No one is required to explain their beliefs, values, tastes or spouse. Explanations are necessary only in situations which generate uncertainty or suffering and always under the sign of respect.
In cognitive psychology, we are often told that we are not obliged to give explanations about what we do, think, or choose in everyday life.
Beyond this dimension, there is always self-interest, the need to know yourself and to act in accordance with our principles and our values, while also respecting all those around us.
The act of giving explanations is necessary in cases where our decisions have to do with third parties. But the act of assuming one’s responsibilities goes with this ability to know how to act and decide, without having to justify what one does in front of others.
We also know that we spend our lives explaining everything, and we invite you here to think about that.
When giving explanations becomes a habit
Like everything in life, there is a limit and a balance. We can ask our spouse for explanations if, for example, he does not appear for three days in a row.
You can do the same with your children when you are faced with bad behavior. And with our friends, if they do something we weren’t expecting.
- People need to give and receive explanations in situations that cause uncertainty, strangeness, or pain.
- In cognitive psychology and positive psychology, we talk about the need not to consider that “giving explanations” is a habit of everyday life, especially when faced with situations which do not require it.
The problem of giving explanations also depends on the type of communication one establishes with others. If the dialogue is constructive, empathetic, and constructive, communication is fluid and there is understanding.
In many cases, there are people who only understand what they want.
Worse yet, far from listening, think only of the answer they will give. Because they have already established their own conclusion, whether or not it corresponds to reality.
- Giving explanations should not be such an ingrained habit in our societies. Not, at least, when what we are looking for is to judge others in accordance with their behavior and their choices.
- Explanations are only needed when a concrete situation demands it, and in order to establish balance in the relationship.
- When giving explanations, there must be a respectful and open dialogue. Sender and receiver must listen to each other with empathy and dedication. So they deepen the situation and find an agreement, a harmony that we need during the conversations.
When should we not give explanations?
We are sure that in your closest social relationships (friends, family, work, couple…) you find yourself obliged to give more than one explanation to certain aspects of your life that you do not want to share, let alone justify.
As an example, we will give you the dimensions that belong to you, only “yours” and which you do not have to explain to yourself, nor to justify yourself:
You don’t have to give explanations about what’s priority in your life
What’s important to you is up to you. If travel is your first passion, not everyone will understand that you spend a whole year saving instead of changing your washing machine or buying a new car.
You don’t have to justify yourself and if you do, once is enough.
You must not explain your celibacy or your spouse
How, you don’t have a spouse? Still don’t have kids? Your companion is a little silent, isn’t he? And why don’t you live closer to your family?
We are sure that these questions are well known to you. People tend to ask out of innocent interest. But these are things that make us uncomfortable because we have to justify ourselves when in reality it only concerns you and no one else.
You must not give explanations about your beliefs or values
All values, beliefs, and opinions are equal and should not be justified. If you practice a religion or feel an affinity for one type of spirituality, there is no need to detail why you are doing it and what led you to this choice.
- You are your choices, others must accept you as you are, without having to ask you for explanations.
- To live with others is to respect and it is therefore quite simply a matter of accepting ourselves, as we are. The explanations will be necessary, as we told you previously, only in cases of disappearance or personal problems.
Live freely by following your own values. Act with respect and be happy in every aspect of your life path.