What Could You Gain If You Gave Up Being Justified?
The need to feel justified is one of the strongest, most intoxicating and uniquely human conditions. It’s amazing how far we will go to get that fix, how hard we will work to prove we were right about something or someone. How hard do you defend your version of what happened in a “he said, she said” argument? When you send an email and the other person doesn’t remember getting it, how much energy do you spend trying to prove that you sent it and that they are in the wrong?
The problem with self-justification is that it’s always a win-lose proposition. And, it diverts energy away from effectiveness. Before you give up self-justification cold turkey, though, consider the other things to which you’d be saying farewell:
What could you lose?
- Saying, “I told you so.”
- Saying, “See!”
- Saying, “I knew it.”
- Proving you were right
- Blaming someone for how you feel
- Putting yourself down because you aren’t worthy
- Having to be the one with the solution
- Giving in to keep the peace
- Giving unsolicited advice to make others better
- Giving ultimatums to avoid responsibility
- Judging yourself or other people
- Defending or explaining yourself
- Cable news (this is one of my most reliable self-justification suppliers)
What could you gain?
How do you spend energy seeking self-justification? What else could you gain by giving it up?
Copyright Next Element Consulting, 2018
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This is so powerful. You’re right. It is intoxicating! When you find in life most of the time, you have been right, you hang onto self-justification like a life raft in the ocean. I want to learn how to let this go. The concept is spot on, but how do you do it? What questions do you ask instead? How do you stay intellectually curious instead of full blown “I’m right, sucka.”
Thanks Christie. We’d love to help, and recommend attending one of our training seminars or pursuing coaching with a certified LOD professional. Here’s a list of professionals near you. http://next-element.com/tools/lod/find-an-lod-professional/
Nate, can you direct us to an explaination of how ultimatums relate to avoiding responsibility? Do they relate to “not working it out?”
An ultimatum says this…”I don’t know what else to do so I am going to draw an artificial line in the sand and make it out so that if you cross it, I no longer am responsible for my behavior. That way I can avoid doing anything different.”
Because I don’t watch tv, I don’t understand the cable news comment. Would you explain?
A lot of cable TV news is about people seeking justification for their political views. Not particularly interested in being effective, only justifying their positions.