By RTE's Operation Transformation psychologist and Portarlington man Dr Eddie Murphy.
We’re often told not to be fussy. Growing up it’s something that our parents and elders tell us again and again whether telling us to eat whatever is put in front of us or wear what we are told without giving out or complaining.
Nowadays though, we’re learning that being fussy is a vital part of fulfilment and happiness.
Not to the extreme of course, but from a psychological point of view, having the option to make choices that suit us best are a big part of us leading a fulfilled life.
It means we have control over our paths and control is fundamental to survival, it’s how we adapt to change.
Our powerful unconscious keeps us seeking control, and it’s the desire for control that keeps us seeking choices.
Research recently undertaken by Carphone Warehouse as part of its Your Choice campaign, has revealed that 80% of people think they make up to 50 choices a day.
However, in reality, it runs in to the thousands.
Everything from what we wear in the morning to what time we make our cuppa are all part of daily decisions, right up to the more important and impactful ones like buying a phone, a house or choosing partner.
The Your Choice campaign aims to illustrate the importance of choice, and show people that having support and guidance in our choices is the way to make sure you have the best for you.
It being Easter time, a time where family and friends come together, I wanted to look at how integral family are in shaping our lives and influencing our choices, helping us to hopefully lead a more fulfilled life.
This interesting by Carphone Warehouse has shown that when it comes to dating or choosing partners, friends influence us the most.
Parents and siblings follow that, showing that when we do take people’s opinions on board, we are swayed by those closest to us.
Showing just how much influence our family has on our romantic life, 32% say they would allow a family member set them up on a blind date.
That’s something I wouldn’t have expected, but a third of people have that much trust in their families!
What’s more, a brave 1 in 5 say they would let their mother choose a potential suitor for them and over half (58%) say they would leave the blind date choice up to their brother or sister.
I suppose those who know us best are best placed to give us advice, and even more so advice we are likely to heed when making choices.
These influential parties are trusted in our lives and so we look to them for confirmation and affirmation when facing options.
While sometimes having too much choice may seem daunting, if we feel supported in our choices and decisions, it leads us to being much happier and fulfilled.
What’s more, one of the best things we can learn to do as we grow also is to stick to our decision, rather than question ourselves after the fact; to trust ourselves.