Finding excuses starts from a very young age. My son has already perfected the art to a point where he can explain quiet convincingly why he can’t: find the laundry basket / tidy his room / do his homework now (basically: because I said so, but of course that’s not how he puts it). I don’t blame him. Making excuses is a honourable attempt to avoid getting told off, especially when you’re a child (or a man, but that’s another story).
As you get older, you start making excuses for others, starting with the guy you’re in love with (who doesn’t call because he: is afraid of committing / has got a lot of work / must spend time with his friends) or want to live with (but who can’t leave his wife because: he still loves her / she’s the mother of his children / a divorce would ruin him / she’s sick, etc., etc.).
I’ve been quiet a good excuse-finder in the “boyfriend area”, but today the only other person I find excuses for is my son. I undertake this so others might see that despite him doing or saying certain “not-so-good” things, he is a wonderful child (it’s just that he’s tired / bored in school / still so young).
I spend much more time finding excuses for myself though. What has changed is that I’m not making all these excuses to avoid getting told off (my parents and friends have long stopped listening to my excuses and tell me off anyway). I’m finding excuses for myself in order to “feel better”. I know this is plain stupid. Because ultimately, no matter how good my excuses are for not doing the things I should, I don’t feel better for not doing them.
So I’m going to try a new experiment: I’m not going to make any more excuses for myself for a month and see where it takes me. Maybe I’ll feel less of a failure – and maybe, just maybe, I might get a few more things done!