How to Stop Over-Explaining

Calling all people pleasers! How to stop justifying your decisions to other people.


Right now, I’m in the throes of raising two wonderful teenage girls who’re constantly judging what I do, and letting me know about it. Anyone else there with me?


I’ll be honest with you, a past version of Jo would’ve had a really hard time with this and made sure to always explain my decisions or try to defend myself to my daughters. One of the gifts of getting older is that you stop caring what people think about you and quit putting their opinion of you over your own.


I’m still not entirely resistant to it. Like you, I get caught in the same old same old, the social media traps where I worry about people’s approval and feel the need to explain what I’m doing and why. I love offering the full explanation to people why what they’ve just asked me to do doesn’t work for me. In general, I want people to be on board with the decisions I make in life.


But, over-explaining isn’t doing us any favors.


Worrying about and anticipating what people think of you and the decisions you're making is draining you of your valuable energy and mental resources.


On the surface, it might look innocuous enough, it might even seem diplomatic. It’s actually a way of giving away your power and giving in to people-pleasing.


You don’t need to over-explain yourself.


Do you find yourself trying to justify your decisions to other people? Are you constantly seeking the approval of others when it comes to what you’re doing and how? Do you anticipate or assume what people will say about what you’ve chosen and prepare yourself to be on defense?


This is how many operate all day, every day.


I see this with a lot of my clients who are people-pleasers and peacemakers and feel the need to be liked by everyone.


What if instead there was a way to be confident in your decision-making ability and move forward without caring what others thought?