Do you listen to those around you and find that when things don’t go right they make one excuse after another to validate the outcome of the circumstances? If you are a parent I KNOW you know about this one! I’m not a parent, but I totally remember being a child and finding any excuse I could so I wouldn’t be punished, including…it was an accident (it wasn’t), to the dog ate my homework…I lost it…that teacher is mean…Looking back, if there was a champion belt or trophy for making excuses, I would have won it. Or maybe I would have had a crown because I was the queen of excuses.
Sometimes it isn’t anyone’s fault, it’s just something that happens and the circumstances appear unavoidable, but people still make excuses for the outcome. And if it is their “fault”, people can go on and on like I used to as a kid. But really, once a person reaches somewhere around being a teenager, making excuses can be totally exasperating to those around them, because they take no responsibility for something they did or didn’t do. Plus the whining and complaining that comes from it is pretty much of a turn off and can make people want to run screaming from the room in annoyance and frustration.
You know someone like this at some level I’m sure. But take a second and look at yourself. We make excuses all the time when things don’t go the way we planned. Pay attention. When and how are you doing this? Do you think you annoy and frustrate people because of it?
And be careful. Making excuses is a close relative of blame. First the excuse is something didn’t go right, and then people may move on to blame because if it isn’t their fault, it may be someone else’s…right? Again, for me growing up, it was always my sister’s fault…even after she moved out and there was no way it was her!
Listening to ourselves can help us shift. Becoming aware is the first step to change. And if you are around folks that make excuses constantly, have some patience, say something, or feel free to step away. You don’t always have to be the focus of someone else’s excuses.