My Birthday Wish

I have a bad habit of over-explaining things.  It drives my husband completely bonkers because it takes a forever for me to get to the point.  Anyone who reads my blog has probably deduced this for themselves, as I’m just as guilty of doing it here as I am in person.

For example, whenever I need to return something to a store I find it completely necessary to give an unabridged version of why I am bringing it back.

Employee: Is there anything wrong with it?

Me: Well, you see, when I bought the basket I was sure that my husband would buy the wrong one so I decided to buy it myself while I was here the other day.  As it turns out he did buy the wrong basket, but after thinking about it for a few days I realize that I like his basket better than the one that I bought, so I’m bringing the one I bought back today.

Employee: (Clearly annoyed) So there’s nothing wrong with it then?

Me: No, I just want to return it.

Here’s how the same scenario would go down if Jay were returning it:

Employee: Is there anything wrong with it?

Jay: Nope, I just want to return it.

Over the years I’ve gotten much better at not over-explaining when I return things (the employees no longer cringe when I walk up), but I’m still guilty of it in every other way.  And to be honest, it drives me absolutely crazy.

I long to be someone who doesn’t feel the need to explain my reasons for everything I do. Someone who can say what it is that I want or don’t want and be confident that it will be enough.  Someone who feels like what I say will be viewed as acceptable.

I remember many instances growing up where my opinions were challenged – usually over the silliest things.  I’d get asked to sleep over a friend’s house, and I would politely decline.  I’d tell someone that I’d rather roller skate than ride bikes.  I’d listen to Phil Collins while washing my car.  It didn’t matter what the situation, it seemed that no one was ever satisfied with my answers.  I’d hear things like, “but why don’t you want to sleep over?” “Why do you want to roller skate?” and “Why do you listen to that music?” – all with an accusatory rather than inquisitive tone.

I never understood why people just wouldn’t let it go.  Why my thoughts were always challenged, why what I wanted or didn’t want required explanation.  Unfortunately, although I’m a grown adult now it doesn’t seem to have stopped.  Sadly, I still find my opinions challenged from time to time.  Why don’t I eat this, why don’t I watch that, why don’t I care about traveling, why do I enjoy ____… the list goes on and on.

So here’s my birthday wish (I know, it took me a while to get here, but I warned you):  I want to stop defending myself.  I want to stop explaining things, to stop trying to make my reasons known in hopes that they will be found acceptable once understood.  I’m done.  I’m not sure if it’s going to require a more firm tone or what, but somehow I’m going to limit my answers and remind myself that I don’t owe anyone explanations for what I want or don’t want.  And even harder than that, I’m going to allow myself to feel okay about this.  I’m going to let myself know that I am no less of a daughter, friend, mom, wife, or person for doing so.

Of course, now that I’ve told my wish it probably won’t come true.  Ah, well.  Here’s hoping!


7 thoughts on “My Birthday Wish

  1. Sanne Williamson says:

    I get that way when I feel like someone is either questioning or judging my answer/opinion or when they don’t seem to get it. It’s funny because it’s something I’ve been trying to work on as well and just be more confident that way, you know?
    However, I returned something at Target today and gave the exact same answer you said Jay would give! LOL

  2. Yeah, you come by it honestly. I envy the people who can just say this or that and give no more info than that. I never thought about needing to teach you Assertion, I was convinced you would become a lawyer… LOL

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