The Rationalization Trap: “I Know They Love Me, They Just Can’t Show It”

The Rationalization Trap: “I Know They Love Me, They Just Can’t Show It” Rationalization

We’ve all been there at one point in life. It could be at your workplace or with your dysfunctional family or your romantic relationship or even with friendship- that point where the relationship doesn’t feel right logically, but for some reason, you just can’t let it go and end up making a very great excuse. I’ve been there too, at that point where you just make an excuse to hold things together.

A common excuse we keep telling ourselves while stuck in that muddy and unchanging situation is the classic: “I know they love me; they just have a hard time showing it.” Now, why do we really focus on that aspect or why are we really convinced with this seemingly automatic response and why don’t we even pause and have that moment of, “Wait a minute, what do I really mean by this?”

The Contradiction (That We Totally Ignore)

So, here’s the thing. On the surface, that statement may seem kind of hopeful, maybe even displaying some elements of care towards that ‘loved’ one. But if you want to see the absurdity of our own rationalizations, you can take a pause or even write it down: –

“I know they love me” — it’s like we’re claiming that we’re like 100% sure about this.

“They just have a hard time showing it” –interesting, doesn’t this contradict the first part?

If you really “know” someone loves you, wouldn’t there be clear evidence from the present circumstances? Or how is it that the person whose love you are sure of is hurting you 89.99% of the time? That’s how you point out those contradictions and see the ridiculousness of our rationalizations, or just be aware that it doesn’t make sense at all.

It’s like saying, “I know the sun’s shining, it just can’t be bright.” It doesn’t make much sense when you think about it. When we have a common automated response towards someone’s actions, we’re not thinking clearly or cleanly but instead relying on our habitual response.

The Selective Memory Game (We’re All Champions at This)

Another aspect that reinforces that common excuse is the fact that our brains are masters at selectively recalling memories that validate our current worldview. We cling to those rare moments of affection or kindness from those people, even if they’re few and far between. It’s like looking for gold in a muddy river — you might find a tiny bit and convince yourself the whole river’s full of treasure.

That’s what your mind does. It can remember that one time your abusive partner brought you soup when you were sick, but now you hold on to this memory for years, conveniently forgetting all the times they mistreated you or ignored your needs. That’s how crazy your false identity is: it will look for evidence to support itself and not for evidence to contradict it.

So, you end up recalling the moment they showed you love, of course with a bit of exaggeration, and you now claim that they just cannot show it because of a myriad of reasons.

Understanding That “Everyone Has Good Qualities”

Here’s another thing to consider about human nature — if you look hard enough, you’ll find good qualities in just about anyone. Even the worst people have moments of kindness or redeeming features. For example, drug lords or warlords often ‘love’ their families or take good care of them and sometimes their communities at large.

So, it doesn’t make much sense to try to focus on the ‘loving’ aspects of your abusive partner because you will definitely find them, and then your mind uses that as the greatest excuse. That’s how, when you’re in a toxic relationship, you will look for legitimate justifications to stay or to avoid facing the discomfort.

Practice Makes ‘Perfect’

When we’ve been making the same excuse for years and years, it becomes like an automatic response. It’s comfortable, familiar, and keeps us from facing painful truths about where we currently stand in life.

I’ve heard of people convincing themselves for even more than 40 years that their mom’s critical comments towards them come from a place of love. When it becomes habitual, your mind finds it easier to use that pathway instead of simply admitting that your mom is mean or that you’re just being mean to yourself.

Breaking Free: Seeing Your Contradictions

If there’s one aspect that will help you grow, it’s noting down and examining the contradictions in your current worldview. You can start with those common statements you use to justify a situation and explore them curiously.

It’s like telling your ego, “Hey, this doesn’t make sense!” At first, it’s super and crazily uncomfortable. But as you heal or as you keep bringing it to your awareness, you might find yourself looking back at these past rationalizations and laughing your ass off.

When you realize the ridiculousness of these rationalizations, it doesn’t mean you’re stupid for believing them; it simply shows that you’re growing and finally seeing things clearly, without being distorted by all those negative beliefs.

Practical Challenge: Giving Yourself a Reality Check

As a challenge for you (and myself) to gently question our own thoughts and how we look at life. Next time you catch yourself saying, “They love me, they just can’t show it,” pause and ask yourself this:

· “Labels (mom, father, husband, etc.) aside, what actual evidence do I have of their love?”

· “If my best friend could describe this relationship to me, what would I tell them?”

· “Am I mixing up my past experiences with reality?”

It’s okay if the answers make you want to run away and just go back to your busy life. But in that discomfort is where your current worldview starts to melt away and your authentic self starts to take over. Heal to the point where you look at those excuses and just burst out laughing, not feeling pity for yourself, as you now understand how our minds set traps for us that don’t even make sense at all.

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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