Uncommon Sense

You haven’t the sense you were born with!

This critique of my decision making and problem solving skills has dogged me throughout most of my adult life. I am told that I am intelligent and I hold down a reasonably important job where I (shock horror) manage other adults and ‘do the grown up stuff’ without blinking an eyelid. I can deliver presentations to large audiences, brief senior management and function effectively within a high pressure working environment.

Fionnuala says there are two Stephens. ‘Work Stephen’ who is confident, assertive and strong; and ‘Home Stephen’ who can barely change a light bulb and who dithers over whether he wants pizza or Chinese from the takeaway.

I used to be indecisive but now I’m not so sure….

I cannot make a decision to save myself. My self esteem is low so my default setting is to please people. I want to be liked. It’s different in the working environment. I am representing an organisation and making decisions on their behalf. It’s not personal and if people don’t like the decision then they can blame the organisation and not me.

It’s different outside of work. The buck stops with me. When I am asked a question I’m immediately second guessing what the person who asked the question wants me to say in response. My brain goes into overdrive. If I say pizza will they be annoyed because they really wanted Chinese food. Or vice versa? I hmmmm and I haaaaa and then end up saying ‘Oh I’ll have whatever you’re having’. This drives Fionnuala nuts. ‘I wish you would make a decision’ she sighs.

This people pleasing disposition has got me in all sorts of bother down the years. I can’t say no. I hate confrontation and disagreements. I will agree with someone’s opinion or point of view even when every molecule in my body is screaming that they are wrong. This has led me down many wrong paths and before I know it I’m up to my neck in a whole world of pain.

I have worked hard this year on many aspects of my personality. This includes making decisions based on what sits best with my conscience as opposed to what the other person wants to hear. It also involves saying ‘no’ when I want to say ‘no’ and veering clear of people and situations which I know are not healthy for me. This has drastically wiped out a large chunk of my social calendar but I view it as a small price to pay.

Fionnuala has asked me in recent weeks what I want for Christmas and as usual I wasn’t able to give her a straight answer. Until now.

All I want for Christmas is wisdom and discretion.

I don’t want common sense. I want more. I want uncommon sense. I want the wisdom of Solomon. I want my yes to mean yes and my no to mean know. I want to make healthy, well informed decisions which I know are right for me and my family. I want to walk along the paths I was born to walk along. I want that piece of my mind that has always reneged at this to know true peace of mind.

Is that too much to ask Santa?

Would you say you have common sense?

What bad decisions in your past have influenced your present?

43 thoughts on “Uncommon Sense

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  1. Even with his wisdom, Solemn struggled to follow God at the end of his life, he gave in to his wives. Nonetheless, God granted him wisdom when he was close to God, and I think that speaks volumes. I’ve been praying for God to grant me the wisdom I need instead of what I think I need (want). May God give you further discernment and wisdom. 🙂 May you continue to draw close to Him.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I spent two years on focused personal growth and development. I changed from just trying to make it through the day to chasing my dreams with an axe.
    A few book suggestions that might help(forgive me if I can’t remember the authors, it’s early): Psyco-cybernetics, The 17 Laws of Growth, Boundaries, The War of Art.

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  3. I have never related to something as much as I did with this blogpost.

    I hate how my self confidence is almost nonexistent; I hate being so inclined to make others happy.

    Thanks for sharing this with everyone.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. I know we have a huge age difference, and that I’m just a teen, but this is so relatable. My inability to say no led to such terrible decisions and I’m still suffering because of that. The constant need to please everyone around me changed me so much, I barely recognize myself, anymore. But I also know the worst thing one can do in this state of mind is to ponder upon what your ‘old self’ would do. Embrace your new self, and I know that it’s easier said than done, but hold your ground. In the beginning, it’ll disturb you but it’ll be really worth it, in the end.
    Thank you for sharing this.
    It’s beautiful. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  5. “On that night God appeared to Solomon, and said to him, Ask! What shall I give you?

    Knowing what God had done for and in his father, David’s life, and knowing the assignment that was now on his life, and the tasks that were before him, Solomon said, “Now give me wisdom and knowledge, that I may go out and come in before this people……

    I believe you’re asking God for the same thing, and as He answered and blessed Solomon with his request, so He’ll do and is doing for you….

    NOW, TRUST EVERYTHING HE GIVES YOU, SHOWS YOU, AND TELLS YOU, AND WALK THEREIN!!!

    Blessings bro..

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  6. I’m the same way — if it’s a business decision I can make it with ease, I’m confident in my work and my skills, but in other areas of life I’m very indecisive. Often this stems from a place of apathy and sometimes, like you said, people pleasing.

    Wisdom is something that I’m continually asking for and seeking out and I’m immensely thankful that God gives wisdom liberally and without reproach to those who ask him!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I feel like this describes my husband. I love him dearly, and pray for him (and us) every day, but for as long as I’ve known him, he has struggled to make decisions, even simple ones. It was even more pronounced with the prospect of a move: his angry response to me was “What was I supposed to do? Tell you ‘no’?” Um, yes, you were, if you didn’t like it. Why do you think we struggle to make decisions and want to please others so much? Why do we struggle with being honest with what we want?

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  8. Even though I don’t really relate to this, I am aware of some people being indecisive like that. What I try to do is say that 1) I really do not mind whatever decision they make, I am up for either option; or 2) give me opinion on the options, but try to establish a communication tunnel by saying that there is room to talk, discuss and make a mutual decision.

    Would that be something that would help you express yourself better? Is there something you wish people said/ did that would help you? Or is that something you just need to work on?

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  9. I can relate to this. While I didn’t necessarily make bad choices based on my desires to be liked or avoid confrontation (no, I made bed decisions for completely different reasons!), I have always been the one who doubts everything I say or do. As long as I have a well-defined box (like a job), I am fine and seem competent. But loosen those parameters and make it more social, and I will spend the evening second guessing everything I say and wondering if others really like me or are just humoring me.

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  10. I am the same! I’m such a people pleaser and it gets me into trouble regularly. My partner also frequently gets annoyed when I can’t make a decision about where to eat because I don’t want to pick somewhere she doesn’t like. Lol

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  11. this post made my eyes well up! no, I don’t usually cry but I cry when I can relate to things. An year ago, if someone had asked me about what I want to eat, I wouldn’t have been able to answer. Solely because of how socially awkward I was (and still am at some point) in my personal life. Now I’m fighting this anxiety and it’s hard. very hard. I tell myself, “Ayesha, you’re imperfect like everyone and you weren’t born to please people!” and it helps. Self-communication, for me, is a very useful weapon to fight anxiety and awkwardness.

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  12. What is interesting is that I spent my years teaching trying to get students to not use common sense as the basis of their beliefs, especially about people they considered as different from them. I think when someone says that you do not have common sense, they mean that you do not agree with them. Instead of common sense, or what we have traditionally been taught to think was right, I tell students that there can be more than one answer. Just because it is the way a situation has always been explained, does not make it right. Look for other answers and ways of explaining. Be courageous and think for yourself.

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  13. 2 Corinthians 12:9 But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” And that, my friend, is why the Lord has used you to bring hope, peace, and love to people around the world. Even here in Kentucky USA!

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