Monday’s Meditation: On Explaining Yourself…Or Not.
There’s a fine line between being kind and being a jerk.
Most of us seem to live in a state of constant paranoia about verging over to jerk-dome–or, more accurately, about appearing to others as though we’ve made the cross over. To counteract this, our tendency is to err on the side of caution; we are all too apt to overshare, over-explain, to waste breath and energy when Simple responses like “yes” and “no” and “thank you” are perfectly sufficient.
When was the last time you said no to someone? I mean said no and left it at that, without explaining why. For that matter, when was the last time you voiced any decision without sharing an explanation for that choice? I’m willing to bet it’s been a while.
It’s as if we feel the need to validate our decisions, to excuse our needs, to provide justification for our priorities. Nothing could be farther from a fair expectation of ourselves.
We need not only to reach a place of inner clarity, wherein making decisions is an easy, effortless process, we need to stand behind our decisions, to feel confident in them regardless of who we voice them to because we feel unwaveringly that they are the best choice for ourselves and for all involved. When we do that, we can finally stop feeling as though we need to explain our every action. We can arrive at the conclusion that we owe an explanation to approximately no one.
What would happen if you just said no? Or you just said you were unavailable but didn’t say with that? Or you cancelled in a respectful amount of time but didn’t say why? And, equally, what would happen if you accepted an endeavor, without giving your friends, family and milkman the context as to why you did?
How much time would you save? How much energy would you save (that would otherwise be devoted to keeping up appearances, even in the most sincere sense of the term)? Frankly, how much of other people’s time would you save by freeing them from being a participant in your (however unconscious) process of validating, thus extending the kindness of conciseness?
Because here’s the thing of it, really. Most of the time? People don’t actually care about your reasonings. Most of the time they just want your answer.
Just give it to them.
p.s. B-DAY SHOUTS TO HENRY!! (only dads get blog b-day shouts, special privileges and such).
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