Saturday, November 17, 2018

A vote for non-'splaining

When I was a kid back in the Dark Ages, we watched a hilarious TV show called I Love Lucy. Lucy's Cuban husband was always on her case when she screwed up and would say, "Lucy, you've got some 'splaining to do." 

But I've become really conscious lately of how little 'splaining is really needed, how seldom we need to justify our actions or decisions. I've been noticing, both in casual conversation and in more transactional situations (shopping, working with clients), that many of us explain way more than we need to, me included. I'm not sure if we are insecure in our decisions or unsure what the other will think of us.

Here are some examples.

Q: Would you like something to eat?
'Splaining answer:  No, I don't eat between meals because I know that's not good for my digestion. I've lost seven pounds this week and I feel so much better. You ought to try it.
Non-'splaining answer: No thanks. 

Q: I have an extra ticket for the concert. $130. Would you like to go with me?
'Splaining answer: No, I refuse to pay that kind of money for an event. I can buy a dozen CDs for that. Can you believe what tickets cost these days. It's a scandal.
Non-'splaining answer: No thanks, but I appreciate you asking.

What I'm discovering is that these explanations almost always contain a criticism, blatant or veiled, and they negate the value of the invitation or offer. At the very least, they are a complaint (I'm too busy, I don't have the money) and this adds to the negative energy in the world, while a simple thank you is an affirmative acknowledgement of the offer.

Where does too much 'splaining show up in your life?

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