Psychologists say that people can be driven to irrational decisions
by too much complexity and uncertainty.
I read that somewhere, and it has bothered me ever since.
I think it bothers me because I can’t be certain what it means! Then I feel embarrassed, because I don’t want to admit that I don't understand.
I do understand irrational decisions though. I know all about those. Those are the types of decisions I make when I am surrounded by kids, and they all want different things at the same time. For example: I find out that in one of “those” overwhelming moments, apparently I did agree to let my daughter paint her room -- and that she has started it because I said “yes.” She’s not impressed by my claim to temporary insanity, and that I have to have her wait. My two reasons aren't "good enough" for her.
So I have to convince her to wait until.........
(a) I have time to teach her how to paint, and
(b) she understands that painting one wall black and one wall green is just not going to be allowed.
The challenge for me is to figure out how to make decisions that are rational, based on concrete reasoning. That’s why I love principles so much.
When choosing when to do something, ask yourself:
Is it CRITICAL? Or is it BENEFICIAL, but not necessary now?
I can say to my daughter, “I’m very interested in what you have to say about painting your room, and I’d like to discuss it with you. Right now, though, I’m feeling worried because I have dinner to prepare, and can’t concentrate on that. Would it be okay if we talked about this ___________ (and you fill in the particular time).
My daughter will be much more likely to listen to my thoughts about painting if I arrange a time when that can be our sole topic, so that she can be heard and acknowledged. I will be more likely to be calm if I can not confused and uncertain about what else might be happening at the moment.
People respect that, especially if you are known for following through. It eliminates confusion, and reduces uncertainty.