By Harry Petsanis and Donna McCance
When you give an excuse, you are giving a reason to absolve yourself from a fault by justifying your behavior with lies to shift blame from yourself.
A reason is defined as an explanation, however, excuses expand beyond reasons to include lies to defend. Many times people will mask their excuses and call them reasons.
Excuses and Explanations
“I don’t want to do it” versus. “I can’t do it because…”
Excuses are intertwined with explanations. We give excuses when we don’t want to do something, so we lie to people rather than tell them the truth. We do this to make ourselves look better because we’ve convinced ourselves we don’t want to disappoint others or reveal our true selves, when in reality we make excuses and create obstacles to avoid doing things.
We don’t need to explain why we don’t want to do something, however, once we start feeling we are obligated to explain, we start lying. That’s when the excuses start flowing.
Making up excuses becomes a habit, and it’s a fault that people recognize in us. We’re not fooling anyone with our excuses. People let us off the hook because it’s easier than having to confront us and deal with our defensiveness and anger.
Rather than just saying the truth, we turn the truth into a fault by making it a lie, and then defend the lie.
For example, it’s raining out and you don’t feel like going outside. A friend invites you out. Instead of saying you don’t want to go out, you make up excuses (which you define as “reasons”), and say “I can’t go because I don’t have a raincoat. I don’t have an umbrella. I’m not feeling well.”
“It makes it very difficult to deal with people because they don’t play by any rules.
They just make up their own rules at the moment it benefits them,
and break their own rules two seconds later if
breaking them benefits them two seconds later.”
The Development of Hypocrisy
We are filled with hypocrisy, which stunts growth and the ability to relate to other people. It’s because we’re not playing by the same rules. And we change the rules the minute we don’t want to play by them.
One reason people give excuses is because they don’t want to shatter the perception of the false image they have created for themselves. Most people create excuses to ease their conscience, which only makes them feel better for the short term. Other reasons include trying to hide the fact that they are lazy, unaccountable, afraid, lack self-confidence, and lack initiative.
People believe that if they take action and things don’t work out in their favor, they have no one to blame. If they don’t take action, they can’t be blamed, and they can in turn, blame others. This reveals a lack of self-confidence because they believe deep down that if they take action, they aren’t talented enough to get the job accomplished. This leads to lack of initiative, because not taking action is safe.
How To Stop Making Excuses
It’s not complicated. If you don’t want to do something, just say you don’t want to do it. You don’t need to follow up with an explanation that turns into a lie, that turns into an excuse. It’s completely unnecessary, and you will develop self-confidence and regain your authenticity by being completely honest. Develop emotional intelligence by sticking with the facts to guide your behavior. This is the start toward breaking a very bad habit.
Writing down your thoughts and behaviors is a great way to look at things more clearly. You first need to be completely honest with yourself. This starts with being completely objective. Step out of yourself and try looking at yourself as another person looking at you.
Think about the times you made excuses and write them down. Then ask yourself, “Am I being completely honest with myself? Am I being completely honest with others?” Once you have identified your excuses, you have identified your weaknesses and you can begin changing your behavior. Develop and focus on being honest and staying strong when faced with opportunities where you might think about making an excuse. Pause, stop yourself, and react honestly. You will be proud that you have started developing your authenticity and are being true to yourself, without fear of what others may think.
You can stop making excuses, and remember…
About the Authors
Harry Petsanis is a philosopher of human nature, mindset specialist, and lifelong fitness and wellness advisor. He is a writer and author, with three published books: “The Truth is A Lie,” “The Logical Path To Life,” and "Knowing Me from A to Z, A Child's Mindset," which he co-authored with Donna McCance, M.Ed.. Harry has a Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism. He has an intense passion for psychology and the human condition.
Donna McCance, M.Ed. is a business administrator, writer, author, licensed teacher and principal/vice principal with over 20 years experience teaching in elementary education and educational leadership. She has a Masters in Education, Masters in Human Services Management, Bachelors in Business Administration and Associates in Business Administration.
Click here to order Harry Petsanis’s books
The Truth is A Lie" and "The Logical Path To Life"
Go to amazon.com/dp/B09PMHXVFN
to order Harry Petsanis's and Donna McCance's newly published book
"Knowing Me From A to Z, A Child's Mindset"