Excuses

7 03 2012

We’ve all had the experience.  In a testy situation, instead of clearing the air, we make an excuse.  Sometimes, it is to save face. Sometimes, it is to avoid getting slapped. Sometimes, it is to let someone exit gracefully.  Sometimes, however, it is because we just don’t want to deal with the problem.

This week, I was faced with such a situation and I made an excuse.  What a cowardly and completely unproductive thing to do!  The confrontation was not friendly, the agitator did not have grounds, there was no reason not to finish the fight, except that I was just too tired to deliver the coup de grace.  I made an excuse. The result of not taking care of that little bit of nasty business when I had the (righteous) opportunity is that the problem persists.

When we are assailed by an acquaintance, a co-worker, a family member, we need to quickly identify whose monkey’s in the room.

If it isn’t yours, say so! The monkey that rode in on someone else’s back a few days ago is still sniffing around me, because, instead of flinging him back to where he belongs, I made an excuse.

Sometimes, it seems easier to avoid an unpleasant discussion, but, in the case of those with whom we regularly have contact, that usually just postpones the inevitable.  Lingering issues are not like fine wine; they do not improve with age.  This is especially true if there are sour grapes in the ferment.

When made to preserve an important relationship or to avoid needlessly hurting someone’s feelings, I think excuses are fine, temporary, “get out of jail free” constructs.  When we use them to obfuscate a real problem, we are just being cowardly.  Yellow is not my color; no more excuses.

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3 responses

7 03 2012
Dana Zimmerman

An insightful blog post about monkey flinging!

Like you said, we all make excuses for plenty of reasons, in particular avoiding the problem or the drama. We always have the right to wimp out and not deal with it if the timing isn’t right.

You are one of the most courageous people I’ve ever known, Paula, I bet you’ll fling that monkey back with style and grace!

7 03 2012
Paul Grecian

Good post Paula. Something we all need to hear once in awhile. I always feel better dealing with something up front………

8 03 2012
janice

This was a timely post for me and as always, I so apreciate your thought processes and wording.I agree that it is better to address the monkey as soon as possible if necessary – I do agree with your exceptions. I have grown a pair over the past few years and am proud for standing up for myself. The present situation deals with a co-worker in a leadership position who can screw me. I have made my suggestions known but they are not well received so I have a choice to make. But I already know what I should do……..just dread it as she is MEAN. Well boo-hoo, put your big girl panties on Janice and Deal!!

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