When someone asks me a question, sometimes I assume that it comes weighted with a judgment. When I respond to heavy questions like these, I include in my answer some kind of explanation of myself, some kind of justification for my actions.
It’s a very defensive response. Even if I am right in perceiving judgment, why should I have to explain myself?
I find that this happens most often with my mom and my mother-in-law. Clearly, these are complicated relationships and I don’t think that should be enough of a reason for me to pre-empt further questions by selling myself down the river on a boat of explanations.
I need to start being more aware of my responses before I say them, to respond with the simple answer and to wait and see whether justification is requested. Then, if it is, don’t give one.
(Most of the time these explanations are about mundane or banal things, like why I wore long-johns under my jeans all day when I spent most of my time inside. Who cares? Did it hurt anyone?)
No more explaining. I just do what I do. I take responsibility for it. If it isn’t affecting anyone else, I don’t need to tell you why.