How Do You Know If You Are Making an Emotional Decision?

I used to think that I could tell easily whether or not I was feeling emotional. But recently, I have realised that it isn’t as easy as I thought. There have been times that I thought I was calm enough when talking to my partner after a disagreement – only to find out that I apparently was not. You can guess what happened in those situations. 

How to know if I am making an emotional decision? Sometimes, it is really hard to know. In which case, I would say wait to make sure, especially if it is an important decision. I learnt this recently after I had a heated discussion with my sister whom I live with. Fortunately, it was over very quickly and we were civil again to one another within the hour. 

One of the things we argued about was whether I should move out in November. Although the quarrel had ended, I found myself going on Gumtree. There was an ad about a shared house that was much cheaper and nearer to my university. Instead of paying $135 a week and driving 40 minutes to school, I would pay $90 a week and cycle to school in 20 minutes. 

I also thought that the exercise would do me good because my partner had just a day earlier made a comment that some of my pants looked too tight (yes, I know, he is a brave fellow). That was another incident in itself but still, I thought I was calm enough to think through my decision to move out. I was not crying or feeling angry, I felt I was clear-minded and solutions-focused. 

After all, I reasoned to myself, I have been thinking about moving out but I had been indecisive because I didn’t really know what I wanted. I thought: Could it be that the disagreement with my sister was the catalyst I needed to move out? There will always be pros and cons in any living situation, and I thought the fact that I would save $45 a week for my accommodation was just too good to pass. 

However, the next day, my sister and I had our usual weekly morning walk and we talked through my decision again. I told my sister about what my partner said about my clothing and how I didn’t know how to resolve it (I had asked him to go over my clothes to tell me which would be okay, but he said he didn’t want to. Maybe he was not convinced I was calm enough either!). My sister felt that there was a risk that I was too emotional to make a good decision given that I had just had two quarrels in two days. 

So in the end, I decided not to move out – although the new place could have been a good place for me, it felt like it would be wiser to give myself more “buffer time” to make sure that I was not deciding based on impulse. I think this is the first time that I have done this, and I think it is a good precedent to set. After all, I don’t want to set a pattern where I make important decisions like where to live when I am not sure whether I have calmed down. Waiting a few more days to review a decision is a good thing to practise. 

Even if I have to wait a few months (my next chance to move out is when my lease ends in November, but we are probably extending until February 2016) it is not the end of world. Patience is a virtue, right? I believe God will provide the finances for me to continue living with my sister and already I have seen God’s hand in the way my sister and I cleared up a lot of issues after that initial quarrel. 

Does it mean I will become an indecisive person and I will miss out on important things because I take too long to decide? So far, I have not seen that is a problem in my life. So I am going to trust God that if I need such an adjustment in future, then certain events will take place to make it apparent that I need to change in that way. Just as these recent events have taught me that giving extra time for emotions to clear up is a great way to practise patience and not to make rushed decisions. 

Read the rest of Jen’s posts here

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