How to Decide Between Two Options

If you want to become more decisive, what’s a good way to practice? After all, if you want to become good at something, you don’t just flip a switch and become a master. You learn by practicing.

So how can you practice decisiveness? I think the easiest place to start is on simple decisions. For example, let’s say a friend presents you with an either / or question. Should we go to a movie or a play? Would you like the apple or the banana? These are pretty simple decisions. Yet I know from experience it’s possible to hem and haw for a while on questions like this. “I don’t know, what do you want?”

You can use either / or situations to practice your decisiveness. Listen to the options, decide what you want, and then vocalize your decision. I’d like to see a play. The banana sounds great.

If you’re not used to doing this, it may feel weird at first. It’s sometimes tempting to stall, to say you’re fine with either option, to ask your friend if they have a strong preference. Instead of stalling, trying forging ahead by picking one of the options.

The temptation to ask for your friend’s opinion is understandable. You want to be considerate of their wants and needs. But don’t worry — if your friend really wanted the banana, they would have told you so. If anything, it’s inconsiderate to assume your friend’s offer isn’t genuine.

What if you really don’t have an opinion? If both options are equally fine with you, how do you decide then? Well, you just pick one! The universe will not implode if you make an arbitrary decision.

2 Responses to “How to Decide Between Two Options”

  1. Carolina
    September 21, 2011 at 8:01 pm #

    Thanks for this post and the cartoon – it made me laugh out loud because literally, that IS me. I can make basic decisions such as what to eat or what to wear, but I have a very difficult time sometimes with other things because I am easy going and truly don’t mind. My indecisive nature has gotten me in trouble lately because I am too passive.. did you also have these indecisive tendencies?

    • Pierre Bastien
      September 22, 2011 at 1:23 pm #

      Hi Carolina, thanks for stopping by. Oh yes, I still have indecisive tendencies. We probably all do. It’s something I’m trying to improve on though!