Beliefnet
Doing Life Together

ID-10091506Last week, I was going out of town for the weekend. I spent hours going over my wardrobe choices. What if it rains, gets cold, I want something more formal, etc.?

My husband opened his suitcase, threw in a few outfits and was done with it. No looking back, waffling or hanging in the air with possible scenarios. He made a quick and decisive decision.

And there I was, still agonizing over what to bring!

This decision over wardrobe represents two different decision-making styles. I am the maximizer. I like to have time to think about the decision and weigh my various options.  I try to look at all the possibilities and anticipate what those possibilities will be.

My husband represented the sacrificer. His clothing choice was quick and decisive. He just needed to have the basics and he was happy. No agonizing.

Actually, most of us fall somewhere in the middle of maximizer and sacrificer. And we can mix styles. For example, my husband goes with the “good enough” style to pack for a trip, but when it comes to his job, he is a maximizer.

When it comes to jobs, maximizers land better ones. However, maximizers can make good decisions and still feel bad about them. There is always more information to consider. This tendency to maximize decision making leaves a person less happy.

The good news is that we become less maximizing with age! The older we are, the more we realize that not every decision can be weighed perfectly. We learn to roll with the punches and stress less.

In terms of relationships, maximizers and sacrificers do well together. They tend to balance each other out. But when a mismatch occurs, you have to work it out. Someone should consider the options and someone needs to make a decision!

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