From dictionary.reference.com:


/əˈbuːlɪə; -ˈbjuː-/

1. (psychiatry) a pathological inability to make decisions

I love it when I come across a word I’ve never heard before, and this one is a beauty. It just rolls off the tongue, doesn’t it? And it is a very pretty word for a type of personality trait that drives me up a freaking wall.

I’ve known several indecisive people in my lifetime and I can’t relate to them at all. I make decisions. Granted, I’ve made some massive mistakes along the way, but at least I didn’t sit there on the sidelines wringing my hands.

This type of behavior sets my teeth on edge because along with this inability to choose comes a huge amount of anxiety with which you are expected to sympathize, and I can’t do it. I just can’t. Unless you are being asked by a Nazi which child you wish to sacrifice, why hesitate? Pick a side. Turn left or right. Settle for the stuffing or the potatoes, I could care less. Just make a flipping decision and move on, man!

And then there are those people who seem to enjoy being inconclusive. That way they don’t have to take responsibility for their actions, or lack thereof. “You decide for me. Then if it all goes pear shaped, I can blame you.”

And I absolutely want to strangle those for whom the decision seems blatantly obvious. “This medicine will cure my condition, but gee, I don’t know…” I want to grab this person by the scruff of the neck and force the pill down her throat like I would do with my Italian Greyhound.

Even harder for me to comprehend are those people who think they are indecisive when in fact they make decisions all the time. My late boyfriend was like that. He used to say he couldn’t make decisions, and would be paralyzed when faced with a detailed menu. But he never starved to death. He woke up every morning and chose what to wear and when to leave the house, and what job to work on and for how long. He was a roofing contractor. He had to decide what job to take, how much to charge, what supplies he would need, and how to respond to his customers’ questions all day long. A menu should have been child’s play to him.

I think the problem with a lot of people who have trouble making choices is that they don’t think they deserve the good things those choices will bring. They don’t think they deserve to be cured, or have a good meal, or wear that red sweater. They think people will judge them based on their decisions. It exhausts me just thinking about it.

So I have made the decision to eschew abulia, and I recommend that you do the same. But of course, that’s your decision.


[Image credit: unusedwords.com]

5 thoughts on “Abulia

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