12 Signs “Indecisive” is Your Main Personality Trait

Do you read menus as if you were translating the Rosetta stone? 

Have you been rewriting your letter of resignation for 10 years straight?

Or maybe the simple act of taking a personality test is reducing you to tears of frustration? If you find yourself scratching your head over a buffet of possible answers crying out, “But it depends!” and arguing with the computer over the technicalities of obviously vague test results, you need to take a deep breath and consider … perhaps decisions are not your forte?

If any of this sounds familiar, then rest assured, you are not the only one whose brain goes into overdrive when faced with more than one piece of information. Research suggests that 20% of the adult population is indecisive—here are 12 signs that you may be one of them.

1. You don’t raise your hand 

In fact, you take a tiny step back when the group is polled for volunteers. This is an act of self-preservation. Refusing to make a decision means you can’t get blamed for making the wrong one—and that's more than okay with you. 

2.  You let your partner decide on the regular

If the movie / restaurant /  holiday destination is a flop, you don't have to face the accusation "Why did you choose that?" because you’re off the hook. Plus, your partner loves making decisions, don't they? Letting them choose literally everything is your gift to them—or so you tell yourself to keep the peace and maintain a happy relationship.

3. You keep a coin in your pocket

And you always see both sides of it. It’s simple mathematics. You know you're going to end up paying way more for that flight or hotel if you don't book in advance, so having that coin handy is the only way to make sure you'll never make a late decision again.

4. You say, "my parents will decide"

When you're in your 20's. But really, isn’t it about time your parents were acknowledged for their superior wisdom? When someone else has better insight to the nuances this decision requires, it’s only common sense to lean on them to choose your interview outfit, your college degree and your future spouse.

5. Even your jitters have jitters

Who said adulting was anything less than terrifying?  When you can’t make a decision to save your life—big or small—you may find yourself on the brink of a panic attack. Fear of failure, fear of the unknown, fear of making the wrong choice can all keep you in a state of suspended animation. You could turn your fear of failure into a motivation to succeed, but why bother when sitting on the couch eating ice cream is the only rational decision to be made?

6. You act like decisions are a political act of Congress

There can be no decisions without representation. So you call a friend or ten. Consult colleagues. Have meetings. Read all the reviews. Spend all the time doing "research." You take everyone’s vote, swish, rinse and repeat. Using others as a foil, you push, pull and argue in circles until the bill is dead on the table. Now, if only you could figure out a way to explain that to your boss when the project deadline is long gone...

7. No one plays board games with you

Your turn takes so long they want to throw the dice out the window. But hey, procrastinators gotta procrastinate! You obsess and fuss over every possible move, making sure it's the right one. You have a dozen contingency plans, and you're not going to make a decision until you've considered them all. In the end, you might win, but everyone else is too exhausted to care.

8. Every lunch is a salad

And every work outfit is black pants, white shirts and a blazer. And every morning starts with the same brand of coffee. Since every decision you make takes a mental toll, you streamline your morning routine to be a series of identical actions, day in and day out. But if it's good enough for Steve Jobs, then it's good enough for you.

9. You know what you don’t want...

Isn’t that half the battle? You’re going out for dinner and you don’t care what you eat, so long as it isn’t egg rolls, pizza, burgers, sushi or barbecue. You’ve effectively narrowed it down to the other few million cuisines of the world. Kudos!

10. The items in your living room are now considered vintage

You once made the decision to purchase a sofa and there is no reason to go through that torture again, thank you. You don’t gamble on a new color, style or size, take risks with the latest fashions, or switch out items every other year. If it’s not broken, don’t fix it is your motto. Even if the sofa does sag a bit. Or the fabric is worn through.

11. Decluttering is a four-letter word

Your closet has so many layers that decluttering is more like excavating. The first shirt you reach for is a gift from your dearly departed aunt and the next is from that one great concert you went to (in 1994). Each has a memory like a tattoo that you can’t throw away.

12. The timing is wrong, all the time

Major decision? Circle back in a year. You’ve got some power moves to make at work and should get more financially stable. Or maybe you’ll be in a better headspace next year. Surely making a decision when you’re not at your best is just asking for trouble. Plus, it’s always better to wait for the stars to align and Mercury to be out of retrograde before deciding where to go for dinner. 

And if you drag your feet long enough, you can delay this crippling decision until it absolutely goes away. 

Not making a decision is also a decision!

If any of these signs are your modus operandi, consider the toll this behavior takes on your everyday life. More often than not, indecisiveness costs us in time, money, promotions, grades and opportunities. So take a deep breath, trust in yourself and make that decision! Who knows what amazing possibilities lie ahead when you take charge of your destiny. As Wilfred A. Peterson says, “You are only one decision from a totally different life.”

Jolie Tunnell
Jolie Tunnell is an author, freelance writer and blogger with a background in administration and education. Raising a Variety Pack of kids with her husband, she serves up hard-won wisdom with humor, compassion and insight. Jolie is an ISTJ and lives in San Diego, California where she writes historical mysteries. Visit her at jolietunnell.com