It is typical for people to be indecisive. While some make snap decisions, others find it difficult to consider all of their options and may even try to put off making a decision altogether.

Researchers in psychology have found that perfectionism frequently results in indecision. Perfectionists delay making decisions until they are confident they are acting appropriately because they are afraid of the guilt or regret that may result from choosing the wrong option. Indecisiveness is frequently seen as a bad quality, although there may be unexpected benefits to waiting. According to recent research, even if it may be uncomfortable, the inability to reach a speedy decision shields people from several critical cognitive biases. Though they take longer to make decisions, those with high trait ambivalence are also less prone to “correspondence bias.” For instance, if someone slips, correspondence bias may cause us to assume that someone is clumsy by default rather than recognizing that the floor is slippery. Like all other aspects of life, indecision is only an issue when it exceeds reasonable limits. Setting a time limit for your final decision could be a simple first step to avoid spending too much time dwelling on your options without actually learning anything new. Depending on the type of issue you are dealing with, you might want to break it up into a number of activities. For instance, you might spend two hours looking for new information before thinking for a while.

Indecision can be an enemy of virtue but also a protective shield against biases. Knowing when to wait and when to overcome your inertia while it is holding you back is the key.