Chronic indecisiveness is nothing but a waste of time.
It can be very annoying for those who are dealing with the person who is indecisive.
And it can affect the mental health of the indecisive person themselves.
Some personality types tend to carefully consider all the possible factors and implications before making a decision. Which, if it’s a big enough decision, it’s probably sensible.
The issue is when you’re dealing with someone who is indecisive about which drink to order at the bar. Or whether they should call you at 3pm or 4pm. And so on.
And again, this is bad for the indecisive person’s mental health as well.
Life becomes really hard when you need to evaluate every aspect of everything. It’s draining. It’s exhausting.
Hate indecisive people? These may be the reasons
If you can’t stand indecisiveness, you may…
1. Think faster than most people
We all think differently. Not just in the sense that we have different views and opinions, but also because some of us think quickly and some of us think slowly.
For example, the brain of introverts tends to think slowly, and more deeply, compared to the extrovert’s brain; introverts tend to process information slowly and thoroughly.
Each type of thinking has advantages and disadvantages, and may or may not be ideal depending on the situation.
When it comes to deep philosophical thoughts, abstract ideas, and careful planning, then thinking slowly can be a good thing. In most day-to-day situations, probably not.
Either way, if you’re the type that thinks and acts very quickly — at work, or in life in general — then indecisiveness could be especially frustrating for you.
Sometimes people who think quickly simply can’t comprehend why or how someone would spend five minutes choosing what to eat, wear, or say; they find it inconceivable.
2. Be aware of the risks of perfectionism
Essentially, indecisiveness is a form of perfectionism (I’ll explain this later in this article).
When we notice a certain thought pattern in other people, and when we know it’s a toxic thought pattern — perhaps because it’s one we used to have in the past — we may react strongly to it.
This is because we know that person’s trait or attitude is unhealthy or doesn’t align with our own values.
Now, if you are aware of the risks of perfectionism and chronic indecisiveness — poor self-esteem, poor productivity, stress to mention a few — then you may react strongly to it to simply protect yourself.
You may interact with an indecisive person and your mind may tell you: this is bad; don’t do this; avoid this. Which, in turn, triggers strong feelings such as hate.
3. Have a short attention span
As mentioned in this article, we now have a shorter attention span than a goldfish. This, of course, is mainly due to technology and our growing dependence on it.
Not only that, the modern world has trained us to be really impatient, and expect things to work fast, and people to work even faster.
If you hate indecisive people, then it may have to do with the inability to focus for longer periods of time (or be patient in general). I think we all struggle with this.
Sometimes we perceive thoughtfulness as indecisiveness. And sometimes indecisiveness itself is a good thing — some decisions are important, and not all outcomes of a decision are obvious at first.
But in a world where the average attention span is roughly eight seconds, and in which a website is slow if it takes two seconds to load, then it may seem there is no time for indecisiveness.
Which leads us to the next and final point…
4. Be too busy for indecisive people
If you hate those who are indecisive, the main reason might be that you’re simply too busy for them.
Some of us have really busy schedules and can’t afford to waste time (or use time inefficiently).
Have you ever had to deal with someone who could never make their mind up about anything? Whether it was ordering food, meeting at a certain time or a certain place, or a yes or no?
Even if they’re the nicest person in the world, this type of attitude can be really frustrating. And it can make you waste hours, days, or weeks.
Think of a coworker who’s chronically indecisive. Think of a partner who’s chronically indecisive.
Indecision itself isn’t a bad thing, but if it gets to the point where it’s too time consuming (for both of you), then it can definitely be a dealbreaker.
Why are some people so indecisive?
There are, of course, endless reasons as to why someone finds it difficult to make their mind up about anything.
But the root causes are almost always only two: insecurity and perfectionism.
Those who are insecure think they must get it right all the time, because deep inside they believe they wouldn’t be able to deal with the outcomes of any sub-optimal decision.
And those who suffer from perfectionism are basically the same. With the difference that a perfectionist tends to be more of a control freak.
If you ever find yourself spending way too much time on a decision (that isn’t that vital), then look inside and see if it originates from any form of insecurity or perfectionism.
Chances are it does, and that’s an opportunity for you to work on your mindset.
Tips to deal with indecisive people
- Make the decision yourself. If you’re dealing with someone who is indecisive about everything and anything, then you don’t want to ask too many questions. Just be in control and, if appropriate, decide for them. You’ll save them time and energy.
- Mention your priorities. Those who suffer from excessive indecisiveness often don’t realize how their behavior affects your life. So don’t be afraid to give them deadlines, and let them know that you can’t (or don’t want to) waste all this time.
- Say it’s not so important. Remember? Indecision is often caused by insecurity (whether the person is aware of it or not). To help someone who is indecisive, use phrases like “it doesn’t really matter” or “it’s not that important”. This makes the decision seem less intimidating.
- Give them two options only. The more options we have, the harder it is to be happy about our choice. This is a paradox that’s actually been proven by scientific studies. When dealing with an indecisive person, you want to give them two options only — the more the options, the harder it’ll be for them to pick one and be happy about it.
- Appreciate the advantages. I’m sure you can think of a time in your life when you thought you couldn’t waste time on a decision, and ended up making a really bad decision. The thing is, sometimes it’s good to spend time evaluating things. Those who are chronically indecisive overdo it, of course, but their behavior does have advantages sometimes.