I don't know how I feel / indecisive

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I don't know how I feel / indecisive 2010-08-08T14:52:29+00:00

The Forums Forums Ask The Community I don't know how I feel / indecisive

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  • #88486

    Anonymous
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    Post count: 14413

    I would love to get some insight on this. I have a very hard time making up my mind on things. If I feel like there is a problem or asked my opinion on an issue it takes me a lot of thinking before I think I know how I feel. It is not a big deal when someone asks my favorite color and I just like them all. But when something is bothering me and I don’t know why, it causes me some real headaches – literally.

    And when a moral or ethical discussion comes up I want to hear the opinions of everyone else before I feel like I can say what I think. I am easily swayed by the opinions of others and knowing that makes it that much harder for me to commit to an opinion because I am worried I am just parroting them. (The most important people in my life are very decisive.)

    Just last night I was feeling like something was wrong. My husband and I are working on expanding our cleaning business after some of our clients moved away. He was emailing a prospective client and I just did not feel right about the situation. When that happens I don’t know how to handle it. I try to decide what is wrong. Every once in a while I realize that I don’t know how I feel.

    More likely I find something I think might be what is bothering me and feel sure *that* is what is wrong. But later I get to a place where I understand better what was truly bothering me. It is the latter that happened last night. It happens too often and I would like to hear what others think would be the best way to handle the situation.

    *Should I just go with the first thing in my head and try to talk it out? I usually arrive at what the real issue is through this, but my husband gets dragged into a long discussion and we almost always get too emotional (and argue until 2AM!) He does not understand what the real deal is and is trying to get to the actual problem. I am fighting to make sense of everything and not sure if I am telling him what is really bothering me or if there is more.

    *Or should I try to get it all figured out and straight in my own head before I come to him with it. I am less successful in figuring out how I feel and it can take a long time and by then he has forgotten what happened. But it seems more fair for me to get through my own confusion instead of dumping it on him to sort out.

    * I have in the past just let it go until I can no longer ignore it and that helps me know what I am bothered by. But by then I am so bothered I am angry about it and don’t address it well at all. And he is taken aback and wonders why I let it go on for so long. I like this one least even though I do usually get my own thoughts figured out.

    Does anyone else have this issue? Have you found something that works? Or something I should not waste my time trying! ;-)

    Thanks!

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    #94896

    Anonymous
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    Post count: 14413

    I get bewildered when people ask me how I’m doing, because I never have any idea how I’m doing, and I forget to say, “Fine, thanks,” and have it over with…

    Most women process things verbally, so talking to your DH about it until you understand why you’re uncomfortable with a decision that’s being made is the surest way to understand yourself. It can be hard on your husband, though, and it might help to tell him first, “I need to talk about this until I’m clearer about what I really think,” and let him know that you need him to be a sounding board, so he knows what’s expected of him.

    That said, when I can’t decide between two options, I sometimes just pick one at random to see how I feel about it. If I don’t care, fine. But if there’s a sinking feeling, well then, I probably should go back and pick the other option.

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    #94897

    Anonymous
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    Post count: 14413

    Oh my goodness..so it’s not just me!

    One of my main pet peeves……

    I can Never decide what groceries to buy!

    I pour over the sale flyers, read recipes, watch the Food Channel, make lists (that I forget) and come home with too much food, but nothing that can be put together for a meal.

    Also in restaurants, I am paralyzed by having to make a choice on what to order. Then it always seems like whomever I am with has made a better choice than me.

    Going to a bar that doesn’t carry my regular brand of beer…yikes! I just can’t decide! Then I order something and wish I had ordered something else!

    It always seems to be the wrong choice! Simple things but hard to do.

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    #94898

    BuxomDiva
    Participant
    Post count: 109

    All my friends with ADD have trouble making decisions as well; I can take 20 minutes to choose toilet paper!

    It sounds like there might be other stuff going on about communicating with your husband though. Are you afraid to communicate your opinion because along the line somewhere you got a message that your opinion doesn’t count? Almost everybody I know just got the diagnosis as an adult and we carry a LOT of wounds from our childhood.

    Hope you get it sorted out.

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    #94899

    Anonymous
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    Post count: 14413

    Thanks for the replies!

    @nifferka – I think I take my opinions on things too seriously at times. There are def times where I should just say I’m not totally sure and it could be okay. I will try a random pick and just go with it approach.

    Like Merry Mac says it seems simple but isn’t really. That is why it gets so frustrating.

    I do think that in my case being around very decisive people a lot makes me feel like I need to be that way also. When in reality I am a laid back person and could get used to taking my time making decisions instead of putting pressure on myself to know right now how I feel.

    I have noticed that when I really put pressure on myself to do something mental it usually makes my brain kinda shut down. The harder I think the harder it is to think!

    I am much less opinionated in general anyway. I don’t normally have strong feelings about anything. There are a few issues I do feel strongly about and I seem to feel a little over the top about them. Like litterers. I see someone throw garbage on the ground and I am absolutely furious!!!

    Well that is my ramble for now :p

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    #94900

    Anonymous
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    Post count: 14413

    Oh, hi Buxom Diva! I just noticed your post.

    I definitely used to be very afraid to give an opinion. I have worked on that for several years now and it is not as much of an issue as it once was. I still get that way sometimes, though.

    It makes sense that I am still afraid that my opinion isn’t a “good enough” one. That would cause me to put a lot of pressure on myself to make a decision on how I feel. Good thought.

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    #94901

    Anonymous
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    Post count: 14413

    “The not good enough model” is a key therapeutic issue of ADHD. It is mixed in with the 80% rule. Can’t get to 100% because then someone will be able to judge and criticize. Immediately, abandonment, rejection, conflict and emotions get turned up. CBT is very good to change the internal dialogue and free yourself from being held hostage to the negative inner voice.

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    #94902

    Anonymous
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    Post count: 14413

    Hi Dr J!

    Why does the negative inner voice pop up to prevent you from making (what seems like) regular decisions? (toilet paper..beer..etc)

    The big stuff is no problem..but the little stuff!

    Oy!

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    #94903

    Anonymous
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    Post count: 14413

    Thank you for bringing this topic up! My youngest son has always agonized over what to choose on the menu at Wendy’s and/or what to order on pizza, etc. and it was something that I had not connected to ADD, just that it was one of his own personal quirks. (A-HA!) We don’t even pull into a drive-through lane until he’s made up his mind, otherwise we could be holding up 40 other cars waiting for him to decide whether he wants to “try” the chicken sandwich (that he’s had before), or go with his old standby classic combo. In the grand scheme of things, it doesn’t matter to anyone which one he goes with, but in his world, and at that moment, it’s huge.

    Even when we’re dining in a restaurant, he carefully reviews all of the choices, and even after he’s ordered, often asks everyone else if they want a taste of his meal, and/or if he can have a taste of theirs. We usually try to help him out by narrowing down the choices to 2 (or even 3) items; at the same time, we don’t want to be seen as making his decisions for him. Never thought of it as his having trouble determining if he had made the “right” choice – something new for us to look into!

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    #94904

    Anonymous
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    Post count: 14413

    It’s overwhelming sometimes, like, when you’re offered a thousand choices in everything from a menu to what’s on TV. I can go up and down the 500 channels and never settle on anything. But then maybe all TV is crap these days.

    Is there such a thing as a ‘right choice”?

    And as for what to, whether to decide on the first thing that comes into your mind or weigh the options, I think that depends on the situation.

    I get what Dr. Jain is saying about not wanting to finish something cause then it might be rejected. If I take a good hard look at what I’m doing, and why so much stuff is close but not complete, I can see I do that a lot. I can tinker and tinker and tinker…

    Good enough. Good enough. Hmmm, I gotta try that phrase on for size.

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    #94905

    Anonymous
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    Post count: 14413

    I’ve spent a lot of years struggling with this one but finally read something somewhere years ago don’t ask me where, that info is long ago lost in File 13) and it made a clear and logical argument about how useless it was to fret over a lot of the day-to-day decisions that we make.

    For example, does it REALLY matter what kind of toilet paper we buy? That isn’t in reference to what you said Buxom Diva but just an example of something that once plagued me, too. Toilet paper, light bulbs, brand of pencil crayons, how you should correctly place each dish in the dishwasher to get them the cleanest (should I arrange like this? or like this?

    We have to learn to decide which are the decisions that are important and will affect the meaning and quality of our lives. It really doesn’t matter about simple day to day decisions. If we get the ‘wrong’ toilet paper (way too rough on our tender bits) we can just use it to swipe up bits of this and that here and there on counter tops. Wrong ‘glow’ from the light bulbs? Banish them to a closet light fixture. Hmmm, dishes didn’t come out clean because I didn’t decide on just the correct placement in the dishwasher? Throw the unclean ones right back in for another wash cycle!

    When I finally gave myself permission to make mistakes in those areas I found I had a lot more free thinking time to make good, or should I say better choices about the things that DO matter. My world hasn’t come crashing down yet! I actually see it as a victory for me when I don’t get overwhelmed when I do make the wrong mistake with those simple kinds of things. Haha! Dirty dishes again? I’ll show you Cascade! You’re going to have that job all over again!!! What a release for it to be ‘its’ problem, not mine!

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    #94906

    Anonymous
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    Post count: 14413

    Interesting reading. I’m so indecisive I couldn’t even decide if I should post or not. How do people decide things sooo easily when for me it’s just sooo hard? Will meds improve this as well?

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    #94907

    Anonymous
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    Post count: 14413

    I have the same problem. I’m very indecisive and many times I wonder if I’ve made the correct decision. Plus, I have trouble expressing my opinion or speaking up about things.

    I had always thought that it was just me and that I was just slow and stupid.

    and I still doubt my own thoughts on things. I always thought that I was alone in my way of thinking.

    I hate to say it,but I’m glad that I’m not alone.

    I haven’t had a diagnosis yet,but I’m looking for a doctor who will let me pay on a sliding scale.

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    #94908

    Rich
    Member
    Post count: 3

    I was just diagnosed about a month ago and it continues to blow my mind how much of the stuff I thought was just ‘me’ can be tied to ADHD!

    I usually describe myself as not-having-an-opinion. And while this has led me to be a great facilitator, mediator, and confidant… all those roles have an outsider-aspect to them that have often left me feeling left-out, disconnected, and – at times – sad. I often feel like I am not IN conversations, but rather watching them.

    Yet – I don’t think of myself as being easily persuaded; in fact when I sense someone is trying to ‘get me to their side’ it is THEN that I can start being resistant! It’s more that I am really good as seeing where someone is coming from… “I don’t really like the taste of mushrooms… but, hey – there’s things that I like that others don’t… so I can see how mushrooms can be good!”

    I actually “work” to have opinions on things… in fact, I have found it easier to arrive at what I *don’t* like rather than what I *do* like. So when it comes time to make plans I am a double-dose of challenging; my default answer is “whatever, I don’t really care what we do… what do YOU want to do?” And then when I hear ideas/suggestions/options then I say “oh…well… um… I don’t care what we do as long as it’s not THAT…. oh…. or THAT… okay, but really I don’t care…. oh… well, maybe not THAT either…”

    This has caused a bit of frustration among friends, family, and in relationships

    … there’s the irritated reactions: “JUST TELL ME WHAT YOU WANT ON YOUR PIZZA!!”

    … there’s the ‘don’t even bother asking him’ approaches: “I’M NOT EVEN GONNA ASK WHAT YOU THINK ANYMORE!”

    … there’s the mislabeling of being uncaring and/or not-invested: “IF YOU HAVE ANY HELPFUL INPUT ON WHERE WE GO ON OUR DATE YOU MUST NOT CARE VERY MUCH ABOUT THE DATE – OR ‘US’!”

    I have on one hand been praised as being easy-going… and on the other hand, have been seen as easy to run-over by those with dominant personalities/opinions. It’s hard.

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