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Justification


Margee
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I put this in the 'rants and relies' because I am ranting at myself right now. Why is it ...that I feel I have to justifiy everything I do, to people I come in contact with?? Is it for approval? Is this still part of my people pleasing? I just caught myself justifying why I am relaxing...that's twice today I did that!!!! woohoo.gif

 

They say that people with high self-esteem are less likely to engage in any type of justifcation or 'self justification' strategies, than those with low self-esteem.

 

Do you think this is true? Do you guys still justify everything you do? Am I the only one? Wendytwitch.gif

I think I am getting better at not explaining myself all the time anymore, but I would love to stop doing this.

 

Is it possible to stop doing this altogether.....justifying yourself?

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Could it be that you sense judgement from them? My family deals with many judgmental people in our circles, so it's instinctual to feel a need to justify our actions, though there is really no need to. Let us know if you have a breakthrough on conquering that instinct!

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Could it be that you sense judgement from them? My family deals with many judgmental people in our circles, so it's instinctual to feel a need to justify our actions, though there is really no need to. Let us know if you have a breakthrough on conquering that instinct!

 

 

I think you may have hit it on the nose TF. And the fact is, whether I justify anything - if it is judgement that I'm worried about...people will say what their gonna' say anyway, right? I think it might be about 'people pleasing' and approval again!!! woohoo.gif

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You too? I do it all the time.

 

I feel guilty for having no life. OK, I went to Darien Lake a couple of weeks ago, but mostly I watch my favorite TV shows, talk to the Jehovah's Witnesses who show up at my house, surf YouTube and Ex-C, or read. This morning I went for a walk. That's about it.

 

I have friends, but one moved several states away and one lives in the boonies with eleven other people in her house so I don't get to talk to her much. Another follows her live-in boyfriend around and lets him tell her when she can go out and see her friends. I hate the boyfriend and I haven't even met him. So basically, they tend to be unavailable.

 

I keep wondering what the Perfect People I know would think if they knew what I do (or don't do) all day. They go to the mall and the movies and play sports and volunteer for everything. (I've volunteered too, but not as much as they do.) Wondering about the Perfect People's opinion is an obsession for me.

 

Thank you, Margee. I feel less weird now. Stop justifying whatever you do-- it's unhealthy. Live your own life. You are such a sweet person and have no reason to feel guilty.

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I think it's two things.

 

1. Christianity makes you feel guilty for everything. Even the more liberal denomination make you feel guilty for various things. The more you feel judged, the more defensive you are.

 

2. Some people are wired differently. I know this because I have the same problem with justifying myself.

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Working in tech support cured me of my need to over-explain and justify. Customers don't give a shit why you're not going to give them a credit/send out a replacement part for a software issue/give them a pony and a plastic rocket; they just care if you are or aren't going to do it. In the same way, people IRL don't care why you're doing whatever it is you're doing. It's true: the folks who don't care don't matter, and the ones who do care don't need you to explain much. (Figuring that out dropped my handle time about 30%, by the way.)

 

When I realized how oblivious I was in high school, it occurred to me that very likely everybody else was just as oblivious, and I stopped obsessing about what they all thought. I didn't give them two thoughts to rub together, so figured they probably were about the same way to me. I have since learned that no, I'm just exceptionally oblivious, but hey, at least I spent high school fairly happy.

 

What breaks my little heart are those folks who insult themselves before anybody else gets a chance to do so. It's the same need and drive that propels the over-explainers. I genuinely get distressed when I hear someone slagging his own weight or looks or whatever. As I do with over-explainers, I just want to cuddle those folks up and tell them they don't need to worry so much.

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It's the same need and drive that propels the over-explainers.

 

What, in your opinion, is this 'need' Akheia...to over-explain and justify? thanks friend!

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After leaving Christianity Marge i have always felt the need to justify everything, at one point i would try to justify going to the bathroom or eating a bag of chips but ive gotten better. Any thing i believe and do that is big i feel i must justify though and i think it is good because it keeps me on my intellectual toes.

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I think part of it is genetics. Part of it is family culture. Part of it is personality. Part of it is experience.

 

I rarely suffer from the need to explain myself, but all of us are subject to it at some point in some circumstances.

 

I've seen a lot of people really affected by religion in this way because the premise of it is that you are worthless and helpless without god. Why else would you need him? Affirmation is a big factor too. Did you get affirmation from your parents, friends, spouse, pastors? I'm guessing the answer to most or all of those is no.

 

I affirm you now as a smart, wise, caring, compassionate and overall awesome person! I know you weren't looking for that, but it's true, so I said it!

 

Love ya Marg! :kiss:

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guy down the street has a huge sticker on the back of his car; "JUSTIFY YOUR EXISTENCE" I have so far resisted throwing the nearby brick.

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Oh, man. I am the same way. And I am what Akheia mentioned, an over-explainer. Its something I have been noticing more and more lately. I feel like in a way, I am infantilizing myself to everyone. Like I am a child who has to explain herself to everyone, instead of just confidently living her life and making her decisions. Im not sure how to work on it. I still want to be a caring, considerate person, but I want to be free to be myself without feeling like I need to justify everything I do.

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Margee - I think that it really is a self-esteem issue. If you feel like someone's going to speak against you, you of course get defensive about it. And especially if you're slacking, there's this feeling that you'd better have some good excuse or MAMA WILL BE SOOOO MAD. When I was at the call center doing tech support, I did it because I knew the person I was talking to wouldn't like my answer at all ("there will be no fucking pony or plastic rocket, you orbital dickwidget") and I felt like if I could just explain why in a way he could understand, then he'd come around to agreeing with me. It's important to stress that THIS NEVER HAPPENED. Well, almost never. One or two people stand out in my memory as hearing me out and then going "oh wow, you're right and I'm so sorry." But that's one or two folks out of tens of thousands. Given those numbers it's amazing I never got recruited into Amway, because over-explaining was a strategy I clung to for a very long time with absolutely no success. Giving that habit up was like losing 10 pounds when I finally licked it.

 

I wish I had an easy answer. I've been out of the habit of justifying myself for so long I forget who gets tied up. It's a lot easier to avoid justifying myself in my personal life than it ever was doing tech support.

 

When you try to justify yourself to someone, when you catch yourself over-explaining, you really are putting that other person into a position of superiority over you and allowing them to have a significant amount of power over you. Maybe if you have a friend who is very dear and trusted RL you could ask that friend to stop you if you do it without realizing it? At work one thing that helped was they had someone else listen with me on calls and if I started to launch into one of my infamous explanations, the person would (with my permission and at my request of course, usually I'm NO TOUCHEE at work) tap me gently on my shoulder. I'm a mono-focusing geek so it was like having water splashed on me and really helped me become aware I was doing it.

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Akheia, do you think changing this is just a matter of changing behavior, or do you think its thought patterns that need to be changed?

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I'm a big advocate of changing the behavior first and not worrying about the internalization, because that'll probably follow as you develop the behavior. I had a boss that called this "capturing the habit." Acting loving and kind often produces loving and kind emotions (saw a neat study about that recently); acting heartless and mean produces heartless and mean emotions. Acting confident and self-assured brings confidence and self-assurance. I really believe that our emotions follow in great measure from our behaviors. Saw it at that same call center, too, btw; confident reps uniformly and universally have much higher customer sat scores and considerably lower handle times even if their actual knowledge level is significantly worse than those of the diffident reps. One top performer was giving information that was just outrageously, flagrantly wrong, but she did it with such brimming, ebullient confidence that customers would listen to ANYTHING she said. Her handle time was a full 25% lower than average, her customer sat scores were near-perfect (average was 4.8/6), and her sales were in the top 10 out of 800 reps at that building, but she had no fucking idea what she was doing any better than when she'd been a shy, terrified newbie. She'd learned how to act confident, and it made a huge difference in her numbers.

 

But it does take time to capture habits--3 weeks is the bare minimum. So don't expect success overnight and don't expect to magically change immediately. :) Be gentle with yourself.

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After leaving Christianity Marge i have always felt the need to justify everything, at one point i would try to justify going to the bathroom or eating a bag of chips but ive gotten better.

 

Why would anyone need to justify going to the bathroom? Or is that an exaggeration?

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After leaving Christianity Marge i have always felt the need to justify everything, at one point i would try to justify going to the bathroom or eating a bag of chips but ive gotten better.

 

Why would anyone need to justify going to the bathroom? Or is that an exaggeration?

 

Exaggeration.GONZ9729CustomImage1539775.gif

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Oh, there is a solution, but you may not like it. It is called getting older and wiser. When I was younger, I, too, worried a lot about what others thought.

 

Perhaps it also had also to do with my release of religion. When you let yourself understand that it really does not water what others think about you, and in fact, you find out at times what you thought some one thought about you was not what they thought at all.

 

If you are kind and pleasant to people, that is what they remember. Unless it was a major incident that affected someone, most people don't think too much about what others do at all. Oh, of course, there will be people who gossip about you, but why do you care? Everybody gets gossiped about. It is just garbage, and it is meaningless. Whatever they say won't matter a bit in a couple of years.

 

At, at some point you will truly understand that nothing you do or don't do makes someone happy or unhappy. They are generally what they are, no matter what you do.

 

What you will learn is that it is this moment, and this moment only that ever exists so don't waste a second of it not being happy because you were smart enough to figure out when you had been had by religion. Have confidence that you had the critical thinking skills to analyze the world and learn to trust your own truth. You will finally inderstand that you are being true to yourself. Peace.

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I used to be like that Margee. For me, it arose out of a need to "people-please". My self-worth was too low so I looked for affirmation from everyone else around me. However, the more you try to please others, the more people will take advantage of you, and I just reached the point one day when it had happened one too many times.

 

After that, like dad says, my "givashit" broke. And it's been breaking ever since. Doesn't mean I don't care about people, it just means that I care less and less what anyone thinks of me. There's a huge difference between the two.

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The only justification I really need is "Beacause I'm a cat, and because I CAN."

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Hey, Margee! I am the same way. I have low self esteem due to the book of Romans (the verse about not thinking more highly of oneself than one ought really stuck with me--it was a life defining moment) and my self esteem has suffered ever since. I feel like everyone is better than me. I often justify my actions to others. Like when I tell someone "no" I feel the need to append a litany of rationalizations and justifications. All because I never feel good enough for others.

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Justification and self justification has been affecting my life for a long time. It's not fun at all, especially when you are a heavy or even binge drinker (or alcoholic) One reason that I'm going to scrap drinking from my life is because I'm tired of justifying my bad behaviour to everybody and I just want to hurt less. I just don't want to think about my past in this way anymore. Shit has to change but I will be doing this for myself for my future peace of mind, rather than pandering to people's whisperings and judgments.

 

Eventually, maybe I could be a better, more caring and loving-kind sort of person but I'm right now thinking about what to do with my future. I'm going to seek help, I'm going to have to change however painful and teeth gnashingly so it may be. Just that I don't want to justify my mind to change and bettering to anybody at all. I do not like people who shout at other people that they won't change and will go back to their old behaviour. Why make the process of change harder? Just keep an open mind, anything can happen and it does. Above all, I'm doing this to get peace. Happiness is just a byproduct and a bonus.

 

Fuck negativity about the ability to change however slim it may be. We need more love in the world...

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Oh man.

 

My wife is a people pleaser, self-deprecating justifier. I ignore it and couldn't fathom living a life dictated by the imaginary judgement of other people. She's one of the busiest people I know because of it.

 

If you only knew how little time people actually spent thinking of you then you'd think more about pleasing yourself than pleasing them. Yeah I know, that sounds kinda funny but you know what I mean.

 

On the other hand, some people pleasers and justifiers do it because THEY are very judgemental and think EVERYONE is like they are.

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This is amazing everyone!! Thank you to all who responded to this post on justification and self justification. I am so happy I got the nerve up to make this post. Sometimes my pride holds me back from asking these types of questions, cause I don't want EX-c to think I'm some kind of weakling!! rolleyes.gifwink.png .

 

Everyone has made such great points - I read the thread twice. I think for me, the last 'string' has just been cut on the whole 'people pleasing' obsession I have had for most of my life. You are right AK - it's like losing an instant 10 pounds!! Sybaris....you are right on!

 

It was quite amazing last night...I had a gang over and I purposely practiced not telling them very much. It ended up keeping the whole visit 'light-hearted'. I picked up on the fact that all these people 's conversation was all about justification and self justification!!Wendytwitch.gif They were doing it too!! I found that amusing. Maybe, it's a human trait?

 

It is part of people pleasing. Afraid of being judged!! So you over-explain yourself!! I watched as others did it last night!! Someone else said it was part of the wisdom we gain as we get older...I think you're right about that. It thrills my heart to see people like Pudd who are getting these 'messages' early in life because she will not go through what some of us have been through with this issue.

I love the young ones on EX-c..they have become my teachers.

 

I am going to do the same thing today. Practise not explaining myself. What a relief that would be ...to not have to do that anymore!! Thank you to everyone who is writing their opinion on this topic!! I sure appreciate it!

 

Gawd, I love you guys!! Thank you for helping me with this issue.

 

I found this article yesterday morning and I thought it said so many good things about this issue. It's worth reading in my opinion....

 

http://www.gurumaa.c...evous-mind.html

 

Quote: ''In sociology, human beings are called social animals. I say, “No! Men and women are justifying animals!” They justify everything. If they are non-believers, they justify that. If they are believers, they justify that. If they meditate, they justify that, and if they do not meditate they justify that too. If they are vegetarian, they justify that. If they eat steak, they justify that. Right? If they can sleep, they will justify that and if they cannot sleep, they will justify that too. So, men and women are justifying animals. Have I justified?!''

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I used to be like that Margee. For me, it arose out of a need to "people-please". My self-worth was too low so I looked for affirmation from everyone else around me. However, the more you try to please others, the more people will take advantage of you, and I just reached the point one day when it had happened one too many times.

 

After that, like dad says, my "givashit" broke. And it's been breaking ever since. Doesn't mean I don't care about people, it just means that I care less and less what anyone thinks of me. There's a huge difference between the two.

 

Hey Margee, I relate to all this, too, big time. One thing occurs to me about what Pudd' said/ about what you said, Pudd'...

 

If I remember right, Pudd was living with her abusive mother and one day walked out and started her own life, went through lots of tough times and came out of it stronger. I grew up with an abusive mother and, though I almost did walk out (left but came back because of her pleading and because I decided not to leave my sister alone there), much of me tried to "fix things", if not make her act as though she loved me, at least placate her. I spent a lot of time trying to figure out why things were the way they were, whether there was something wrong with me, what I SHOULD do and think.

 

Christianity attracted me, and when I became a Christian, I bought into it because the big all-powerful sky father forgave me and told me I was OK. Later of course I realized the same shit was going on, even worse.

 

Years later I found out more about my mother's mental illnesses and evidence that she may have been abused as a girl, so it made it easier to get free of the effects of what I grew up with.

 

But had I just walked out of there at 15 -- I might be dead today, or in prison, or, like Pudd', I might have put together a pretty strong adult self. The distinction between caring for other people as moral ends and the healthy "givashit" breaking point is such a good one. Down with adjusting ourselves to win approval of abusive figures in our heads.

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