One of my fave blogs – although I NEVER leave comments – is that of happiness doyenne Gretchen Rubin. Her posts – more often than not – resonate with me. I particularly love the way she encourages us to examine our behaviour in ways that aren’t typical and don’t include the usual psycho-babble. Are you an abstainer or moderator? she asks. Do you prefer the simple to abundance? Are you a finisher or an opener? And so forth.
In a recent post Rubin reminded readers that – those things that irritate us in others are often behaviours, habits or characteristics that we ourselves exhibit. I’ve long believed this, although in true superficial-me style it’s usually about noses rather than behaviour!
The Rubin post in question however, was actually about the fact that she is an ‘over-explainer’. It’s something she hates in others, she said and something she realises she does herself.
Rubin provided some examples of her over explaining and I thought, “Oh shit. I do that!”
I know I’m long-winded. Anyone who’s ever read my blogs would not debate this fact. I can be brief, rest assured; but in line with my black/white and all/nothing behaviour, I’m either ridiculously succinct or frighteningly blithery.
I over-explain. Like Rubin I can’t just apologise for being late. I have to explain. I have to offer up a reason. It occurs to me I feel obliged to justify stuff. I’m overly apologetic. I’m reminded again of my fear of being a nuisance, putting people ‘out’ or taking up space.
I realise that over-explaining is akin to justifying our / my existence, and that’s not what I want to be doing. Anymore.
Even now I feel compelled to offer examples of my over-explaining so… although it’s killing me, I won’t. Instead I’ll leave you with one of my favourite Thoreau quotes. And… it’s brilliant in its brevity.
Are you an over-explainer? Or perhaps you leave others hanging for more?