Learn To Not Explain Yourself To Others And Win
There is no need to explain yourself to others. The time that you waste trying to explain yourself and your motives to others can be better spent focusing on your desired outcome. I have mentioned before that there is a natural need in other people to control situations and things, it is therefore expected that others will feel that you have to explain yourself to them.
Don’t let others intimidate you into having to explain yourself to them. Since most of us grew up with parents or parental like figures, we tend to find it normal to have to explain ourselves and our motives to superiors. This is a good thing when you are a child and you require someone to take care of you and show you the ways of life. There is a point though when this kind of supervision is no longer required. If you are an adult then you must realize emotionally that you do not need supervision anymore. This is actually a difficult thing for many of us to accept emotionally. Even though we can understand this intellectually, emotionally we still have the need to express our reasons.
The lower your self esteem, the more that you will feel that you have to tell others what you are doing. You must work on how you feel about yourself then until you realize that you are a free adult and you are beholden to no one. When you have the need to explain yourself away, stop and ask yourself why you believe (or feel) this. Logically think about your current situation and discover for yourself whether or not the person before you needs an explanation of your activities. There are times, like when you are in a job, or certain circumstances, like when you are doing something for someone else, when you need to explain yourself. But if you use a logical and objective mind, you will see that there are also many times when there is no need for you to explain yourself.
Why is it important that you realize that you don’t need to tell others about your actions and your reason? It is because most people will try and influence your activities and motives. Most have very good intentions and they are trying to help you out. Unfortunately this help is seldom needed or appreciated. You can’t learn anything by having others control your actions, you need to learn by doing things on your own and the greatest gift that anyone can give you is the gift of freedom to try. Well intentioned or not, most people have not realized such conclusions so it is up to you to stop their well intentioned meddling.
Silence is a golden friend here. You must try and develop the discipline necessary not to tell everyone about your doings. This is the simplest and best way to get others to stop telling you what to do. To do this you have to get over the perceived obligation to explain yourself. Stay focused on your desired outcome and let others be. If you do run across someone that needs to give you advise, take it if you think the person has something positive to share but remember to develop laser like focus so that you are not deviated from your goal(s).
Keep a positive attitude and learn to realize that you are important enough to have the freedom to pursue your own path, whatever that might be. This life is your life to succeed or fail in. Failure is not a bad thing as long as you personally learnt or experienced something that you needed. Stop believing that you need to explain yourself to others, and remember to have a strong focus and a strong personal attitude so that you are not deviated from your desires.
I find myself explaining my life away to some people. They seem to think something is “wrong” with me and i feel i have to explain because i see it as they dont understand me. thanks for your article!!!!
Thanks for your nice comment 🙂
Stay disciplined and stay quiet and you will soon develop a new routine for dealing with people. The amount of energy that you will gain will amaze you.
I’ve tried, sometimes it works, but sometimes, being silent is much worse. They think it’s an offence and the agurement keeps continuing
Maybe the problem is the way I kept silent.
Anyway, I really feel much better when accepting myself imperfect 🙂
Thanks for your article ^^”
When someone starts to argue loudly, perhaps even becomes abuse, you must realize that they are quite aware that your intent is not theirs. Moreover they have realized in one way or another that your strategy of silence is quite effective.
This is when you have to stay strong because as they say it is always darkest before the dawn. Keep silent and you will eventually get your way, don’t fall for any bullying as this is the last refuge of those that know that they have been beaten.
Thanks for your comment Lucy!
I do believe in the method of keeping calm and silent when someone arguing with you becomes yelling. Two people yelling at the same time does not make anything better. This will only make you feel more anxiety and stress and will cloud your intentions of possible working through the fight.
Still, as you stay quiet, the other person could eventually calm down when they see that you are not succumbing to anger, but sometimes your quiet stillness can make the other person irate, like in the case of someone with bipolar disorder, or if they are under the influence. In this case, physically remove yourself from the situation immediately, at least temporarily. Let me give you an example from my life:
My brother and I were arguing in our shared apartment late one night. As I kept my voice low and tried to only listen to my brother as he was verbally attacking me, my silence and tears only made him more angry, and he began slamming doors and hitting the walls and screaming. In that moment I felt physically scared and went to stay at a friends house for a few days.
You make very good points, and it does bring up certain other key points of this practice, of staying silent, that can be mentioned at this time. The first is that just verbally silent is sometimes not enough; when facing your brother for example, your tears may have been verbal silence but they were not emotional silence. True silence, in that sense, can only be achieved by attaining an energetic stance I refer to as Energetic Containment, which is a silence that cannot fuel any emotional fire, as your tears might have fueled your unfortunate confrontation with your bother. The second technique is the ability to engage in negative Energy Absorption in order to not only maintain emotional neutrality, but also to be able to absorb the very negativity that is being projected at you and that may also be causing the situation to get worse and worse.
I have not written about these techniques on this site but do go over them in the book, Overcoming the Archon Through Alchemy, if you are interested.
You may also want to look into the book, Vampire’s Way to Psychic Self-Defense.
I found this article really interesting. After years of dealing with a difficult daughter-in-law, I realise my mistake in constantly explaining myself both to her and other family members. But after many years of doing this, the behaviour is a habit and I’m wondering how I can change?
You are right; change can be a very difficult thing. After years of behaving in a certain way, our brains are literally wired in a certain way and without any conscious control they will quite naturally perform how they always have; the knee jerk response will always be the easy way, the usual way.
But we can change this wiring. Firstly you have to stay more conscious of your actions around these family members. Monitor yourself and don’t be swayed by your emotions to panic, forget yourself, and perform in a knee jerk way. This can be hard at first but the more you control yourself and change your behavior, the easier it will be in the future. Eventually your mental wiring will change and it will be easier to act in this new way.
You can also use visualization. Visualize interacting with these relatives, and in your mind, see yourself acting how you want to act. With repetition, you will rewire your brain quite naturally using this method. So conscious control and visualization combined with good personal strategy for dealing with difficult people and before long you will be handling these relationships on your own terms, instead of theirs.
Thank you for this article. I have been having a habit of explaining myself to people i work with, families and friends because I am constantly worried about their perspectives towards me. But I don’t like myself being like this but some of them look at me a weird person ( even they look up to me when they met me at first). It’s a very tiring, that figuring out myself how to behave and to be myself.
That first paragraph in it’s entirety is without a doubt the best thing I’ve ever read as far as self-help goes. I needed this article, thank you so much.
Thank you for the article. I am 58 years old and I have been over-explaining for years. I am finally trying to figure out why I do this exhausting activity. I never really thought about how much energy it takes until now. Looking back I think I have most likely had people question my intelligence because of this problem. I really am going to work on it.
I always feel the need to explain my decisions even though I am in my 40’s. I do this because I feel that those closest to me are unfavorably judging me so I feel if I explain myself, they will understand why I make the choices I make. Recently, I was put into a position of explaining my parenting and finances to my young adult child and my closest family members. I was being questioned and was made to feel like I had been a bad parent because they would’ve done things differently. How can they be so sure when they aren’t in the situation themselves? I guess it’s easy to be a Monday morning quarterback!
In venting to a few close friends, I was interrupted several times and told to stop explaining myself to them. At least a half dozen times they pointed out the moment I started to explain myself.
I must work on this because as the author states, this is about one’s level of self-esteem. It’s also about my level of self-confidence. There is no need for me to explain myself – it opens me up to further judgment, which is the very thing my explanations are intended to avoid! I know the kind of mother I have been and am. I know why I’ve made the choices I’ve made and no one has the right to judge me. Explaining myself to those who judge makes them feel entitled to have a say so in my life, and it makes me feel like I am a child and not respected as an adult capable of making decisions.
I must work on this and I am so grateful to the author!
John, my particular situation with this problem involves a female family member. She asks me questions all the time, such as “Can you do this/be there on XXX date?” I will then say “Sorry, I can’t,” without explaining anything. But then she asks me more questions, such as “Why not?”, and “But can’t you do this?” She doesn’t seem to take the “Sorry I can’t” at face value. And when I persist in silence, I then get accused of being “difficult”, “secretive” or “trying to start a fight.” What do you do when someone just won’t get it???
It is possible that she does get it, she just knows the benefits of acting like she doesn’t .
Under such conditions you can be frank, to which she will keep trying to find holes in your logic or you can say no then be quiet. The pressure that you feel is you being uncomfortable by her pushy energy. If you have read this book, then you could use the techniques it describes to cancel all this out and actually enjoy her ranting. If not then just try to literally turn your body away from hers, if the energy that she is sending meets no resistance, she will tire soon and you can rest.
Remember that pressure tactics are the mark of a good salesman/woman, but if you don’t let the pressure get to you then you will see that it is all as Shakespeare said, “great sound and fury, signifying nothing.”
Please do remember though that you have to take responsibility for your actions. That is, you must be ready, willing, and able to put up with the consequences of saying no to a person like this. If you can, then being quiet and shaking off her negative energy is in my opinion the best way to deal with her.
Thanks John, I have ordered your book and will have a read 🙂
Absolutely super article John! It really hit home for me as I’ve been explaining myself a lot lately. No more. Time to do me and no explain my actions. Thanks
I am about to be a 16 year old. The article was great. However, what would you say to an age group of 14-15 year olds or anyone for that matter if they asked why I act the way that I do. Or wear what I wear?
Being strong in all things requires, actually demands, one basic principle: You have to take responsibility for your actions.
What does this mean?
It means that you have tried to explore and are willing to handle any consequence that might come from what you do, say, or what you wear for that matter. Think about that, you have explored (through logic and personal introspection) the consequences of anything that you do and you are willing to take whatever comes your way as a result of them.
I hope you can get an idea of how strong that feels, when you can act in this way.
If you can take responsibility like this, then you will realize that there is nothing to say to others aside from perhaps, “I take responsibility for my actions. Like me or not, I am who I am, and I am so happy with who I am.”
One final note, this does not mean that you should not respect and listen to the advice of certain others, elders perhaps, that truly love and care about you. Often times people that have been around for a while have good advice because they have been through similar things and can offer great advice on life, and sometimes even fashion.
Just own it. When you get older youll learn that your #1 asset is confidence around women and people. Someone laughs at your clothes, look them dead in the eyes and thank the kid. Walk away and next day wear even more spiced up version of your style. Kids just blab random stuff just to be loud and heard. You set the standard and don’t wait for others to give you approval. Adults in some ways are no different. I know some really lost and confused people and as soon as I try to be considerate and explain my reasons, these same folks will proceed to give me advice and let me know that I seem lost.
This is so true! I didn’t realize before that the need to explain myself also relates to self-esteem. It’s like I have to seek approval from others for actions I’m going to take or have already taken. Well, one of the reasons is that I’m quite expressive and blunt myself. Things I’ve done are shameless so there’s nothing to hide. Those who are close to me will be notified or updated with my decision. But now it’s getting better since I became aware of my behavior and eventually found a way to deal with it.
Another thing is I’ve always felt that an explanation is needed so that everyone involved will be clear. They won’t misunderstand me or situations. “Hey, I’m letting you know that we’re on the same page!” But sometimes, it doesn’t work that way. The more I explain, the more miscommunication I get. As I grew up and through life experiences, events and observing people, I’ve decided to stay silence. I reprogrammed myself that I don’t have to response to every action. Not everything in life is my responsibility or under my control. It sometimes doesn’t require my response. So, stay silence and observe the other parts. And ask myself “What if I don’t respond to them? What’s their reaction after that?” And bingo! I feel more reassured that not explaining myself is their problems not mine.
I’m a 62 year old male. This really has been an eye opener. As I to have just gotten worse with age. One my ask where it comes from or why we have such a need to be accepted, but it real. yesterday was one of those moments and all I did was explain myself right in to a whole as others have already said. A persons need to be important, needed, and looked to all can and will be effected by this need to explain also as an attempt to try and help. As hard as it is to swallow our knowlege, years of experience and so on can totally be lost in the fog of talking for hours explaining. Let alone maybe make other feel stupid that you feel a need to help them understand. As easy as some may think this is for my self will be a challenge. your artical and responses of others have helped beyond belief. Thank you. Now to remember
This info is true. I haven’t read this book but I read and study these interactions daily. The most difficult people will be co-workers, people you live with or family members, acting like you owe them something and then expecting an explanation. Staying silent all the time just makes you awkward and indifferent which isn’t good either. I prefer to use what I call the salesman/psychiatrist/cop technique. Its my madeup mold of all 3. My sister was a psychiatrist and she told me you just ask the patient a simp,e question and let them come up with their own answer. You are just there to guide them to figure it out. A salesman asks you questions in a way where your answer will will possibly be “Yes”. Put those 2 together and now you got someone answering your questions with a “Yes” and explaining themselves to you instead of the other way around. THe more YESSES the person responds with, the more you are in control. Now a cop will not answer your questions of explain himself. If you challenge the cop, he will say something like “wheres your ID?” and now he’s got you explaining yourself and caving to him. These 3 people will in a subtle way throw your emotions off and make the other person explain themselves to you. SO if someone asks you to explain yourself and then challenges your “NO” then calmly spin it and make it seem like top for their own good by saying something like “You do want to make this happen and you want to be in control of the outcome from your creativity, right?” THe person will say “Yes” because all people desire the feeling of control. Just practice this in all interactions and think before you say. At end 98% of all communication is forgotten and people only remember how they felt from the interactions they have with you so don’t criticize or give random advice. Just mess with their immature mind to move forward.
Thank you very much for your donation Brandy!
I remember my 4th grade teacher trying to break me of over explaining and saying “Ya know?” after my sentences. I am now 52 and not much has changed. I haven’t been able to apply your advice just yet but wonder if any others like myself have succeeded in reprogramming themselves? I think that over the phone could be of good practice by telling yourself that when you see the color Red Less Can Be Said….then eventually, in person, eye to eye, you will change your habit. I will let you know! Thanks for your article John.
I noticed in College, that one woman who told me not to explain myself, because she didn’t want to hear it, would ramble on & on explaining herself, for 15 minutes, in a BORING monotone. I replied to her, that “I was impressed, because she spent even more time explaining herself, that I thought she was a teacher.” She liked hearing herself talk so much, she didn’t want the competition. After that I hardly talked to her, except the bare minimum we had to do a group project. At the end of the semester, I never contacted her again. When some nosy broad, from church, attached herself to me, & proceeded to tell me how to run my house, & attempted to move in with us, (uninvited) when we moved, I finally had to tell her to take a hike. I learned since then, that I want my time to create fashion, & to be left alone, to do so, & don’t need to answer the door, or phone, if I don’t like who’s on the caller ID. If they try to make friends with me to manipulate me, I tell them I’m going to run my house my way, & if they don’t like it, don’t come over here. I’m tired of always being the polite Southerner. U have to set limits with users, because they don’t have any.
I think that we can all learn something from your comment especially the last line, Thank you for sharing!
Thank you for this! I recently learned that I am a victim of emotional abuse for over 4 decades (it seems) and constantly explaining myself is one of the many things I have to stop doing in order to heal.
I came across this article trying to find help as to why I feel the need to explain. This, behind a discussion I find myself having with people explaining why I don’t cool with certain people anymore…most of which is family (my initial abusers). In the middle of a conversation I just had, I stopped talking. Reminding myself that this is going no where because people will never understand where I’ve been and why I’ve chosen to do the things I do now…even if they’re painful. Not talking is best for me, but I often find myself explaining.
This article was VERY helpful!
Have oftentimes found that when there is a perceived need to explain oneself to someone, that other individual may be a Narcissist. They are masters of getting those around them to constantly explain themselves. (They are also oftenly petty tyrants.)
This serves 2 purposes for the narcissist: 1)They learn of your plans, what you are thinking, why you are doing what you are doing, and 2) They then are able to figure out how to get what they most want out of you, which is Narcissic Supply. Narcissic supply is their food. They constantly need your ongoing and unwavering Attention, which they suck up most greedily, and then, when they sense that you are onto their sick games and are about to leave or prove their dishonest ways to others, they quickly find another host and go about a sordid business of breaking you down emotionally and then discarding you, much the same way we discard used paper towels. They are not quite human; indeed, they could be viewed as incarnate archons. John, what do think?
If the Arconic host is within each of us to one degree or another then we all participate and enjoy the energetic rewards from these kinds of dominance games. Or as an anthropologist might say, we all have a primate inside of us. That some people make it a life mission to exploit others through vampiric relations like you describe is an unfortunate reality for sure.
Great article. It raises a question that I’ve actually been wondering for awhile – what do you do if someone asks you to explain yourself in a situation where it is not appropriate? Here’s an example: I am in the service industry which is looked down upon by certain people. I have money saved, career goals etc and am happy with how things are going. However often times I am asked in a condescending manner what my goals are aside from being in the service industry, my next steps etc. These questions are sometimes asked by genuinely curious and loving family members but more often than not it’s asked out of judgment by an acquaintance or stranger.
What is the best way to respond to these types of questions? Thanks!
This is what you should be thinking because its true: I personally find that the service industry does provide a decent wage for me at the moment, but it also provides for an honest way that I may be of true service to other; which I find to be a very respectable thing in an age of such quickening and uncertainty. Every person that I help is a blessing to the world.
But what you should say is nothing. Just think this and look at them with that thought in your mind. That should be enough for those that can understand and actual care about you. Then after a nice smile perhaps you can talk about the weather or anything else you may want to talk about.
I hope you can see what I mean. The answer is in the intention, so that you say everything by saying nothing.
I needed this. I’m constantly being asked, “What am I doing?” or “Why?” and essentially being interrogated. I don’t know if people are generally just interested in what I’m doing or are curious but it feels like I’m being interrogated when all I want is peace to do whatever it is I have my eyes set on. I don’t owe them ANYTHING. I’m absolutely not interested in giving out my itinerary for the day or tell people what my plans are anymore. Not even for idle chit chat. MY time is MY time, not anyone else’s. Thank you.