Existential Psychology

Advice For Decision Makers

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If you are a decision maker in any capacity then it means you have influence, and this means that others are going to try to influence you. They’ll try to take on roles as trusted advisers. Some will do it with the legitimate aim of helping you make the best decisions possible from the objective point of view, you could say their interest is in the general good, but others are going to do it with less noble intentions in mind. You could say their interest is self-serving, their advice meant to maintain or bolster their own positions.

The challenge then as a decision maker is to decipher which camp the people advising you fall into. Paradoxically, the feedback to trust the least is often the feedback that provokes the strongest positive emotional reaction. In other words, feedback that speaks to your ego, that confirms your idealized self-image, that makes you feel like a god, infallible and all-wise, is the type of feedback to be wary around.

It’s advice that appeals to your reason that should be trusted. Sometimes this advice provokes a strong negative emotional reaction, specifically when it casts doubt upon the idealized self-image you have of yourself, but this by no means makes it bad advice from the objective point of view. A bitter pill is sometimes exactly what the organism needs for its continued health.