Moving on From Abuse: Why You Tend to Overexplain Yourself?

Moving on From Abuse: Why You Tend to Overexplain Yourself? moving on from abuse: why you tend to overexplain yourself?
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Have you noticed yourself going into excessive explanation mode after leaving an abusive situation? Like you can’t just make a simple statement without adding a million clarifying details and justifications?

You can’t even make a simple conversation to someone else without adding that sneaky, “You know what I mean.”

This excessive need to overexplain everything is pretty common when you’ve been in a toxic environment and here are few examples: –

You’ll find yourself elaborating way more than necessary in everyday conversations:

“I’m running late because I hit some traffic…” proceeds to give a 10-minute rundown of every turn and light on the route.

Or over clarifying basic preferences: “I’d like the chicken salad please…because you see, I try to eat vegetarian during the week, but I’m allowing myself this today as a treat…”

You might feel compelled to pre-emptively defend or justify your choices, thoughts and actions before anyone even questions you: “I went with the blue shirt because the white one has a stain and…”

It’s like your brain is hardwired to assume you’ll be doubted, challenged or misunderstood unless you lay out an entire case with evidence. Simple statements somehow feel incomplete.

So, what is probable cause of you developing this habit of overexplaining yourself?

It’s mostly from that core belief that your voice won’t be heard or validated unless you prove you’re logical and reasonable. Often this stems from abusive environments where you were constantly doubted, fact-checked or dismissed as “overreacting” or unreasonable.

Maybe you had to meticulously explain even the most basic needs to dysfunctional parents as a child, so they’d take you seriously or understand you. Or with a narcissistic partner who invalidated everything you said by spinning it as “crazy.” When you’re in a relationship with a narcissist, sometimes you will try to explain simple and logical things in the simplest manner, and they still won’t get it. Whatever the situation, you internalized that you need to overexplain to finally be understood.

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It’s like trying too hard to make perfect sense and get others to understand your point in a very logical and clear way. Because having your reality denied outright over and over is incredibly frustrating, but it reinforces that core belief that maybe you won’t be heard if you don’t explain or repeat it.

Challenge that Learnt Belief

Here’s the harsh truth though: No amount of overexplaining will ever be enough to convince someone who is so determined to misunderstand you. Their unwillingness to listen has nothing to do with the power of your logic or how you deliver the message.

As they say, “You can lead a donkey to water, but you can’t make it drink.” You’re only giving yourself undue stress and pressure when it’s simply those people who don’t want to listen.

Your responsibility may feel like the need to overexplain yourself, but that’s not it. Your responsibility is to challenge or let go of this belief. It’s not serving you anymore now that you’re an adult who can take care of themselves. It’s time to update that outdated operating system in your mind and allow a new system that serves you better to run behind the scenes.

Challenge those old tapes you’re holding dearly to that are telling you you’re not worthy of being heard without jumping through hoops. Remind yourself that reasonable or rather normal people will value your voice without demanding narratives of justification. If someone dismisses even those simple statements from you, that’s their issue — not a sign you need to overexplain more.

You learned the belief, which means you also have the capacity to unlearn it. Always be watchful when you are about to overexplain yourself. You can start by being cautious over simple things that won’t have ‘huge’ consequences in your life, like in a restaurant or with a person you rarely talk to; just say something and keep your mind shut, or don’t follow along with it trying to justify.

After all, what’s the worst that can happen? Then, slowly but surely, you will climb up and get to the point where you see no need to overexplain yourself to your boss or your best friends.

That’s the gift you can give yourself. There’s no benefit in holding onto false beliefs that only limit you in life. You’ve got this, cheering you on!

Note from the Author

If you’re ready and you’d like my help with healing, finding peace in life and breaking free from these toxic patterns, then you can book a FREE BREAKTHROUGH CALL with me HERE. Happy healing 💙💙. Feel free to share and comment! Use this information with caution, it comes from my own thoughts & bias, experiences and research😊.

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Edwin Bii
Edwin Bii

I'm Edwin Bii, a trained advanced conversational hypnotherapist (ACH) and Mind Shifting Coach from Kenya offering mental health support, and life coaching to help you crush your goalsand overcome your problems. Together, we'll navigate challenges, build self-awareness, and create a happier, healthier you. Let's unlock your potential.

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