Constant decision-making can be overwhelming and sometimes create a sense of fatigue in your everyday routine. But, like it or not, that’s life. We’re faced with making constant decisions, from what to eat for dinner to what career path to choose.
While you may have your own methods sorted out, you are, after all, in the position to help your loved ones make important, life-changing decisions, too. Of course, you don’t want to make choices for them, but you do want to make their path toward indulging their id a little easier. Here are a few ways you can help:
Lay Out All the Possibilities
Let’s say your loved one is thinking about leaving their job. What would be the potential — or even very real — fallout that could occur because of this decision? Would they be able to find another job? Would they like that job more or less than their current job, and why? Would they be able to get health insurance, roll over their 401K balance and enjoy other perks? Would they make more or less money, and what would this mean for their lifestyle?
Your role in this first step is to allow your loved one to talk through their decision. Let them tell you how they feel (good or bad), any fear they have of making the decision and what they think the end result could be. While you should mostly listen as they talk, you may also want to offer up some benefits and repercussions that they may have overlooked.
Make a Pros and Cons List
Once you’ve laid out some of your ideas, help your loved one organize them into a pros and cons list. Choose which column each idea should fall under, and see how this exercise can provide more efficiency toward making a big decision. This is a great way to determine whether to make a costly purchase or decide on something that provides multiple options.
For example, if your loved one is in the market for a new set of car tires, help them research different options and the pros and cons each set of tires provides. When you can visually see the differences, you can more easily narrow down your choices.
Check Your Gut Feeling
Your gut feelings and life experiences can make the decision-making process a little easier to manage, but they may not always steer you in the right direction. Sometimes fear and anxiety can take over and cause your brain to spiral out of control. If you can spot these signs in your loved one, help them take a step back.
Tell them to clear their mind — meditation may help — and trust their gut. Are they leaning one way or another? Does one option make them more excited than the rest? Help your loved one put their nerves to rest and really focus on how the big decision makes them feel.
Make a Decision
You’ve done everything you can to help your loved one make this big decision. After conducting ample research, you compared all the possibilities and weighed every outcome. Now it’s time to make a decision. If you’re loved one is still having a hard time, set a deadline for them to decide.
If they’re considering which laptop to buy, take them to a trusty retailer and give them 30 minutes to make a purchase. Likewise, if they’re weighing the benefits of going back to school, set a firm, two-week deadline for them to complete their application. In the end, you don’t want your loved one to dilly dally and go back and forth in their decision-making. That’s why setting deadlines will force them to make the decision they know is best.