How to Deal With People Who Always Make Excuses

In your journey to developing mental strength, you begin to recognize times when people lack it. This can be frustrating, like seeing greener grass over a hilltop which most can’t get their heads above. You will feel misunderstood in your reactions to people’s excuses, as these excuses are very true to them. You will begin to realize that people’s core beliefs have excuses at their foundation. It will become evident that excuses are created and told, to both ourselves and others, in every minute of every day.

The habit of eliminating excuses is a difficult one to master and only begins to take form through relentless struggle. Controlling your response to excuses is the first thing you need to manage before moving any further when dealing with excuses from those around you. Understand that these excuses come from a place of naivety rather than one of stupidity. With that being said, let’s start the process of dealing with an excuse.

Expect it and Don’t Be Surprised

The first thing you need to do is to expect excuses from everybody in your life. At work, at school, at home, in the store, and on the subway. In every conversation in life, people use excuses to save their soul from struggle. Excuses are a short-term vehicle of happiness – they bring with them immediate satisfaction at the expense of something greater down the line. Look at excuses as a terrible and self-destructive habit rather than a plot against working hard and going through struggle.

Understand that these people need help rather than anguish for speaking with excuses riddling their reason. With this in mind, you will not be surprised, ensuring a clear head for the steps following.

Show Proof & Unveil The Reasons

Excuses can be debunked. You should try to debunk every excuse that hurts the people making it or the ones around them, as facts are generally difficult to argue against. Know which excuses are worth falsifying with factual evidence, as it sometimes takes a lot of effort to do so. When you do find the proof against whatever excuses that came your way from others, present it in a way which is not demeaning or hurtful to the person. Again, you have to keep in mind their naivety towards these facts.

Examples of proof can be showing someone that working out every day is possible even with the busiest of schedules (many people who are more successful than you or I do this), or that the timeline at work is in fact a reasonable one (breaking down all the tasks and reverse engineering estimated times for each). You will need to become good at debunking myths on your journey to stop excuses.

Once both you and your subject have an understanding of what is possible – therefore eliminating any truth to the excuses you were presented with – you must begin to explore the reasons why these excuses were thought of in the first place. Though the person may be naive to the facts, they are not naive to maintaining a stronger mind. Find the reasons why they came up with the excuses that they did. Ask they why they thought that people can’t work out everyday, or why the timelines at work were unrealistic.

The key to eliminating excuses is eliminating the habits that form these excuses. Whether that means not trusting anecdotal evidence, or not precisely measuring how long someone takes to do specific tasks at work, these habits need to stop. Once the reasoning for excuses is understood, you can then be sure that it will be more difficult for excuses of similar nature to hinder progress in the future.

Book Recommendation: 

No Excuses!: The Power of Self-Discipline

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