From Graduate School To Roommates: Why Can’t We Ever Choose?

From Graduate School To Roommates: Why Can’t We Ever Choose?

Are you ambivalent? Yes. No. Maybe? The ambivalence we’re talking about is the kind determined by psychologists to categorize people’s worldview and consequent patterns of decision-making. The way we see the world has a huge impact on our decisions—how we make them, what we choose, and whether we can decide at all.

Shades Of Gray

According to The Wall Street Journal, researchers find that people who tend toward ambivalence do so in all areas of their lives. This ambivalence isn’t just indifference—it’s the tendency to see situations with shades of gray, to feel empathy when making choices, to process multiple emotions at a time. Those who are less ambivalent see black and white and quickly settle on concrete decisions.

The Mindset Of Maturity

Much as it seems, less ambivalent people tend to be more involved in conflict. They focus on only some of the information coming their way and draw their conclusions about the situation from only their chosen facts. For this reason, ambivalence is considered more mature mindset. It allows people to process difficult emotions like anger and grief without being overwhelmed by only one piece of information—the bad.

Choose Responsibility

Whether you’re more or less ambivalent, you’ll still have to make decisions. We make little decisions every day (buy the paper or read it online?) and big ones in waves (Grad school? Marriage? Vacation?). But no matter how you decide—or whether you can decide at all—you need to have the financial infrastructure that allows you to make your decisions the way you want. Feel free to take a job at the drop of a hat or waffle over apartments for six months, but don’t treat your finances as a decision. Make a budget. Build an emergency fund. Have insurance. Because financial stability isn’t a choice—it’s a necessity.

Tell us in the comments: How do you make big decisions?

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