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Podcast

Episode 14 • Making a decision

14

Be up to (someone)

Put off a decision

Make up your mind

A tough call

Come to a decision

Story

I was sitting in the room with the other judges. We had to make a decision and now it was up to me. Everybody had already voted and the room was split in half. The truth is, I didn’t want to be in that position. It’s too much responsibility. I wanted to put off the decision, maybe come back in the afternoon after thinking about it a bit more, but I knew I couldn’t. Everybody was looking at me, holding their breath. All those looks made it even more difficult for me to make up my mind. Why me? I didn’t want to be responsible for the future of these people. I kept looking at the two men in front of me, both of them looking back at me with pleading eyes, hoping I would be on their side. I finally announced: Listen, it’s a tough call! But I think I’ve finally come to a decision. The carrot cake is the winner! Yep, one of the toughest decisions of my life. That chocolate cake was also delicious. I’m telling you, being a judge at a pie contest is incredibly stressful!

Questions

We're back. Did I trick you? Did I make you believe it was an actual judge at a trial? That was my plan by the way.

To be up to someone

'It was up to me.'

It was really difficult coming up with the questions for those expression. It's really hard to, I think, teach but it's very easy to use so let's look at it.

• If a decision is up to someone, does that someone have control over what decision will be made?

If I say it is up to you, do you have control over the decision? Yes, it is up to you, you have control over the decision and in fact, you have the responsibility to make a decision.

• Now, let's think of a situation. Imagine that there's a kid who has done something really bad at school and they're considering expelling him or her. Who decides what will happen to this kid? Is it up to the classmates or is it up to the principal? Whose responsibility is it to make the decision?

In this case, it's up to the principal. Very good.

Put off a decision

'I wanted to put off the decision.'

• If you put off a decision, do you delay it or anticipate it?

Putting off means delaying a decision.

• Do you normally put off making a decision?

I don't like it. I think it causes a lot of stress, especially for big decisions. Again, I think it's too much stress otherwise. Even if you put it off, that doesn't mean that at least me, I still think about it. At the end of the day, I'm not making my life easier. If anything, I'm making it more complicated.

Make up my mind

'All those looks made it even more difficult for me to make up my mind.'

• If you have made up your mind, are you still trying to make a decision?

If you already have made up your mind, then you have already made a decision.

• When you’re at a restaurant and you have to order your food, how long does it take you to make up your mind?

Personally, it takes me one to two seconds. I look at the menu, I already walk in with an idea of what I want to get so it takes me a very short time to make up my mind, but my boyfriend, Oh, my gosh, he drives me crazy. We'll walk into a restaurant, we'll sit down, get the menu and he will literally read the menu for like maybe 10 minutes before he can decide. It takes him a long time to make up his mind.

A tough call

'Listen, it’s a tough call.'

• Is the expression ‘a tough call’ used to describe an easy or a difficult decision?

You know that the word tough means hard, difficult. You say a tough call when you're talking about a difficult decision.

• If it’s a tough call, how many options are you normally considering?

In the case of the story, it was only two. It was either the chocolate cake or the carrot cake. Normally, you're talking about two options.

• Can you try and think of two options to choose from that represent a tough call for you?

Two things that you would have to choose between that you both like very much or you both disliked equally. I have to talk about my favorite food. Let's go back to ice cream once again. If you told me, "Which flavor do you want? Hazelnut or pistachio and you can only choose one." That's a tough call because I really like both. I can't even now, see, it's a tough call. I can't make up my mind.

Come to a decision

'I think I’ve finally come to a decision.'

• If you’ve come to a decision, are you still considering your options?

No, if you've come to a decision, that means that you have made your choice, you have made your decision.

• Is coming to a decision immediate or does it take some time?

If you use the expression to come to a decision, that means that you have been thinking about it. Maybe not for a long time, even just a little bit of time, but it's not a quick decision. It's not blue or black. Blue, I haven't come to a decision, but if I think, "Blue suits me best, but black, for example, a black shirt, I would wear more often." I'm thinking a little bit about it and that I come to a decision.

• What is a good way to come to a decision?

I think the best way or one of the most popular ways is to make a pros and cons list. One where you list all of the advantages and all of the disadvantages or also, talking to someone, getting someone's opinion, it can be your friend. It can be someone in your family or the therapist, whatever it is. That's a good way to come to a decision if you cannot make up your mind.

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