There are situations where we need to explain. There are others where we don’t. Is that simple! Knowing the difference will help you avoid an unnecessary source of stress. It is not always necessary to justify our decisions, behaviors, attitudes or way of being. Who really loves us, respects us. And who’s not open to listen to reasons, probably will not change his opinion.
A society that has a canon for everything, creates the need to justify ourselves, as if being different was bad by itself. Social pressure is what makes us feel inadequate and impels us to give explanations for everything we do.
Obviously, there are situations in which we have to explain our decisions and behaviors. It is important that people around us understand why we have chosen a path over another. However, when these people are not open to explanations, when don’t adopt an attitude open to dialogue but assume the role of judges, we have the right not to give explanations. In such cases, giving explanations would be like plowing in the sea, because our reasons won’t be considered.
In fact, we should recognize that in many cases the need to give explanations comes from our own insecurity. When we try to justify ourselves when nobody asked us, perhaps what we are doing is trying to convince ourselves that our decisions have been the most correct.
In other cases, we justify ourselves by fear of what people say, because we are too tied to others’ opinions. In that case, we fear being rejected or excluded, and feel the need to explain our decisions.
3 situations when you should not give explanations
1. When the person in front of you assumes the role of judge. In these cases, that person is not really interested to understand you but only to criticize. Therefore, it applies the rule that anything you say or do will be used against you. Do not try to justify yourself because it will be in vain.
2. When the person doesn’t assume an attitude open to dialogue. If you notice that your interlocutor is closed in its arguments and doesn’t show to be flexible to other ideas, he probably doesn’t want to hear your arguments and you cannot change his preconceived idea.
3. When the issue doesn’t concern the other person. There are people who question your life choices and your way of being, without any rights. Is that kind of people who ask when you’ll have a child, why aren’t you married yet or don’t look for another job. Such questions hide preconceived ideas that you can’t change because what actually want that kind of persons is to impose their vision of how life should be.
In these three cases, the attempt to justify yourself often gives rise to discussions that end up leaving a bad taste in our mouth, so the best thing to do is to move forward as soon as possible.
How to stop these people?
– Be aware of your rights. First, it is important to understand that you have every right in the world to not give explanations, if you don’t want. If your decisions and behaviors don’t affect other people, you do not have to justify yourself.
– Set limits. It is essential that uncomfortable questions do not give rise to discussions. Therefore, you must learn to set limits diplomatically. For example, if someone asks you when you’re getting married, you can reply that at the moment you have other priorities. In this way you avoid offending the sensibilities of the other person and, at the same time, avoid also giving explanations that probably will not understood.
– Say “thanks”. When you receive an advice you didn’t ask for and somehow demands an explanation from you, a good strategy is to say “thank you for the advice”. You can say, “I appreciate your advice, but I feel good this way”. In this way you are making a distance and close the subject.
– Change the argument. Some people do not understand diplomacy and continue delving into our personal lives. In such cases, a good strategy is to change the argument. The most effective way usually consists in introducing a completely different question about a topic that interests your interlocutor, this way you’re implying that you do not want to talk more about the argument.