How can we learn to make good decisions?
People often feel confused about what to eat or wear, whom to make friends with, and what to study.
A decision is a choice made between many alternatives.
Like whether I should go to a party or stay at home and study.
There are things that you should consider when making decisions.
• Values • Information available to us • Goals • Circumstances • Social pressures • Parental or family expectations
I guess that means that decisions are important parts of our daily life.
Very true. Whatever decisions we make determine our successes and failures.
Then we must give careful thought to important decisions. Like choice of career, where to worship, what to wear…
Who should our friends be, what our goals are, and when to become sexually active. Did you know that decisions about sexuality are very important?
They must be, since they affect our future health and life plans and also have an impact on the lives of other people.
But then, decisions about sexuality are often difficult.
Is it possible that they are making the right decision?
I don’t know Tunde. I think it’s hard to say what’s “right” and what’s “wrong” about someone else’s decisions. Especially about something as personal as sexuality. Like the saying goes ‘different strokes for different folks’.
There are a lot of factors that influence those decisions, like: • Sexual feelings • Social pressures • Conflicting messages from partners, parents, friends • Religion • Cultural beliefs
Ignorance could also affect your decision. If you don’t have enough information, it’s hard to make a good decision ‘a decision made in haste will be regretted at leisure’.
That’s why it’s so important to get the facts. The more you know about Sexually Transmitted Infections and unwanted pregnancy, the better the decision you can make.
So it’s important to make good decisions, but how do we do that? I wish there was a set procedure for making a decision, so I won’t make mistakes.
Well, you’ll make mistakes anyway, everyone does. But there is a method to help you, and you can even come back and do it again if you do make a mistake.
Really? What is it?
Just remember: DECIDE
D: Define the problem
E: Educate yourself and gather facts
C: Consider your options. List the advantages, disadvantages and consequences of each option, and ask yourself: What is the worst that could happen with each option and could you live with it?
I: Identify your choice, and identify alternatives
D: Design a plan to carry out the decision. It can help to list steps to take and identify ways of handling obstacles.
E: Evaluate the decision. Ask yourself: What happened? and Would I do it differently next time?
When you make the right decisions, life is easier.
That’s pretty good. But I still seem to run into trouble trying to make decisions.
Like what?
My friends and myself. Most times, I want to do what my friends do. And sometimes I feel very unsure about what I should be doing.
For me, I don’t have an adult that I can talk to openly about my choices, and sometimes I’m not sure what my values are.
My friend Bola ended up making the decision to have sex when she was under the influence of drugs and alcohol, then she was really unhappy about it. I sometimes worry that will happen to me.
That’s why you should set your limits ahead of time. It's hard to decide on the spur of the moment, so think ahead and make your decisions now about whether to drink alcohol, use drugs, or have sex.
But what if we have to make a decision in a hurry, and can’t use your “DECIDE” formula?
If it’s an important decision, you should always be able to ask for more time. Say “I need to think about that, let me get back to you.”
That’s a good idea. That way we don’t need to hurry about the decisions we make.
I hope you’re feeling better about this whole decision making process now.
Yeah, I think we are.
Bye for now! See you next time.
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