Here is one thing that does NOT make me happy. Sample: I’m on a shopping excursion with a friend. She’s looking for a specific type of shoe. It’s fun at first going from store to store but it becomes evident she is one of those people that CAN’T MAKE UP THEIR MIND. Which will eventually DRIVE ME BAT SHIT! Make up your mind already! People who can’t make decisions drive me crazy. I’m a decision made, even though it may not turn out to be the best of the best, is better than no decision at all kind of girl. Making quicker decisions rather than vacillating will make you a happier person says Dr. Barry Schwartz, Professor of Psychology at Swarthmore College. He categorizes people into either being a “maximizer” or a “satisficer”. A maximizer is a person that likes to take their time and weigh a wide variety of options-sometimes all of the option- before making a choice. A satisficer, me, would rather be fast than thorough: they, me, prefer to quickly choose the option that fills the minimum criteria (the word satisficer comes from melding “satisfy” with suffice”). The maximizer wants the very best while the satificers are people who want good enough. Which one of these personality types are happier? You got it. It’s the satisficer. Why is the satisficer happier? Simple. While they’ve already made their decision, the maximizer is still pondering and worrying about which option to choose. Dr. Schwartz says, “One of the things that life teaches you is that ‘good enough’ is almost always good enough. You learn that you can get satisfaction out of a perfectly wonderful but not perfect outcome.” What happens when these two marry? Well, it can be hell if the satisficer decides to make all of the decisions. You’ll need to work with each other to do what is best for the both of you. Dr. Schwartz suggests letting the person who is most invested in the decision or the person with the higher standards make the decision and that could be either the maximizer or the satisficer.
Here’s a quick little test to help you decide if you’re a maximizer or satisficer. I didn’t need to take it. I’m a satificer all the way.
1 is strongly disagree, 7 is strongly agree. The higher the score, the more of a maximizer you are:
1. No matter how satisfied I am with my job, it’s only right for me to b on the lookout for better opportunities.
2. When I am in the car listening to the radio, I often check other stations to see if something better is playing, even if I’m relatively satisfied with what I’m listening to.
3. When I watch TV, I channel surf, often scanning through the available options even while attempting to watch one program.
4. I treat relationships like clothing: I expect to try a lot on before finding the perfect fit.
5. I often find it difficult to shop for a gift for a friend.
6. Renting videos is really difficult. I’m always struggling to pick the best one.
7. I never settle for second best.
8. When shopping I often have a hard time finding clothes I really love.
9. No matter what I do, I have the highest standards for myself.
10. I’m a big fan of lists that attempt to rank things (best movies, best books etc).
So, which are you?