Do you struggle with a compulsive need to justify your actions and/or analysis paralysis? I know I do and it feels like I’m on trial every day. And no lie, I’m exhausted. It is tiring to consistently live in a state of self-defense.
Today’s three big questions: Where did it come from? Why do I do this, now? How can I stop over explaining myself?
Context is king in my book because logic wasn’t welcome in most debates or conversations. Consequences were dolled out depending on erratic mood swings with bouts of violence. It didn’t matter if you could enunciate your feelings on the matter, and fact never beat fiction. The rules for living and disciplining never made any sense.
When your home environment thrives off criticism and every move you make is put under a microscope to analyze on a cellular level why you fucked up and how you should’ve known better, you begin to get defensive. You’re trying your damnedest to be good enough and it’s never enough.
I believe this creates a habit of needing to defend your actions which leads to striving for perfection in hopes you’ll be perfect and free from criticism, which then shapeshifts into analysis paralysis because you can’t move forward unless you’re absolutely sure nobody can come at you from any angle…
Now, as an adult, I feel obligated to give detailed answers to any personal questions thrown or tossed my way where it feels like my actions and/or behaviors are being questioned because I don’t want anyone speaking for me or twisting my words or assuming why I am the way I am.
I don’t want anyone else in control of my narrative.
Here’s the thing though, I can explain myself until I’m blue in my face to preserve how I want to be seen (to prove I’m good enough and smart enough) but it doesn’t matter because people truly are going to believe whatever they want to believe. If anything, over explaining, makes me feel less sure about my decisions.
What I didn’t know then is, it doesn’t matter how close to perfect you come when the person critiquing is looking for negatives, because when you’re only looking for the negatives you’ll find them every time.
And somewhere along the line my want to stay authentic, intertwined with compulsive justification. Being authentic does not require explaining all of your actions, neither does being honest and transparent.
Have you ever Googled, what’s the difference between honesty and transparency just for fun? I did and got this, “ honesty is when you reveal the truth you feel NEEDS to be known. Transparency is when others can see for themselves the truths they feel they need to know.”
Basically, if you live honest to yourself it will show. Not, must say all the things in order to be honest.
So how do I (or you) stop defending and over justifying your answers?
You’re going to hate the answer (because I did, too), but it takes practice and paying attention to when you overindulge with details. And also take the time to remind yourself you don’t NEED to explain yourself to anyone and everyone.
Be comfortable with silence. Practice confidence, and remind yourself of how many obstacles you’ve already surpassed. You are capable.