“Never explain – your friends do not need it and your enemies will not believe you anyway.” – Elbert Hubbard
How many things in your day do you do because you feel you should? Well honestly, the word “should” should be eliminated from our vocabulary. The things we “should” do take us away from the things that matter, the things we must do to live our best and happiest life.
When we stop doing things because we feel we should and start defining the boundaries around what will add value to our lives, we can get on with the business of living our life.
The biggest thing we need to stop doing is explaining our decisions to others in hopes of their support. We should be confident enough in our decisions that someone else’s opinion doesn’t matter.
We all judge even when we try our hardest not to. We watch people, form opinions and make assumptions based entirely on their observations. So it’s no surprise that we assume other people are judging us. Knowing judgment is happening all around us, we feel the need to constantly explain ourselves to make sure people see us as we want to be seen.
How many times have you pretended to feel fine and tried to convince someone of this fact even though it is clear you don’t feel fine at all? We’ve all done it. Instead of faking fine try just being real without the need to apologize or explain. Give yourself the freedom to … Just. Be. Human. Everyone has imperfections, why bother to hide it?
Explaining takes your power and gives it to the other person. The best decisions come when we listen to how we feel and our gut instinct. But those sources aren’t usually well received in an explanation, so we make up an explanation the other person can relate to.
Unfortunately, there are many of us that feel the need to explain even though we know we shouldn’t. An explainer is waiting for someone else’s approval, and there is a lot of wasted energy in the waiting. It’s this waiting period that doubt creeps in; depression begins to expand, and unhappiness takes root. Waiting is wasted time.
When we explain, we move away from our greatest source of wisdom – our inner guide. We stop honoring ourselves and start placing more importance on the other person.
It’s hard to overcome the tendency to explain, but it can be done with focus and intention. Awareness is the key. To help you become more aware, here are 20 things you don’t owe anyone an explanation for.
You don’t owe anyone a justification for your values and your priorities.
You don’t owe anyone a yes when you want to say no.
You don’t owe anyone an explanation for your relationships, whether lovers or friends.
You don’t owe anyone assistance with their happiness journey at the cost of your own.
You don’t owe anyone a debate around your political views especially when the other person’s mind is made up.
You don’t owe anyone an apology when you are not sorry, and you would make the same decision again.
You don’t owe anyone a rationalization about why investing in yourself is important
You don’t owe anyone the meaning of what you believe in.
You don’t owe anyone a change in your appearance just to please them.
You don’t owe anyone friendship, especially when they do not share your values.
You don’t owe anyone a negative mindset so that you can commiserate with them.
You don’t owe anyone access to information about your life that makes you uncomfortable
You don’t owe anyone gossip material about other people just to fit in.
You don’t owe anyone your time for their projects or for things that matter to them unless they matter to you too.
You don’t owe anyone the commitment to try something “new” just because you were asked.
You don’t owe anyone a safe place for constant complaining and dwelling in their poor choices.
You don’t owe anyone an answer other than the truth to prevent them from being uncomfortable.
You don’t owe anyone your services as a crisis counselor unless you are actually a crisis counselor.
You don’t owe anyone false compliments just to make them feel better.
You don’t owe anyone anything that doesn’t make you feel good and goes against your gut instinct.
Just remember this:
“What other people think of me is none of my business.” – Wayne Dyer
and then remember this:
“You alone are enough. You have nothing to prove.” – Maya Angelou
The next time you are tempted to justify something, just remember that you can’t control what other people think. You can only control what you think and how you feel. If you are confident with your decisions then an explanation isn’t really necessary, is it?