Do we ADHDers ever make bad decisions?
– Do We Ever!!! We make ’em left and right.
I’ve been trying to figure out how to learn from each of them, but I think I’ve figured something else out. I figured out that I need to learn from all of them. I need to learn what is flawed in my decision making process
I may have part of the answer and I’d like to share. When we have a decision to make, we know that there are pros and cons to either choice. If we’re organized we can list them and study them. If we’re not, we tend to list them mentally. Our list has no headings so the pros and cons are in the same column, they’re not prioritized, there is no weight assigned to each one. Not good!
Quick, Make Up Your Mind!
Another drawback at this stage, for me at least, is that there is an imperative feeling, a need for immediacy about making decisions. I feel I have to make a decision ‘cause not making a decision is holding everything else up. I usually consider the first pro or con … and then decide.
What did I do last time this came up?
Also, we don’t benefit from making bad decisions. Normans (you remember them, right?) make bad decisions and then say “That was a learning experience.” and they learn from it. We make bad decisions and say “That was a learning experience.” and promptly forget. Or sometimes we just put off ever making that decision again. That’s a kind of learning – I guess – but not really. Bottom line for this point is, we don’t consider past experience when we make a decision.
And another thing …
Another point worth considering is poor decision making structures. Sometimes we make bad decisions over and over because we think we have a good plan in place. But, if it isn’t flexible, it isn’t a good plan. If you make a decision based on a plan, and it shows itself to be a bad decision, you should have the flexibility to change your decision making structure, your plan, the next time you encounter that situation.
I knew a woman once, name withheld to protect me from being hunted down and beaten up, who refused to divorce her estranged husband and marry the guy she was living with because she did not want to end up like her mother who was on her fourth or fifth (who counts after three, eh?) marriage.
Bringing it home
I wasn’t going to publish a post last Friday, I was to swamped. I told a friend of mine this, adding that I might feel guilty and end up putting one up anyway. I publish three posts a week and haven’t missed a week this year. She told me that she had recently heard that guilt was a form of narcissism. She said I should “[...] figure out what that means and let it guide you [...]” and it occurred to me that she was asking me to do something totally foreign to my nature. She was telling me to think … then decide. I didn’t, I thought about it until my mind wandered to something else. In the end I just didn’t get around to writing a post. Decision made by default.
I did decide, all by myself, to write this post though, and if you’re reading it then I obviously decided to post it (even at the risk of being hunted down and beaten up …).
And now I think I’ll go check my email. Wow, three decisions in one day, I’m on a roll. Now if I could just decide to work that thinking thing in …