The Root of my Indecisiveness

Shefali Murti
3 min readOct 31, 2020

I am indecisive. It doesn’t matter how consequential or not the decision is — I struggle to make a decision with even with something as simple and inconsequential as where to eat lunch. I’ve always despised my indecisiveness, but I never spent the time to think about what might have led to this trait until now.

When I was in elementary school, I was diagnosed with juvenile arthritis. This gave way to a large amount of physical discomfort, yet did not constitute the hardest part of going through this illness. I was able to withstand the joint pain in my legs, but seeing my parents upset and worried about me all the time did hurt my heart. Even though I was the one experiencing and dealing with the pain, it seemed like my parents were the ones who couldn’t handle it — and it made me really sad. I love my parents and know everything they do for me comes from undeniable love, and I didn’t want to be a source of their suffering. Of course I knew this disease was not of my doing, but I hated being an additional, huge stressor in their lives and wished there was something I could do to fix it. So, I began to continuously assure my parents that I was okay, that I was feeling better, that the medicine was working…that they had nothing to worry about. My parents were putting me first, so it felt right to put them, alongside my health, first as well.

My experience with combatting my arthritis and lessening the worry of my parents has shaped a huge part of who I am today. I am the kind of person who wants to be there for others and put their needs first, and I don’t always show my true feelings or voice my actual opinions because I don’t want to upset anyone. One way this comes off as is “indecisive,” but a replacement word for that now might be “placating.” For example, back to something as silly as choosing where to eat — I’ll help narrow down the restaurant options, but if I do indeed have a preference, I am very hesitant to say it just in case the other people involved wouldn’t want that. Rather, I will likely go along with what the other person wants.

I know it’s not good to always be placating, or “people pleasing.” Being confident and voicing my opinion is something I value, and I’m not saying that I never partake in these actions. I am saying, though, that I believe this is the root of my indecisiveness, and I do equally find value in putting others before my myself sometimes and being that calming presence that people need.If a classmate needs help with homework, I’ll help them. If my parents want to have “family bonding time” on Friday night, I’ll be there. If a friend feels bad about an idea they have, thinks their essay is awful, or is worried about something they said to someone, I’ll assure them the opposite. Even if I am having a really bad day — I may be overloaded with homework or having trouble with a friend or upset about a joke someone made towards me or just really tired — I will temporarily subdue it (often hidden through humor) in order to guarantee that I am there for the people that need me at that moment. Of course, I too have my many moments of letting go, venting to trusted friends, and needing assurance, but I much rather enjoy being on the opposite end. When other people are happy, that in turn makes me happy — it’s just a part of who I am.

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