Excuses vs Explanations

Hello Dazzle! Thanks for coming and hanging out with me today, I’m glad that you are here. Today I want to talk about the differences between Excuses and Explanations. Because, I think it really matters. Let’s start by looking at the definition of both words.

Excuse: attempt to lessen the blame attached to (a fault or offense); seek to defend or justify.

-Oxford Dictionary

Explanation: a reason or justification given for an action or belief.

-Oxford Dictionary

Both an explanation and an excuse are a reason given to justify an action. The only difference between the two words is that the word excuse also indicates that the person providing the reason is attempting to avoid blame or deny responsibility. This isn’t a very large difference between the definitions, but that distinction is huge.

Most of the time, it is not the person that is providing the reason for their action that labels it as either an explanation or an excuse but rather the person that is receiving that reason. This is another important thing to note because it means it is an assessment made by the person receiving the reason in regards to the intentions of the person offering the reason for their actions. This means that whether someone decides to label your reason as an explanation or an excuse completely depends on how they perceive your character and the motives behind your actions.

As discussed in my last post, there is much in our lives that is beyond our ability to control or plan for. There are simply times that despite all the best intentions and planning that things will not turn out the way that we desire them to. This is an inevitable part of the human experience. This is the nature of the uncertainty that we live with. When you have a chronic illness, that uncertainty is only increased. The other truth is that planning and organization are skills that people have varying degrees of proficiency in. Some people are great at planning and organizing while there are others who are not. Those who do not have as strong a skill set in planning or organization are likely to have more difficulty in ensuring that things in their lives go the ways that they intend them to.

When you have a chronic illness, your diagnosis often becomes the reason that you are not able to attend events or participate in social activities or cancel plans. The difference between when someone chooses to label your diagnosis as an excuse vs an explanation is based solely upon how they perceive your basic character and the grace that they choose to afford you. If someone is seeing your diagnosis as an excuse, they are not an ally. This means that they are choosing to see you as someone who is avoiding responsibility and that they are not interested in seeking understanding with you. How they choose to label your diagnosis is very telling about how they view you as a person and the relationship they are willing to have with you.

Well, that’s about it for my rambling today. Thanks for coming and spending some time with me. If you like what you read, click on that like button. It really does help! Until we talk again, you take care of yourselves!

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