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why do women dither?

(41 Posts)
maisiegreen Tue 22-Apr-14 06:36:02

I was in the (as usual) glacially slow queue at a national trust tearoom on Saturday, behind a woman who, although she'd been standing around for ages, when she was served seemed to be totally surprised at the idea of actually choosing anythingand dithered around wondering what cake and drink to have, as though she'd never seen them before, instead of being in front of them for a good ten minutes. And why is it only woman who do this? And why are ditherers oblivious to the enormous queue crinding their teeth behind them?

maisiegreen Tue 22-Apr-14 06:38:18

Or even grinding

MiceElf Tue 22-Apr-14 06:47:49

Being charitable it could be that she couldn't see the display, or that had forgotten her specs and couldn't see the menu, or that was in the early stages of Alzheimer's, or that she had been earwigging on your fascinating conversation, or that the tea lady was the only person she had spoken to in a week and she wanted to prolong the encounter.

I've met a fair few chaps who dither too though.

HollyDaze Tue 22-Apr-14 06:57:14

I agree with MiceElf and have also seen a fair few male ditherers; they put their shopping through at superarkets and seem to have forgotten they have to actually pay for it. I've been behind men in M&S cafes who've obviously been in a daydream as the counter assistant has to raise her voice and ask a second time 'what would you like dear'.

As is usual, both sexes have the same faults - one just gets talked about more than the other wink

JessM Tue 22-Apr-14 07:05:55

I once worked in a big car company office for a couple of months. One of the world's top brands. I was involved in a big recruitment campaign which was stop/go/stop/go as the board of directors (all men) dithered about the internal politics of this recruitment. They'd make a decision, pay for a national advertising campaign, then it would get re-discussed and the decision reversed etc etc I was astounded at the level of top level dithering.

NanKate Tue 22-Apr-14 07:21:34

I feel sorry for people who can't make their minds up and dither, they irritate me too.

I was out shopping with my DiL and I saw a cardigan I liked. I went straight into the shop tried it on and bought it - 5 minutes flat. She was flabbergasted.

Aka Tue 22-Apr-14 07:59:18

I know this person Maisie as I was behind her at a supermarket checkout. She was obviously surprised that she'd have to pay for her goods as when the total was announced only then did she start to dig into her bag in search of her purse, etc. which of course took ages to locate.

Then it must have been her at the traffic lights on my way home too. Sitting there watching them change to green and only just managing to find first gear and move off before they changed back again.

feetlebaum Tue 22-Apr-14 08:09:19

A character personified by Maggie Ollerenshaw, in Open All Hours, as "Wavy Mavis"...

Lona Tue 22-Apr-14 08:13:16

Well, it's not me!. I'm the opposite.
I'm trying to get my debit card and loyalty cards out whilst wrestling with putting stuff on the conveyor, and then whipping it into bags whilst putting pin numbers in the machine.
I think I could get a job in a circus! wink

Brendawymms Tue 22-Apr-14 08:17:16

Procrastination perhaps an extreme form of dithering is an 'art form' of both men and women. The worst I have come across was male closely followed by a woman. Both lovely people but they made me pull my hair out. They seem to know its a problem but seem equally unable to do anything about it. More procrastination!,

Nonnie Tue 22-Apr-14 09:17:31

I used to get really frustrated in M & S food at lunchtime. There was a row of cashiers especially for people with only a few items and always a long queue. I would find myself calling out to the person who had been waiting at the front but didn't see a cashier become available and also the others who hadn't got the money ready to pay for their one sandwich.

Same in large post offices, they stand in the queue and seem to go to sleep when they get to the front.

Just as many male ditherers as female!

sunseeker Tue 22-Apr-14 09:23:00

I am not normally a ditherer, except once a month when I meet a friend for coffee and cake. She knows immediately which cake she is going to have whereas I am looking at them all trying to decide whether to have one, which I know I like, or try something new, but as this is the only cake I have in a month I do like to try to make sure I get it right!

annodomini Tue 22-Apr-14 09:53:57

A very close relative of mine would take every prize for indecision. I dread shopping with her, so it's probably just as well that she lives 12000 miles away. I'm one for a quick decision though this has sometimes resulted in serious fashion gaffes!

whenim64 Tue 22-Apr-14 10:18:44

I don't dither but my friend does. She's that stereotypical shopper who goes back to the first thing she likes after trailing round for a couple of hours. In restaurants, the waitress will return again and again, after being told to come back in five minutes to find she has still not decided what she wants. But, the biggest ditherer was my uncle, who I went with to choose a new carpet. After four hours, looking at the same three carpets, the store was closing and he announced that we could 'go back tomorrow when we've got a bit more time!' No, we could not!

jinglbellsfrocks Tue 22-Apr-14 10:44:24

I am very quick in choosing a pub meal. But dither over which cake/shortbread in a tearoom. DH just says, "Oh, I'll have what you have" and then is very obvious with the disappointment when my choice doesn't measure up. hmm

Marelli Tue 22-Apr-14 10:50:18

My hands are raised! I dither blush. I have to make a special effort to ensure I have everything to hand and my purse ready. I then find I'm faffing about trying to get my card/change/receipt back in my purse and then into my bag without dropping something. I've always been a bit of a ditherer. grin

Granniepam Tue 22-Apr-14 11:28:13

Dithering for me depends on: who I'm with and how comfortable I am with my surroundings. So, no problems with DGC in the local abbey ruins but major dithering when faced with catching a 'bus when I'm away from home. confused

grannyactivist Tue 22-Apr-14 11:34:00

I'm definitely not a ditherer, but occasionally will see something in a shop and then go away to take the time to decide if I really want/need it - usually I decide the answer is no. grin

Mishap Tue 22-Apr-14 12:21:05

One of my DDs is notorious for not being able to make up her mind - it is a family joke. When they are all together, as they were this weekend, getting anyone to decide what they wish to do/where they want to go is tortuous and barely watchable!

Soutra Tue 22-Apr-14 12:45:09

The verb "to dither" can be conjugated as follows:
I carefully consider all the options before making a wise choice
You can be a little indecisive at times
He/she dithers

rockgran Tue 22-Apr-14 13:20:25

I used to be indecisive but now I'm not so sure! grin

Iam64 Tue 22-Apr-14 13:34:52

grin rockgran.
My youngest daughter can make instant decisions about significant stuff, but ask her to choose a meal in a restaurant and she has been known to dither between several possibilities, finally choose, and regularly wishes she'd chosen whatever his sister did.
Supermarket check outs can be irritating places, but are also good places to practice not getting wound up by stuff that doesn't really matter that much. Having said that - I have to work hard on staying calm and positive in the face of Morrisons self checkout tills, which seem to have panic attacks much more often than any machine should!

janerowena Tue 22-Apr-14 14:30:19

OH. He's dreadful. He tries to hurry us up to choose in a restaurant, my son and I give our orders - then he says 'Now, what do I want?'. I could kill him.

I too can buy something in 5 minutes flat - he hauls me around half a dozen shops and then we go back to the first, or more often, he says he will leave it. Even if it's important. So we get home and I order it online.

But he loves shopping. He really does, and I hate it. So he does most supermarket shops by himself now, because he takes so long. I can leave him choosing a bottle of wine and come back half an hour later with a full trolley, and he will only be halfway down the aisle.

harrigran Tue 22-Apr-14 19:03:18

I walked into a furniture shop and bought lounge furniture for two rooms in five minutes. It was a filthy night and I wanted to get home, DH was flabbergasted when I said " I'll have those two sofas and all of those chairs in blah, blah fabric " On the other hand I have a relative that drives me crazy in restaurants, he will ask the waiter what he suggests, just order what you fancy FGS I want to shout. The waiter might live on junk food or be a vegan.

FlicketyB Tue 22-Apr-14 19:05:18

I do not think that dithering is a particularly female attribute - or an age one. Some people dither and others don't.