Why We Make Excuses

(and what to do about it)

Excuses are a  mechanism for healthy interactions, but others' excuses can be frustrating, and our own can cause emotional turmoil, too.

There's nothing inherently good or bad about an excuse, it's just a way to smooth over interactions when something doesn't meet expectations.

However, some attitudes can make excuses quite problematic, such as being hyper-critical of excuses OR excessively leaning on them.

Overindulging in excuses to avoid taking responsibility for your mistakes or missteps can lead to enabling or exacerbating those behaviors.

However, overcorrecting to a "no excuses" attitude removes nuance from the situation and does little to help anyone.

Consider some of the following tips to keep excuses from becoming a crutch while still giving yourself room to be human and imperfect.


Take Responsibility

Owning your actions or inaction earns the respect of others and goes a long way to ensuring a different result next time.

Forget about blame and focus on what you're going to do next to make things better.


Look Forward, Not Back


Show Humility

No one is asking you to be perfect, but being dishonest to appear perfect is worse than admitting a mistake.

Not every bad situation is avoidable, but most of the things we make excuses for are.


Get Ahead of It

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