Change Catalyst with Shanna Mann: Strategy & Support for Sane Self-Employment

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The Misery of Being Misundstood

I have a guest post up on Cordelia Calls it Quits right now. I’m talking about how I’m quitting justifying myself.

I feel pretty good about the whole switch, but family being family, and so skilled at button pushing, I still slip up from time to time.

You know what the hardest thing about not justifying yourself is?

You have to allow yourself to be misunderstood.

That is so, so hard.

Because what we’re doing when we justify ourselves, aside from defending out decisions, we’re also begging for understanding. We made a decision. We took action.

And it wasn’t the popular choice, evidently.

Were we wrong? We don’t know. Maybe? There’s probably no way to know yet. What we want is for our listeners to put themselves in our shoes, to say, I see where you’re coming from. I understand your reasoning. Maybe even — — I would have done the same thing myself.

We think — — we hope, that if we were right, everyone would be able to see it, if we just explained it to them thoroughly. And so, to reassure them, to reassure ourselves, we explain. We expound. We justify.

The worst part?

We’re not going to get what we want. Almost by definition, if we have to justify our reasoning to someone, they Just. Won’t. Get it. There is a fundamental disconnect, an uncrossable chasm. History might prove you right in every respect and they will still maintain you should have done things differently; better.

But here’s the up-side:

When you come to terms with the utter futility of explaining yourself, it becomes easy to resist. You know unequivocally that you won’t get the empathy and understanding you desire, and you stop flailing for it.

Most of the time. 🙂