“I can’t come because…”, “I won’t make it because….”,
Day in and day out I walk around defending my decisions…to myself. As soon as I convince myself that I have made the right decision, I no sooner stumble upon something or do something that brings me back to square one.
Let’s back track for a minute here.
I have always been a people pleaser. Sometimes this is a good quality. Other times, most times, not so much. I let others’ feelings trump my own feelings all the time and there have been plenty of times that I have sacrificed what was best for me because I couldn’t bear to disappoint, fight or hurt feelings.
But then I got married.
The decisions I was making, the pleasing that I was doing, was not just about me anymore. Many times it would end up putting my husband out too. And that’s not okay.
Since having children we’ve had several long conversations, maybe a few arguments here and there ;), about making the decisions that are best for our family – regardless of how others feel.
And we do it.
I have become so much better about this than I ever was before. I look at how it affects my family and make a judgement based on that. Sometimes I look like a heartless bitch, a bad friend, an inconsiderate sister, or an ungrateful daughter/daughter in-law.
I make the decision, but then I spend days explaining to. my. self. why we made the decision we did.
That’s messed up.
I have to convince myself that it doesn’t matter who’s angry or hurt because it was the right decision for us, it was the right decision for me.
And then it happened.
Last year, I was apologizing to a friend that I had to decline an invitation. It was a busy week and I just couldn’t swing it all. I mean I could have, but it was making it unnecessarily stressful – so I decided to decline. She was disappointed but said it wasn’t a problem.
I sent her a text about an hour later to be sure we weren’t putting her in a tight spot…and of course over explaining myself.
Her response put it all in perspective.
“You don’t have to explain yourself, I trust that you aren’t lying to me and if you are there is a good reason for it.”
And that’s the truth. She’s my friend, we share a mutual love and respect for one another and she knew I wouldn’t lie about it because she knows I’m not like that. She didn’t expect an explanation, she didn’t need a fabrication, the truth was just fine.
It’s a cultural thing for Americans, and maybe the western world in general, we feel the need to always offer an explanation.
I can’t come because….
I won’t be able to because…
I’m sorry that I’m late, it was because…
But just stop.
No one is asking for the explanation. If they want one, they’ll ask. If they love you, if they really need more from you, they’ll ask.
And if they don’t and get upset…they probably aren’t worth your time anyways.
I won’t make it.
I regret that I can’t.
I’m sorry I was late.
That’s it. No explanation.