Do you make excuses for your loved ones? When discussing them, do you tend to “explain away” their less-than-stellar (in your opinion) conduct? If you do, then you are carrying a heavy and unnecessary burden.
Here are four great reasons to put it down.
1. Stressful and impossible.
Subconsciously, we believe that the more highly regarded our loved ones are, the more highly regarded we will be. And vice versa. So, we try to control how others see them in an attempt to influence how they see us. This is stressful and impossible to do.
Because we cannot truly control how others perceive our loved ones, or us. Peoples’ perceptions are based upon their life experiences, and the particular tint of their glasses at a given moment. We can never control those things. Nor should we try. Because people will think what they think. That is their business, not ours. Our only business is to be responsible for our conduct.
2. Different perceptions.
Our perceptions of our loved ones may differ from others’ perceptions of them. Our need to regulate how the world sees us can make us hyper-critical of our loved ones’ behavior. Others may not view their conduct as being problematic, even if we do. They may even appreciate or enjoy it.
So at best, our efforts may be futile, and only serve to cause us stress. At worst, they may be harmful to our loved ones because we may be interfering with potentially positive perceptions.
Making excuses for our loved ones is disrespectful to them. It shows that we have no faith in them, and that we don’t approve of who they are.
Even if we believe that those things are true (a separate problem), when we make excuses, we are impinging on our loved ones’ freedom to conduct themselves in a manner that seems to suit them. And that is disrespectful.
4. It’s who they are.
When our loved ones consistently behave a certain way, they are being who they are. Their choices are a reflection of them, not of us. Their conduct is their responsibility, not ours.
If they don’t mind being seen for who they are, should we?