In this article, I want to share with you 7 things you shouldn’t justify to other people.
Why do we justify ourselves to other people?
One of the best things about us, human beings, is that we are all different. We have our unique experiences and influences that have shaped us the way we are. We all are going through the phases of realization, development, and growth in one way or another. And this uniqueness has its pros and cons. It can attract people that are inspired by our authenticity. But also we can be misunderstood or even judged for being our unique selves by others.
Modern society has shaped our minds in a way that whenever we feel judged we rush to explain ourselves and apologize. But is it really necessary to justify ourselves all the time?
You see, most of the time the justification is based on conscious or subconscious guilt. We may feel that if people judge us then we must be wrong. Sometimes the reason for that is fear of being rejected or not being good enough. And unfortunately for most people, there is only one solution to this problem – the justification. We tend to explain ourselves for being understood and accepted by others. And some of us even go further – trying to justify ourselves even before we do something.
Guilt as a manipulation tool
People often use guilt as a manipulation tool trying to make us feel bad about ourselves. And when you feel so bad and guilty you’re willing to do whatever it takes to fix it. Many people use it for getting whatever they want from you.
When we allow this to happen we silently start valuing other’s opinions more than our capability to make choices. And when people have such great control over your mind and actions they take away any freedom for self-expression and decision making.
This is how we can get into a trap of mental manipulation.
Do we need to justify ourselves at all?
Yes, sometimes we need to explain our actions, admit mistakes, and give people our reasons for the choices we make. And sometimes it is even necessary to apologize and take responsibility for the conflict.
However, each situation should be attentively analyzed. Always pay attention to the intentions of the individual who is addressing your blame. Is he/she trying to provoke a conflict? Is he/she trying to avoid conflict and solve a problem? Is he/she trying to get something from you by making you feel guilty?
Such analysis will help you to see the situation more clearly and get a deeper understanding of choosing the right next steps.
Justification as a habit
There are many people who have a habit of justifying themselves at the slightest provocation. It may seem like they are just trying to avoid a conflict but in reality, this habit can be very destructive.
First of all, you need to understand that not all people need your explanations. Moreover, your justification can make them feel uncomfortable. By trying to justify yourself you may violate someone’s personal boundaries. When you give an explanation that wasn’t asked, you force people to give you their opinion on the situation you’re trying to explain. Those people may not even want to be involved in such a discussion and they may lose energy trying to convince you that “it’s all good, you don’t need to explain yourself”.
Such a habit can be a result of misbalance in your Throat chakra (Vishuddha). To solve this problem, try to be more mindful of what you’re saying and how you’re reacting to certain things. Try to consciously control yourself and your speech. Try to notice all the situations when you automatically start justifying yourself. Ask yourself: “Is it really necessary in this particular case?”
7 Things You Should Never Justify to Other People
Psychologists identify a number of situations when you should not justify to others.
You should not justify to other people for:
#1: Acting in your own interests, taking care of yourself first
This is a normal need for any mentally healthy person. We will not be able to take care of others if we ourselves are not feeling well or harmed in some way.
#2: Your feelings
Are you too sensitive and emotional? This is your way of communicating with this world. You don’t need to explain yourself or apologize for this.
#3: Being weird
We will always look weird to people who don’t share our opinions or lifestyle. You should not justify yourself for being who you are, living your life the way you chose to live, having hobbies, and beliefs that are different from others’. Appreciate the ways you choose to express yourself and celebrate your life!
#4: Choosing certain friends or partners
Sometimes our parents or other family members make us feel like we need to explain why we date someone who “is not a good match for us” according to their opinions. Some friends of ours can be “a problem” for our other friends.
Have you ever been questioned about your friendships? Have you ever been placed in a position when one of your friends made you decide “me or him/her.” You don’t need to justify yourself for your choices of friends or partners.
It’s nobody’s business for what qualities you value somebody and want to keep them in your circle.
#5: Being more successful than others
This one has always been the toughest for me. I’ve been hiding whatever I was able to accomplish and felt guilty for my successes. I felt that my friends were jealous trying to make me feel like I didn’t deserve it. And eventually, I accepted their opinion.
I never talked about how difficult it was for me to accomplish something. And when somebody told me: “you just got lucky”, I would agree with this, though deep inside I knew it has nothing to do with luck. Eventually, this is what I started telling people even before they called me lucky: “Oh I just got lucky. It’s not a big deal”.
I felt guilty for making people feel jealous. And that was definitely a big block that held me back on my path.
Eventually, I realized that everyone has opportunities, everyone is free to use them or not, everyone chooses their own path. If I decided to focus on hard work and commit to my goals this is the decision that led me to my accomplishments, there is nothing to feel guilty about. There is no need to justify to other people why I have something that others don’t.
#6: Being less successful than others
Don’t justify to other people for not being able to achieve the same success level as others, for choosing a different path, for making mistakes on your career path.
You’re growing through experience. Any comparison on your journey is inappropriate. Each path is unique. Only you can decide when to start, when to quit, when to push, and when to slow down.
Don’t feel bad about yourself if you’re not moving as fast as others. Your experience is very unique and no one can tell you what your own success looks like. Only you know it!
#7: Setting Healthy Boundaries
Don’t feel guilty and don’t justify yourself to other people when you feel the need to set healthy boundaries.
I think most people feel this need at some point but most of us struggle to do it.
Setting boundaries can feel like we are rejecting others and being uncompassionate in their moment of need. Though in reality maintaining healthy boundaries kills resentment and nurtures our compassion for others.
Putting others first leaves you feeling depleted, resentful and with your needs largely unmet. This means you are then likely to turn to others to get those needs met, which they will then try to do out of a similar sense of obligation and to avoid guilt.
Therefore it is so important to find the power within to set healthy boundaries in the first place.
The Bottom Line
It’s ok to apologize and explain yourself when it is necessary. However, don’t turn it into a habit. Be mindful of what you’re saying and why. Make sure you always recognize your right to be who you are, and your right to make mistakes, learn, and be your unique self.