Surviving the Need to Explain Your Actions

Do you need to always explain your actions?  Why?  Let’s take a closer look at this because by the time you are a card-carrying responsible, living on your own adult, you should not be explaining your actions to anyone.  If you still are then perhaps you need to examine why you are so defensive and why you seem to need approval.

If you are not this person maybe you are around someone who does this, and it does get tiresome.

It is toxic to always be self-defending.  Yes you will get the approval of those who need to take up your defense – usually out of the fear of offending you or losing your friendship.  Those are not true friends, those are people who want to please you.

We all have done some detoxifying in life and there may have been a valid reason for needing to do this, but the more you detox the more you look guilty of what you are defending.  Ask yourself why do you need to present a case of self-defense?

If you were challenged for something you do, are you digging a deeper hole by going into detox mode?

I have learned personally over the years that when I feel I have been “attacked” some part of what was said to me must be right and I must be wrong.  The defending, explaining and justifying never seems to change anything and, instead, keeps calling attention to the fact that there is a reason this becomes a vicious circle of ongoing explanations.

The next time you feel the need to detox,  consider the wisdom of your own heart. Look inside yourself to your own reactions. You may need to step back and really think for a moment or for several moments.  Many times when someone asks you a question or they make a statement that challenges you it is because they just might have your best interests at heart.  You should consider that before going into detox mode.  However, if the person that ruffled your feathers is a perpetual critic, then you need to man or woman up and stop allowing them to do so.  Stop empowering them, the toxicity of this type of person is not your mission in life to neutralize.

When I find myself ready to go into detox mode I do take a deep breath, and I have asked the person to explain what they see.  I know that may be a big pill to swallow for many people.  Why on earth would you ask for the possibility of more criticism especially in an area where you might already feel uncomfortable?

It’s simple, really. You just might learn something that will free your spirit to soar past the need to detox.  You may actually have an “aha” moment and realize that perhaps the critic was right.  Or you may not believe they are right, but in the case of the “may not” it is often better to say “thank you” and walk away with a smile (even if you wanted to reach out and rip their lungs out).

My advice is to still keep the detox at bay – move away from it.  Don’t sit down at your keyboard and openly discuss it, don’t pick up the phone and rant to 15 of your best friends.  It really is better to leave it alone.  If it is a valid criticism you can make little changes over time, move in a different direction, and you can do all this without ever needing to explain to anyone. 



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