I really don't enjoy complaining or airing grievances, but I am going to take a pass and talk a bit about my distaste for excuses. The ones I use and excuses from others. Excuses are what we tell ourselves and others to get out of things. Among them, I believe there are three main categories: I'm busy, I don't care enough and I don't want to admit fault. Now, I'm not a psychology or sociology expert, but I will offer possible remedies, purely based on my life observations.
I implore readers to take this all with a grain of salt, because I, Sal, am a repeat offender and by no means, perfect.
The biggest excuse in all the land: I'm busy.
Interesting read: Let's Stop the Glorification of Busy by Melissa Ramos
Let's all talk about how the sky looks blue too. We are all in the same boat, just different bodies of water. Adults have shit to do. From relationship priorities to children to work to extra-curricular activities, there aren't enough hours in the day, I get it. I have found myself using this one all too often and every time I do, I throw up a little bit in my mouth. I think this is the biggest self-excuse, or something the little person in our brains tells us to make us feel better about skipping out on something or someone. I think it is all about priorities and priorities are highly individual.
Herein lies the problem, often times, priorities don't align between either the person giving the excuse and the recipient or the little person in our heads giving the excuse and what we really want for ourselves [read: our values]. I give myself the "I'm too busy" excuse all the time thinking that it is an answer for not getting to the gym or saying no to requests to hang out. I should probably just be honest and say, "I'm sorry, I didn't make that a priority this week/today/right now, so I can't," but I guess that could be seen as an excuse too, hmmm.
I think a great remedy for this big one (in the excuses world) is to put ourselves in others shoes, especially if we are requesting their time or they are requesting a piece of ours. In general, folks are sometimes just as, if not more "busy" than we are. So if we are requesting time and we get this excuse, there is probably a burnt out person behind it wishing they could say yes. If we are giving the excuse, maybe we can step back and tell ourselves to rethink priorities, for the pure reason that a probably very busy person is making us a priority by asking.
Dos: I don't care enough.
A fleeting little reason that we don't do something: we really don't care to do it, or we want to act like we don't care. I guess this one is also under the priority alignment umbrella and can be prevented or solved with a little empathy. Those little requests or tasks that seem like the farthest from our possible to-do list may be important to someone else. It may seem super unimportant and opposite-of-caring of me to not get dressed and put on makeup to go to the grocery store where others might think it is disrespectful to leave the house without. This is a very surface-level example. A real life example might be an employee (not me) that only wants to hear that they have done well or receive recognition for going above and beyond their job duties. Again, misaligned priorities have a way of sneaking in and creating (possibly) very valid excuses for us. This one is often a tough pill to swallow and, in my very inexperienced brain, boils down to communication. Honesty is the best policy. Whoever said that should have trademarked it.
Finally: I don't want to admit fault
This is the building block upon which all excuses are conceived. I don't want to say no and let someone down and I sure as hell don't want to admit I blew it and then live with that. If I had even a nickel for every time I gave an excuse for myself when something went wrong, I would be a much richer person. I analyze and try to notice when I'm doing this more often now after I was a rower and then a coach. Is my excuse going to fix it? Probably not. Is my reason for not being at practice or failing to get something done on time going to change the consequences for myself and others? Nope.
I think by asking what our excuses provide to the situation will help us decide if it benefits us or the recipient to give them. Does the other person feel better? Do you feel better? Would a simple "I'm sorry, I can't/did that" suffice?
Again, I don't claim to have the answers, but these are my thoughts on excuses.