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'I justify myself excessively': possible causes and consequences of this behavior

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Some people tend to give explanations for whatever action they take, no matter how small.

This constant justification may have a basis, which we will try to explore in this article. Likewise, we will know what are some of the consequences of a behavior marked by the over-explanation of the reason for each decision made by the person.

  • Related article: "Assertiveness: 5 basic habits to improve communication"

Why am I overly justifying myself?

We all know someone who has a certain tendency to explain the reasons why they have carried out a certain action, even if it is not really important. These individuals may wonder, "why am I overly justified", a question that may go deeper than some may believe.

The overjustification of our actions can be generated for various reasons. To begin with, there is an important difference between a behavior that, by its very nature, be it because of how unusual it is, because of its characteristics or because of the context, requires an explanation of it before other people so that they understand its why, and other actions that may be routine and do not require such a story additional.

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In the case of the former, it would be unlikely that a person would come to think, "I justify myself excessively." However, if the individual tends to explain each behavior that he performs in the second group, yes we could speak of an excess of justification, which is the case we are referring to in this Article.

That is the type of situation where it can be observed that a person gives more explanations than necessary to justify his behavior, even when no one has explicitly asked why he has acted in that particular way and not otherwise.

It will also be important to establish a differentiation between a dynamic that fits in with the thought of "I justify myself too much" and the fact of simply making excuses because of a behavior that for some reason is not accepted or involves some type of conflict and therefore gives rise to the creator trying to excuse himself to evade his responsibility, partial or totally.

Therefore, we have separated on the one hand, the action of explaining a situation that, by whatever circumstance, requires it, and on the other, the fact of using excuses as a means of avoiding being judged for controversial behavior. It is precisely the rest of the actions, the daily ones, which do not need an explanation, which could be included under the condition of “I justify myself too much”.


Causes of the tendency to justify oneself too much

Once we have been able to clearly identify the type of behaviors that fit into this category, we are going to try to find out some of the causes that could be explaining this way of acting.

1. Lack of self-confidence

One of the most obvious could be a lack of self-confidence. When a person lacks sufficient self-confidence, you are likely to seek validation from others on a constant basis, sometimes even exaggerated. That is the case of some people who think, "I justify myself excessively." The problem with self-insecurity is that it can lead to a series of negative emotions.

These can end up translating into an anxious and depressive type of symptoms. The search for approval from other people, which they would carry out through this repeated justification, would be acting as an outlet for those emotions. The problem is that, on the other hand, a dependency towards that validation could develop.

In other words, people who fit into the box of "I justify myself excessively" could end up entering the vicious circle of justifying themselves by a low self-confidence and, by obtaining the approval of the rest, further justification in the future, which would make it difficult to eliminate that process.

On the contrary, the optimal thing would be for the person to do an adequate job to improve their self-confidence counting on the help of an expert psychologist in this matter. Thanks to this process, this individual would be able to validate his own actions without the need for a external acceptance, which consequently would reduce the number of justifications he would make for his Actions.

  • You may be interested in: "Self-confidence: discover the 7 keys to improve it"

2. Conflict avoidance

But there are other reasons why a person could present explanations so many times that he thought, "I justify myself too much." Another alternative could be to try to avoid any kind of conflict. Although it is somewhat related to a lack of self-confidence, it differs enough to fall into a different category.

Therefore, this second cause would be conflict avoidance. A person who, for reasons that, be it because of his base personality, because of his learning history or because of some traumatic event, has an aversion to conflict, you will try to act all the time so that these do not appear or are reduced as much as possible.

One of those tools could be overjustification, which would lead to the phenomenon of “I justify myself excessively”. In this way, the person who would give explanations in an exaggerated or repeated way, could be doing it with the aim that they remain clear his peaceful intentions and thus not give rise to the possible genesis of an argument, a misunderstanding or any other type of conflict.

As in the first case, this tendency could also generate a series of negative emotions in the individual, who would constantly live with the fear of being the architect of an incident with other people and not being able to handle it properly or fear any other consequence.

The possible solution would go through learning different coping strategies in these situations, so as not to have to be all the time pending to justify each behavior and thus avoid disturbing the the rest. This work could be carried out by the hand of a psychologist specializing in social skills.

The therapist could teach this individual different tools for managing emotions and behaviors, with which he could learn to behave in a different way, feeling better about yourself and obtaining satisfactory results, which would reduce this discomfort.

3. Fear of giving a bad image

Exploring a third alternative that could be the cause, or at least part of it, of the issue at hand, we arrive at the fear of giving a bad image. As it happened before, in a certain way it is also related to low self-confidence, but in this case it manifests itself in a very particular way.

Focusing on this new cause, we would find a type of people who, among their characteristics, hide a fear of not being accepted or projecting a negative image of themselves to others. This trait pushes them to try to be overly cordial, and even subservient.

To avoid misunderstanding, they will try to explain each action they intend to carry out, trying to ensure that their image is not undermined in the process. This question is also linked to the claim of not generating conflicts that we saw as the second possible cause, and there may not be a single cause, but a combination of several, with a preponderance of some.

However, this attitude can have a paradoxical effect, caused by the phenomenon of being over-justified. The intention of this type of individual is to over-explaining yourself to try to keep your image in front of others as positive as possible. However, this exaggeration of the explanations could end up being striking or even annoying for some people.

This response is the one that could cause precisely what the person fears the most, which is a devaluation of the image that he is giving to others. Even this reasoning can be one of the mechanisms that, as in the other cases, generates negative emotions and discomfort, by increasing the fear that they suffer and not knowing how to act to get it right.

As in the previous cases, one of the ways to get rid of this discomfort is to start a therapeutic process with a psychologist who can help you. guide through different ways so that this person can finally face the situations that previously generated anxiety and fear in a way safe.

Although these are some of the causes that could be behind the tendency to over-justify oneself, we must not forget that they are not the only ones, there may be others different reasons and, as we have seen, even combining several of them, either highlighting some cause above the rest or more or less balanced.

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