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How do you make decisions?

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I'm talking to this 19 year old kid and he seems to want advice from other people a lot. Guess he doesn't trust his own thoughts or something, I don't know. Either way, if that's how he wants to do it, fine.


But it really made me think about how I've made decisions throughout the years. 


When I was 19, they were based solely on emotion and made impulsively. Seems though, that I always have known the right thing to do, I just chose not to DO that thing. I still do that on occasion, but mainly out of stubbornness. kinda like "I THINK THIS IS RIGHT SO IT'S GOING TO BE, EVEN IF IT'S NOT!" Ha ha. It's not really tied too much to emotion these days.


I'm 27. I think it took me long enough to use rationale and logic. Like, most people would have done this at an earlier age. I don't know if the fact that I didn't know I was mentally ill until I was about 21 plays into this or not. I just felt like shit for as long as I could remember, thought it was normal, found out it WAS NOT.


Do you take advice? What if you didn't ask for it? 


I like advice. I like different perspectives and if I need it, I'll ask for it. Otherwise, I really want to learn from my own god damn mistakes. I know major issues that I can't figure out may warrant taking advice, so I'll ask. I'll ask someone I REALLY trust to give me good advice though.


I know when my first thought about something is right, and if I go against that, I feel wrong about it, but will continue with it until it blows up in my face, for some reason. Even if someone tries to talk me out of it. . . but that's only when I didn't ask for their opinion. 


I've learned not to even bother TALKING about something if I don't want advice.


Do you find unasked for advice annoying? Do you trust your own logic? Make decisions based on emotions? Want to learn from your own mistakes? Maybe you WANT advice? 


I don't know why this occurred to me, really. I guess talking to that kid. He's smarter than I was at that age. Yet, I never wish I'd taken someone else's advice, rather, I wish I'd gone with the thing I KNEW was the right thing. Or not. I learn best from making my own mistakes. But I know everyone is different.


I am obviously finding this interesting right now, ha ha.


Well, if you answer, maybe include how old you are and some background info like that? 


Or don't, I just like to see how people differ, is all.

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39/F/midwest or south.


I don't like advice given if unasked for.  In fact, I'll usually just do the opposite or nothing at all.  I'm rebellious like that.  ;P


If I ask for advice I usually try it.  Unless it's crazier than I am, then I may try it anyway.  I usually boil it down to two options then choose.  The way I boil it down may just be I pick two.  It makes it feel logical.  I've always been like this. 

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42 F/midwest


I get a little pissy when people offer unasked for advice.  I do tend to run most everything past my SO.  But I typically make up my mind by trying to weight pros and cons and going with my gut.  Going with my gut has bitten me in the ass quite a few times, but its still one of my favorite ways to make decisions.

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There really aren't that many people in my life to give me advice. When they do it is usually unsolicited and I almost always view it as a judgment of me as a person. I am so stubborn that I almost instinctively fight against taking any advice that I am given- even if I know that it is good for me

I know that I shouldn't, but I do.

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I'm 28, neutrois, born and mostly raised in the midwest. My dad was pretty much a chauvinist, and he definitely had issues with letting us kids "grow up" and leave his influence. He also had a hideous temper. Our mom was smart and wise, but didn't make waves or contradict him much. I grew up terrified and avoidant of him.

Until recently, I still made decisions based on what I felt I "should" do. Sometimes that meant being responsible and smart, but mostly it meant outwardly making the "mature" decision while inwardly making decisions based on gut feeling and what I now recognize as mental illness symptoms like anxiety and quasi-psychosis, then keeping a lot of secrets and covering things up. I still have an obsessive privacy when it comes to my thoughts and decisions. Like you said about yourself, I often made decisions even when I knew the path it was wiser to take, even when I knew I'd probably regret it down the road.

I'm suspicious of unsolicited advice; I'm nervous and reflexively deferential toward anyone whom I see as more knowledgeable, or who assumes authority on an issue, whereupon I immediately distrust and "tune out" that person because I'm paranoid and insecure. If I ask for advice, though, I take into consideration everything that's offered, and think it over carefully. I like advice when I'm in a place where I feel comfortable receiving it.

Now that I've started to see myself for the way I act, I'm trying to get to where I question myself when I realize that I'm making a decision based on suspicion, or duplicity. I'm not progressing fast at this; it's a deeply ingrained habit, and I haven't found much that makes a dent in the paranoia. I am, however, getting to a point where I'm more honest about my actual motivations, at least with myself.

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Until I reached my 30s, "Making Decisions" meant "Doing What My Mother Told Me To Do." I was so desperate for approval. My pdoc, who knows her well (My dad trained him) said to me that she didn't love me, she loved that I was her puppet. I was so shocked, had everyone known this except me? Apparently, everyone *had* noticed. They were relieved I finally got it.


So I started making my own decisions, which was difficult because I wanted different things than she did, which made her angry, It was a hard skill to pick up in your 30s, and my mother pounced on every mistake I made (mistakes that I should have been making 15 years earlier).


To make decisions, I list all the possibilities, and their potential outcomes on paper. Some get crossed off immediately. Some go after a bit of thought. Some go if they would be a major pain in my ass. I usually only have to choose between two or three at that point.

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