dinner is not a very difficult decision. Your meal will last approximately 1 hour. Dinner generally occurs at the beginning of a date and can set the tone for the entire evening. No guy wants to wait 20 minutes for you to pick out what you want to eat. This is where you probably want to pay close attention to the cues your date is sending. If he decides right away, try and pick something quickly. If he's taking forever, it's a good opportunity for you to impress him with your decisiveness.
Decisiveness can be a two-edged sword, however. Women have a habit of substituting things when they order food. It's as if they can't just order the "stock" version of the dish. They'll order the Three Cheese Chicken Penne pasta from Applebee's but ask to replace the mozzarella with sharp cheddar, the penne with bowtie, and the alfredo sauce with marinara. Whoa there tiger. Calm down.
Decision #2: The Movie*
One would think that movie selection would not be the arduous process it is today. Yeah, we've received some pretty strict guidance that eliminates 63% of movies in existence. It sounds something like this: "Do not attend, view, or participate in entertainment that is vulgar, immoral, violent, or pornographic in any way. Do not participate in entertainment that in any way presents immorality or violent behavior as acceptable." But that still leaves 37%.
The irony is that when you get to Blockbuster, you can't think of anything to rent. But when you're sitting at home watching TV or previews for other movies, you're always making mental notes of films you want to see. So why don't we bridge that gap and take care of your indecision problem at the same time? When you hear about a movie you'd like to see, write it down somewhere. Make a list on your BlackBerry Pearl or a note on your iPhone. And next time you head to the movie store, you'll be able to say "I've been wanting to see…". You'll be an instant hero.
Decision #3: The Open Question
"So… what do you want to do tonight?"** Familiar question? I bet you can guess the familiar answer: "I don't know." Or we could twist it around a bit and ask "Where do you want to eat?" "I don't care." It seems like apathy is everywhere these days. That's precisely the reason why decisive people are so refreshing. Take charge. Check out one of those event websites that tells you everything that's going on that weekend. Pull out the latest copy of Schooled magazine and look at the calendar. Oh, and have you ever heard of Zagat? How about UrbanSpoon?
Maybe you don't feel comfortable choosing an activity or restaurant for the entire group. That's fine. You can still be decisive by contributing to the solution. If you're picking a restaurant, say "I'm in the mood for Thai or Italian." The group is now a tiny step closer to making a decision. Well done.
Try it out. And then come back to WMGSS and post a comment letting us know how it went. Beneath the sarcasm and stereotyping, we really do care. Sort of.
*Gentlemen, please do not combine Decision #1 with Decision #2. It makes for a pretty lame date.
**Ladies, if a guy ever asks you this question on a date, tell him you'd like him to take you home. He's pathetic. But if you're just hanging out, it's an opportunity for you to shine.