Explain, But Don’t Excuse

I was hanging out with a very good friend of mine not too long ago and we were chatting about a mutual friend who has recently been through some rough patches. The problem is that while they are going through these patches, their behavior towards others (certainly me) has not exactly been ideal.

As my friend and I chatted, I gave my personal view on the why’s and whatnot’s of that other friend’s situation. But the more I did that, the more the friend I was hanging out with seemed to get agitated with me and eventually said, “You really shouldn’t make excuses for what they’re doing.”

My response was something I’ve said to myself many times, but I’m not sure I’ve often said it to anyone else… “I may explain, but I don’t excuse.”

I tend to be a rather empathetic sort of soul. I can see and feel what others are going through somewhat well and I try to be mindful of that when viewing someone else’s actions… but to be clear, if you’re just being a jackass, there’s really nothing acceptable about that. I will try to show some extra patience or give you space or seek to listen to your woes, but the point at which your ire inexplicably turns on me is when my explaining stops flat out. Otherwise, you’re just a doormat.

So remember to try and see through the eyes of another, especially during their troubled times. They will return the favor for you if they are a real friend. And if they don’t? Well, at least your Christmas card list got a little shorter.

Just don’t make excuses for them because while we all faces life’s myriad of challenges, we always, always, ALWAYS control how we respond to them.

I just happen to respond to them with overwhelming amounts of personal awesome, so don’t be hatin’.


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