You Owe Nobody an Explanation
This observation came from, again, my client work. I found some people have a tremendous need to explain everything they do. They cry, and they apologize, and then they explain – I have to remind them this is a therapist’s office. Crying is natural and normal and healthy and allowed… Another quick example can be, when a client needs to use washroom, she’d say, “Sorry I drank too much hearbal tea in the morning.”
People explain to justify what they do, but it’s not based on what others’ feel or think or understand – how do they really know? It’s always based on what their own standards, as if they have to justify their own existance to themselves. It’s very uncomfortable for them to be in a place where “I do what I do because I do it”. Yet in reality, that’s the only place that we can have liberation.
When we explain, we forget people are busy. When they ask us a question, they may simply need an answer, yet we offer them instead an explanation. That can be tiring for the listener.
When people need you to explain, they’ll ask you. And you have the freedom to explain or not. To volunteer exaplanation does not make us stronger, it makes us weaker. When you need to justify yourself, what’s underlying is that you don’t believe it yourself.
Because if you know you have something of value to others, you don’t need to worry about long descriptions or boring explanations. The expalanation itself makes whatever you have to offer doubtful.
And the worst explanation is that we think we better explain ourselves to justify taking up someone’s precious time.
The better communication is that when you have something wonderful to say, SAY IT. The clock is ticking.
There is value of getting to the point.
I also noticed that another reason for our habit to explain comes from the need to be certain. We become very uncomfortable when we are uncertain for a long while, so we assign an “explanation”, or a meaning of it to ourselves. Unknowing to us that meaning that we so freely assign does not actually serve us. For example, “I was out dancing when my mother had a heart attack; so as long as she lives, I’ll never go dancing again.” If you love dancing, you just restrict yourself for no real reason.
When a question is asked, remember, an answer is wanted, not an explanation. You are the one who can free yourself.