If we look closely at our daily life, we will realize that we explain ourselves to others almost every day. We explain the reasons why we made certain decisions, why we took certain approach, why we did or didn’t do something. Our lives may sometimes be based on explanations, justifications, validations. Have you ever asked yourself why you have a need to explain yourself or how does that make you feel?
The truth is that the pressure of justifying your choices will cause you emotional imbalance and will increase your anxiety. You will find yourself in a cycle of dissatisfaction and self-doubts.
In order to avoid that, you need to stop explaining to others who you are and why you live the way you do only because you may live differently than them. Whoever loves and respects you, will respect who you are and decisions you make. As women many times we feel that we owe explanations. Many times we are mistreated for working too much or too little, for wearing too tight (or too baggy) clothes, for being single or for marrying too early. As girls, we need to explain why we want to wear pants and not dresses. As students we feel the need to explain why we choose certain majors or professions (silently) reserved for men. As moms we explain why we have one (or five) kids, our choice to bottle feed, our choice to be a working mom or even the reason why we send kids to daycare when they are too little (or too old).
Why do we fee the need to explain ourselves to others?
*Many times we connect our self worth with the acceptance and validation we receive from others (often family members or close friends)
*Sometimes we want to be seen, accepted, and liked thus we try to justify decisions we make
*Some of us are afraid what other people are going to say about us so they choose to explain themselves to not be criticized or made fun of
What do you need to do to stop explaining yourself?
*Go forward with your plans and decisions before you decide to reveal it to others
*Be assertive – you have a right to make choices even if other people criticize it or choose something different. Remember that being assertive is ok and if someone doesn’t accept it – that’s on them!
*Be confident in yourself – you are an expert of your life
*Set the boundaries
*Stop ruminating over unnecessary things you hear from others- their opinion is not a reflection of who you are
*Use 1-2-3 Speak method to give yourself enough time to pause before you speak to acknowledge the reason why you try to explain yourself
Remember that people who love and respect you will respect you the way you are. They may have different thoughts, opinions, feelings about you and decisions you make, however, their thoughts are out of your control. The only control that you have is how you react to their words. If you disagree with them: listen, smile, and move on! Remember that you are an expert of your own life!