Mentoring

No Explanation Needed

I learned some time back that my answer was enough. That my “yes” or my “no” was all that was necessary. I didn’t need to throw in a “because I’m just so tired” or a “you know, the kids really need to spend time with me” after my answer. You know what I’m talking about. When you are invited to do something or be a part of a gathering or go somewhere and you really just can’t. Or better yet, you really just don’t care to do the thing. I tell people that they don’t owe me an explanation. If I invite someone to do something and they can’t, that is just fine. Their simple yes or no response is enough for me. (Of course, I am thinking to myself how jolly of a good time they’ll be missing with me because I can be quite fun. And entertaining.) If you feel that you owe someone an explanation with your answer, consider changing your response. Instead of saying, “I can’t make it because my son has a baseball game” try saying, “I’m just not going to be able to make it this time. Thank you!” I promise you that some people will feel that you owe them an explanation. I assure you that you do not. Something to think about.

29 thoughts on “No Explanation Needed”

  1. This is great, Cindy. You learned this way earlier than I did!!

    Feeling the need to explain ourselves has to be rooted in insecurity, don’t you think?

  2. No explanation? Why not? (grin) I have this new friend who can talk anyone I know under the table. Nonstop. Nice guy, but I struggled with how to politely tell him when I needed to get off the phone. Finally I just did. No explanation, just that I needed to hang up. Now. He’s one of you aliens. It doesn’t seem to phase him. He’s still friends with me.
    You aliens are strange folk. (grin)

  3. I don’t bother to explain myself except to close friends. Then it is more so that they can comisserate with me that I have to go to Back to School night. I’d rather play Bunko! πŸ™‚

  4. I’m so glad to hear that I’m not the only one that thinks this…it is SO freeing to just kindly decline without having to give an excuse!

  5. Why do we feel the need to justify? it would probably make it easier just to say sorry I can’t this time.

  6. Great post Cindy! I have struggled with this most of my life. It gives me such freedom to not feel as if I have to explain. I really have to take a split second before I respond and remember that I have no obligation to explain my reasons. Thanks for sharing this!

  7. I should probably start implementing that. I just really like explaining myself. I love giving back-story and extenuating circumstances. But, yeah, that makes a lot of sense.

    Hmm… I think it’s my feeling of self-importance that I get from sharing my experience. Man, this pride thing pops up everywhere. Yet another “growth area” for me [smile].

    ~Luke

  8. I think when I give explanations it is my way of letting someone know “I really did want to do this, here’s why I cant.” I don’t think I neccessarily OWE an explanation, but in the situations where I give an explanation it is because I just don’t want to leave people hanging wondering if I just don’t wanna.

  9. I like deleise’s answer.

    I HATE (yes that’s a strong word) when I have to wonder what’s going on and I always want to (and try to) be clear where I stand with people. Can’t stand status quo. Maybe because I’m a people pleaser to a certain extend. If I can’t make it 99% I give an explanation.

  10. I like it! I’m going to start applying that to my new house too. When people comment on new furnishings/furniture I’m going to reply ‘thank you’ instead of ‘yes, well that was half price’ or ‘we got a good deal from a friend’ or ‘I got a good discount’. It’s none of their business!

  11. I find that when I give a response it is to pursued the person that I really have something I cant get out of, when really I just dont want to go. Just Honesty. πŸ™‚

  12. I’ve reread Stacey’s post eight times, but still can’t understand it. I skipped English in school πŸ™‚

    but I really want to know.

  13. this was very timely. I just had something come up that I want to say “No” to, but didn’t know how to. I am so glad that I don’t have to come up with an explanation. “thank you for the invite, but we can’t make it this time!!” Perfect (although, I don’t think we can make it next year, either)

  14. I always feel if I don’t give a explanaiton that I will be offending someone by just saying no. I am not sure why as I do not expect an explaination when people decline my invites.

  15. I think I might be one of those people that would get my feelings hurt if I just got a “no, thank you” to one of my fabulous invitations to enjoy my company. I would start thinkin’ it was personal… especially if I got two in a row! yikes.

    So next topic… self esteem issues?

  16. im with brandi too. as a pastors wife – this is something they should teach you before you say ‘i do’. now i do it well. and have no problem with it at all. takes a lot of pressure and guilt off.

  17. Love this! I have been trying to do this more. It’s kind of funny when you can see on their face that their dying for an explanation!

  18. One more thing ~ I think this is similar to when people feel the need to explain their blessings or even just a nice shirt! “Thanks, but I got this shirt on clearance at ____.” “Yeah, my kids are pretty cool, but let me tell you they aren’t always this great!” Instead of “Thanks!” and “Yes, I love my kids. I am so blessed.”

  19. “(Of course, I am thinking to myself how jolly of a good time they’ll be missing with me because I can be quite fun. And entertaining.)”

    Yes, can be quite fun. And entertaining.

    Encouraging, too.

  20. really? no explanation necessary???

    i can say no. i do. often.

    but… i have a hard time saying no without giving a reason. hmmmm…. i feel like i’m doubly rejecting them if i don’t explain. i’m saying “i don’t wanna” PLUS “i don’t even have a good enough excuse as to why i don’t”…. to me, that sounds a lot like “i don’t flippin’ care about you or what you’re asking of me.”

    no?

    i don’t get offended when others say “no” to me, because i understand this side of it. but not everybody does.

    i’m rambling.

    hi mom.

  21. Hi Cindy, thanks for posting this. I think I have a chronic problem with saying-no-and-having-to-give-a-reason – guilt, maybe, that I can’t please everyone? I completely agree with you, it’s just hard to do. Something to work on and something to remember that in the grand scheme of things, there’s only ONE who matters.

  22. I’m with you. I also watch out for people who ask, “So what are you doing on Saturday night?” (or whenever) Because, usually, they are looking to ask me a favor and are trying to see if I have a way out of it or not. I’ve also had to teach myself to stop asking that question. πŸ™‚

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