Have you ever felt backed into a corner by a personal question or comment that you didn’t want to answer? I certainly have. Sometimes we feel uncomfortable in a conversation when we’re asked to give more information than we want to give. This can result in justifying ourself which, once started, may result in saying much more than originally intended. This is called over-explaining. When we value our own thoughts and decisions, we can trust our own voice to say what is needed and no more. The Chinese philosopher Loa Tzu wrote this, “Because one believes in oneself, one doesn’t try to convince others. Because one is content with one’s self, one doesn’t need others’ approval.”

There are some topics where no explanation is needed. Putting ourself first is not selfish it’s self-care, and if that upsets someone let’s remember we are not responsible for their feelings. Author and speaker Heather Monahan wrote this, “If you don’t workout, sleep, meditate, relax, or do whatever special things you need to do for you, you won’t be the best version of yourself. When you’re not your best version of yourself, you can’t do things for others. In a way, it’s actually selfless to take great care of yourself because it allows you to be more present for your family and friends.” Living from what matters most to us needs no explaining.

When we are clear about what we expect from other people we do not owe an explanation when someone crosses our boundaries. The consequences speak for themselves. There are times when my energy is limited which means I need to say no to a project or event that requires too much of me. I’ve learned through time and practice to become comfortable with my limits and honor them without guilt or unneeded explanations.  

Sometimes when we’re making a major decision, we need to ask for time to consider our options. It could be a major health issue, lifestyle change, or relationship ending that’s painful and other people don’t need to know all the details. This is our business. When I was dealing with cancer, a marriage crisis, passing on of family members, our daughter’s serious illness, and career decisions, I needed to take time to carefully make decisions. No explanations were needed.

We do not need to explain asking for help or support whenever it’s needed. Since we’re stronger together than apart and working together ensures our survival, it only makes sense to lean on each other when needed. When we choose not to do what everyone else is doing, no explanation in needed – even if it rubs someone else the wrong way. Life is full of questions without answers so let’s not feel apologetic or embarrassed when we don’t know something. Instead let’s use the opportunity to learn something new without needing to justify the fact that we don’t know everything. There’s no need to explain our personal beliefs, relationship status, living situation, career choice or financial situation. We don’t need to justify our appearance, even in a society that emphasizes how we look. Dietary choices are personal and, if we’re not making damaging choices, this is our business and no one else’s. When we honor what we value and take responsibility for our decisions, the need to over-explain will diminish. Remember, no explanation is needed for being your authentic self so live your priorities and be true to yourself as you reach for your goals and dreams.

Until Next Time – Sylvia