Growing up, my father made sure that I did things in his image of “being a man”. Whether it was “taking care of family” to “paying your bills on time”, he was particular about what he felt men were responsible for. Even when it came to relationships, he has a few ground rules. Things like “treat a lady like a lady” and “always look presentable around a female” rang true. Thus, I learned many “manhood lessons” from my patriarch.

Sometimes, this is what it is all about.

Sometimes, this is what it is all about.

Yet, one rule always stayed with me: making sure I was a decisive man. If there was one thing that became nerve wrecking fast, it was a fickle man. Failure, as he would say, comes to those men that can’t “make up their cot damn minds about anything”. He wasn’t one for making rash decisions, however. Anything that he decided upon was filtered through a system of checks and balances. Still, he would never relegate himself to being an “indecisive man full of bull”.

So, when one of my good friends explained her plight about “men being indecisive”, I was slightly confused. Maybe I was partially wrong all along. Chocolate covered lie: men are always decisive and never fickle.

The Problem

To bring this issue to light, there are a few ways one can be indecisive. To start, you have “delayed decision”, the aspect in which you have to check in with others before you decide on what to do [1]. However, delaying your decision can be just as bad as withholding commitment and failing to decide (another two examples). Yet, it can become even more ignorant if you “waffle” (go back and forth between decisions) [2]. Thus, there are different ways to be “indecisive as all hell”.

A lot of the issue comes from a main issue with most people: the fear of failure. When success is on the line, making the right decision is all that you have. Think about it: who wants to go on “the date from hell” or marry “The Seed of Chucky”? Some people say that people are “scared of success”. I counter that with the known “fear of screwing up”. In the end, making the wrong mistake can hamper a person for life.

Match made in hell.

Match made in hell.

Yet, there is another fear that I never thought of until it popped up: the fear of missing out. Douglas LaBier, PhD. brought this idea to the forefront:

FOMO includes uncertainty and indecision about all these possibilities and unpredictable, future experiences. For midlifers, FOMO has two sides: One is knowing what you have, in fact, missed out on, as you look back at your life choices and the events you navigated through: The relationships you didn’t pursue or maybe messed up; the educational or career paths you didn’t follow; the advice you took…or rejected, about life decisions. But there’s another side of FOMO: Anxiety about what you’re truly living for and choosing now, and into the limited number of years you have left.  Assessing your life up to now by looking back and looking forward converge into needing to know what your core reason for being is, today — when there are far more yesterdays than tomorrows. [3]

Now THAT issue right there is deeper than the abyss: knowing that you are missing out and living with the anxiety of “running out of time”. Men can become so enthralled with “missing out” that they are hampered by “old karma of past experiences” and “the ever-changing landscape of life” [4]. Life can be a tough sell when you become “honestly pessimistic about missed opportunities”.

And so it continues....

And so it continues….

The Skinny: Where Do We Go From Here

Men, as well as women, have to conquer their indecision. We all have to recognize that there are different ways to be indecisive. Also, we have to realize WHY we are so indecisive and challenge those collective fears. As a man, I now know that my “band of merry men” can lack the art of avoidance of fickleness. However, I still know that an indecisive man gives up their manhood on a daily basis.

To all males out there: one of the first steps in manhood is making that manly decision in the first place.

‘Nuff said and ‘Nuff respect!!!

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