Since becoming a parent I’ve found myself explaining myself more than I ever have. Why do it this way and not that way? Why left and not right? Circle and not square? Who knew everyone felt entitled to an explanation.
If you’re anything like me, you’ve come to realize you have spent entirely too much time trying to justify yourself to other people. People who probably don’t even hold an important role in your life.
For me, It had gotten to the point where I was justifying myself as if I were on the stand in a court of law to strangers and even family, people I thought saw me for me.
As a new mom naturally I was full of doubts, but knowing what kind of parent I wanted to be and how I wanted to raise my child ultimately gave me confidence to stand up for myself and stop explaining. I knew I wanted to create an atmosphere that is open, loving, safe, and free. I didn’t want, nor need, anyone to validate me or my decisions and put the pressure of their expectations on me. And that was usually the case, feeling obligated to defend my opinion, belief, or action.
It doesn’t matter if the questions are surrounding parenting, appearance, education, career, relationships, food, or whatever. Some will just not agree with us, and that is okay. We become less impacted by their opinions when we are confident in our own choices. Confident in ourselves.
When we are insecure in our choices, is when we tend to seek reassurance. We begin to over-explain our stance in exchange for approval.
Why do we do that? Maybe our inherent need to “fit in”. Regardless of why, do not feel pressured to explain yourself. It is rude for someone to constantly question you. You know why you made your decision based on your experience and knowledge and that’s all that matters. And that is good enough. It’s your life not theirs. You have to live with the consequences.
The people you have intimate relationships with (like your parents, partner or spouse) probably won’t demand an explanation because they already see you and know you are enough, as you are.
If someone close to you is demanding an explanation make sure to ask yourself: Is this person trying to use my reasoning as a way to manipulate me? If in fact they are, reevaluate if you should have them in your life at all. Or ask yourself: Have I made a mistake by a decision I made and it’s affecting them? In intimate relationships honesty and owning up to mistakes allows for grow deeper genuine connection. When we choose to share our reasons and intentions, we are not concerned with making them see things our way, rather trusting that we can be vulnerable without fear of judgement.
It’s up to us to protect ourselves and make decisions that make us happy – regardless of what any one else has to say about it. You have to live your life, not them.