Thursday, September 30, 2010


Sometimes I get into impromptu lectures with friends. I rarely enter the discussion with any particular point I want to make. As the discussion continues on, I see how incidentally my thoughts lead up to a main point rather well. Here is how my thought pattern evolved in this particular instance.

The other day I was talking to a friend of mine about a guy who is interested in dating her but she can't decide if she wants to date him. However, she spends quite a bit of time with him. I wondered, "If this girl were crazy busy and had no spare time to see this guy, would she still make time to see him? If it meant sacrificing in other activities in her life (like sleep) would she still do it to spend time with him?" At this point it really isn't a sacrifice for her to see him.

She thought about it for a minute and I suggested it was probably more of a rhetorical question anyway.

She has dated this guy once before and decided she wasn't into him the first time. I said, "I know I can't make this judgment call and you're clearly struggling to make it yourself, but it seems like you made your mind up about him the first time around when you weren't lonely that you just weren't interested in him and now that you're lonely it is easy to go back to him."

I then shared a similar story about a guy I went on a few dates with in February. After a few dates I knew I didn't want to date him. I made the decision when I wasn't lonely not to date him. But then I found myself lonely a few months later and thought, "maybe I should give him a second chance" but quickly stopped myself from pursuing that thought because I would have been making the decision when I was lonely.

Then something I learned from Dr. Israelson this semester popped into my head. He said, "Never make decisions when you are hungry, angry, lonely, or tired.HALT is the acronym." The idea is that you are letting short-term, temporary conditions influence long-term outcomes.I would add that the only decision you should make when under these conditions is to either go eat, cool down, find a group of friends, or sleep.

In this instance, I asked my friend if loneliness was really the right reason to be spending so much time with the guy. Probably not.

I could have never planned out such a discussion leading up to a widely-applicable point like HALT.  

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