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Note: The article below has been written more than 8 years ago!

„Yes, I am wrong, but I am wrong because of … and this makes things right! Let me tell you more about the reasons for being wrong!”

In a recent training, I had the time & opportunity to reflect more on sayings such as this:

„Yes, I am wrong, but I am wrong because of … and this makes things right! Let me tell you more about the reasons for being wrong!”

In my opinion, people tend to create justifications. So, if you ask me if I want to go into town with you, can’t just say „no”, I have to explain you why I do so. If you ask me to do something, I can’t just say „I won’t do it”, instead, I’ll have to focus on providing a good reasoning for this. My view on this?

The good part about this reasoning is that is natural, and creates a mental comfort. There was a study in which some people asked to copy some things on Xerox. They didn’t even have to come up with a valid excuse, they just said „I need to copy because I need to copy”. Using „because” was highly influential, no matter the excuse itself. Details. There might also be a placebo effect in place – if you say you can’t do X becase of Y, you actually start believing things.

The bad part about reasoning, in my opinion, are the following:

  • If you think „you have to come up with a valid explanation, so I won’t hurt that person’s feelings” leads very easily to cheating. In this case, lying. So, even if there is no valid explanation, you would lie to the person to make one. It’s not always like this, but it’s a tendency.
  • In order to have a peace of mind, you have to actually believe what you are saying. When confronted, you tend to push things further, and insist, and you start believing your justifications.
  • The biggest problem comes from the mindset – instead of actively looking for solutions to the problem, you actively find excuses not to do the thing. Saying directly (and, perhaps, abruptly) „I won’t do it” might generate a kind of tension in solving the problem (so, you won’t like the answer you’ve just said, so you will, instead, look for an alternate solution). On the other hand, saying „I won’t do it, let me come up with some valid reasons for that” might generate creative solutions for which you are unable/unwilling to do the task.

On the other hand, even if tend to speak less, I tend to write more, so, it’s pretty much the same.

I’ve read studies which show that talking, for example, on social media can both help (Social Media Aids Weight Loss) and prevent good results (Is It Good or Bad to Talk About Your Goals? — The Bulletproof Musician).

In my opinion, when you talk too much, you get out of your soul things which would do you better had they remained in there.

In the below image, you can either limit things (because …), or you can develop on them (alternative solutions to X are …):


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