Thursday, March 19, 2015

HSPs and Decision Making

Everything comes with its darkness and its light. The same thing that gives us our gifts also gives us our challenges. As HSPs, we notice subtle details, and our life is enriched by them. As HSPs, we notice subtle details and get so lost in them that we lose sight of the context.

Maybe one thing we could do when making big decisions is first cut through the details, and clarify what our basic position or requirement is. When we know that, the details can help us paint a more complete picture later on. But not getting the heart of the matter keeps us suspended, keeps us confused. It keeps us procrastinating on actually making a decision, on throwing our hats over the fence.

And maybe one thing we can do when making small, little decisions is to stop questioning the validity of our choices. Our experience of the world is different. So, our needs are different. So, what we decide to do with our money, time, and other resources is probably different too.

These small, niggling decisions ultimately add up to the quality of our everyday lives. Like you, many times, I delay making affirmative choices when I feel that others might question their validity. For example, is it okay to spend my money a certain way when other people think that's wasteful?

It might be that you want to join a more expensive gym that others in your social circle. You can afford to do that. To you, it means avoiding a noisy, overcrowded environment. It means controlling the amount of stimulation you let it. It means having an amount of space that you are comfortable with.

Ultimately, it means that you are more likely to use the facility because you have taken your needs and preferences into account.

But often, we stop ourselves from making decisions like this. We discount what we need even when we can realistically satisfy that need. We do this just because it doesn't look like what other people need. So, we are stuck at the question: Is it okay for me to even need this?  

We have to, with little steps, start understanding that, in the end, everything is a matter of opinion. To decide how to use our time and money in a way that works for us is giving voice to our needs. It's also giving voice to our values.

It's treating ourselves as if we matter. It's counting ourselves as important. We might struggle to do this, and fall over and over again. But we have to acknowledge that if the way we respond to the world is different, what we need from the world might be different as well.

There's no point trying to get everyone's permission. We have to give ourselves our own permissions.

Your needs are valid. Just like everyone else, you are a unique, distinctive person. What you want speaks of the deeper needs of your soul. You soul might need quiet. It might need music. It might want to get away. It might want to find its community.

When making your decisions, look at what you need. Don't look at other people who are nothing like you. How would your decisions change? What would they look like?  

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