“The dog ate my homework”, “The bus was late”, “The computer was down”, “The check is in the mail”, and “It’s not you it’s me”, are just a few of the most commonly used excuses.
An excuse is an attempt to lessen the blame attached to something. It is an attempt to obtain an exemption and to be “let off the hook” for a certain behavior or lack of behavior. It is an attempt to be released from a duty or obligation. It is a reason put forth to justify a fault or an offense. It is a pseudo explanation. It is, sort of, an apology. It usually seeks forgiveness.
We make excuses for many of our own behaviors in life. The only time you might be justifiably upset and have regrets is if you knew better but still did not make the right choice. We also make excuses for the bad behavior of others. When you are the victim of bad behavior you can decide whether or not you will accept and overlook the behavior or pardon the offender.
Some actions and behaviors are inexcusable. They are truly indefensible and unforgivable. There are some instances when you should not, under any circumstances, accept an apology or rationalize the bad behavior. Physical abuse is on the top of that list. Remember, violence escalates and can hurt you or even kill you.
Be sure to let go of any guilt you might have for having done something or not having done something. Guilt can be very selfdestructive. It may force you to blame others. It may prompt you to punish yourself for imagined faults or omissions.
Sometimes, you should make excuses to yourself for your own behavior because at the time you did not have any other options or you were ignorant of the options. You did the best you could under the circumstances. You need to forgive yourself. You need to be less judgmental and more tolerant of yourself.
Patricia Frank is a Licensed Psychotherapist. She can be reached at 305-788-4864, Psychotherapy.firstname.lastname@example.org
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