When you are on throes of a Dilemma….

Everyone faces dilemma of varying degree at one time or another. Some dilemmas make you dumb or dazed e.g.

  • You work with high degree of dedication, dynamism and diligence and one fine morning your boss comes to tell that you are not a good fit.
  • You discover that your best friend has been digging under your feet.
  • You accidently learn that your partner in love or spouse is not loyal to you.
  • You are told that person with whom you often take a bite also bitches and bites at your back.
  • You compromise your heart and health to serve your aging parents or parent-in-laws only to be told one day that they are not happy with quality and/or quantum of your efforts.
  • Your spouse or child longs for a gift on his/her birthday and you do not have resources or time to arrange it.
  • You are in an aeroplane and flight is going to take off in few minutes, and you get a SMS that your spouse has fallen sick.

You feel like throwing up when you face such dilemmas; feel dejected and deluded. You can get confused and cannot comprehend, what should be your response. Depending upon the nature of dilemma, a variety of emotions erupt – frustration, despair, guilt or anger.

Dealing with Dilemma

Most dilemmas involve 2 opposing situations, actions, decisions, requirements, realities or results. To deal or manage, you need to decide which one to respond to or act upon. What prevents you to take to rational position or view is your instantaneous emotion, which is unleashed by a dilemma, as mentioned above i.e. frustration to anger to shock and surprises. Here is what you can do to minimize chances of damages:

  1. People tend to react spontaneously, when they face a dilemma. Do not do that and rush to react. Hold back yourself by remembering that heaven would not fall. If it has to fall, it would fall in any case; but you would only improve its chances of falling, if in haste!
  2. Try to come out of your emotions consciously. Most make mistakes by sticking to their emotions while encountering a dilemma. Emotions always engage you; but also inflict damage on you.
    Emotions and rationale are 2 opposite sides of same coin; these are mutually exclusive. To take a decent decision or chose a right response, you need Rationale!
  3. When emotions ebb, then you would be able to clearly see 2 opposing parts of dilemma – one part would be “your belief, perception, desire, demand or action” and second part is what belies “your belief or perception” or what calls for dropping your “desire, demand or action”.
    Example – if your belief is that you have been giving your best to company and now your boss comes to tell that you don’t, then 2nd part is clearly “belying your belief!”
  4. 1st part has been a reality for you. Now, accept that emerging 2nd part is also a reality, which you cannot ignore! You, now, need to make a choice, which part you would hold and respond.
  5. If you continue to keep your emotions at bay, you would be able to make a right choice between the 2 opposing realities, based upon information or knowledge available to you.
    Example – Your belief that you have a best friend; but is a foe has now to be weighed by evaluating new information. You would be able to take a conscious call, if emotions are not present, what to believe. Likewise, you have to overcome your shock, when you come to know that your spouse in not loyal to you, find out what is true or false. Could be that it is true. Then, you can decide whether to accept and work for a change in your spouse’s behavior or abandon.
  6. Once you make a choice, move forward confidently and decisively. Do not delve for another dilemma whether you are right or wrong in making a choice. It is not possible that to be right always. Most important thing is to believe that you have taken decision in right earnest. So, do not regret; but face what can follow after you made a choice.
  7. Remain on your course but be flexible to change it, in case you hit a new reality. Some dilemmas or decisions taken by you consequently can make you feel guilty. This is the last thing you should allow to descend on you, as long as you are moving with no malice in mind!

If you drive on above lines, you can be sure that your dilemma may change to your delight!!!

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6 Comments
  • Kaushik
    Aug 1,2012 at 5:39 am

    This is a very true scenario and have been faced by, I guess, everyone in life many times over. My own experience suggests that if it is a specialized case of dilemma having been generated due to causes in your control(or may be a generic case beyond one’s control), try to weigh the pros and cons of either side of the ultimate decision (that one has to make) which is triggered in such a case. For example even if it is a dilemma in whether one should take a decision to move country (either temporarily or permanently but in his control), he/she should refrain from making a hasty decision either way without properly analyzing all the pros and cons that may affect his(and family members’) entire life in long term.

    • Aug 1,2012 at 12:13 pm

      I highly appreciate your valuable views! I thank you a lot for sharing your own real life experience!!

  • Rudra
    Jul 30,2012 at 5:43 pm

    Yes, dilemmas do make you look like dumb or dazed… depends on how you retort!! You’re correct… one doesn’t need to react spontaneously or abruptly. The heaven is of-course not gonna fall; neither is anybody gonna hang you for the fact. Take long deep breaths and think… think how you are gonna come out of this… believe!!

    At this point of time, many people would leave everything on luck or God – doesn’t harm… I do that too… (everything happens for a reason and for good!!) But then, it kills your self-belief. And I am gonna repeat that evergreen saying here “God helps those, who help themselves”, after-all!! So, help yourself!!

    Will indubitably try to follow your 7 deals to surmount all my catch-22 situations… I am sure will come out good!! 🙂

    Cheers!!

    • Jul 31,2012 at 10:10 pm

      Thanks a lot for your very well orchestrated comments and views!

      True, when one is unable to decide during dilemma, he/she evokes God or luck. But, after that one does start to work or act on one of the 2 options of dilemma; paradox is that you ultimately do it but do it without rationale. However, God or luck it ready at hand to praise for passing or pass the blame for failure!!

      I am sure you would do very well with your final resolve!!!

  • Jul 29,2012 at 12:35 pm

    On National Geographic Channel in one program it was shown that pilots are taught not to react in haste. They use various simulation techniques to train them fight panic situations which would help them keep calm and react cautiously. Well, we can’t have training for every situation we face. However as you mentioned reacting in haste will only improve the chances of calamity happening.

    • Jul 29,2012 at 10:08 pm

      You have cited very relevant example! Really appreciate it!!

      Pilots are the ones, who do face frequent dilemmas – with regards to weather conditions, safety, smooth operations and timely schedules. It is very crucial that they know A B C of dealing with dilemmas and take right decisions.

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