This happens to me a lot. I go into a store with the intent of buying something. Let’s say a pair of pants. And more times than not, I go home empty handed. Why is that?

I spend a lot of time weighing the pros and cons of a buying decision. And I don’t mean things like a car or a house. Those too, of course. But I mean things like the above mentioned pair of pants. Or a home stereo. Or ice cream.

Ice cream in a grocery store in Ventura

I took this picture today, in a Ventura grocery store. This is just too much choice for me! When there are 23 different flavors and brands of chocolate ice cream, I will always wonder: “What if the flavor next to is better than the one that I just bought?” I will not be able to select a product and feel confident that I made the best possible choice.

I hate buyer’s remorse. Probably because I made too many bad buying decisions in the past. I wonder how much money I spent on purchases I later regretted? That dress shirt that ended up being just too small, the membership in an animal rescue club that I agreed on in the pedestrian zone, or the two liter bottle of tonic water.

I hate buyer’s remorse. I hate it so much, I’d rather walk out of a store than buy the pair of pants the fit decently.

Philip pointed out a TED video to me, which really hit the nail on the head:

Why choices make people miserable:

  • Regret and anticipated regret
  • Opportunity costs
  • Escalation of expectations
  • Self-blame

3 thoughts on “Indecision

  1. Woah. You’re reading my mind! I leave Winners (big department-ish store) empty-handed 99% of the time b/c of too much selection. Last night, I went in to get a carrot peeler—the old one broke, so I really need one—but faced with 10 options, I left without.

  2. Pingback: My CrossFit Initiation | Konstantin Obenland

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